Harris: Purnell Stays Patient As His Team Continues To Struggle
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By Adam Harris–
It is tough to stay patient with a young team who hasn’t won a conference game this season, but patient is what coach Oliver Purnell continues to be with his struggling DePaul Blue Demons men’s basketball team.
“This is the fifth time I’ve been through it,” coach Purnell said. “Patience is really important when you’re going to successfully turn a program around, so I’ve got to remind myself of that. When you’ve been through it four times before, It’s a little easier than it would be for most folks.”
The Blue Demons have lost 25 straight Big East games, and 29 straight games on the road. The young team remains positive through all this losing with the help of their coach.
“He tells us a lot,” Freshman guard Brandon Young said. “But the most important thing he tells us is that we got to have that hard edge and keep fighting and play hard for forty minutes. We need to do the small things that will help us win in the last six minutes of the game.”
DePaul has lost two of its last three games by four points or less, and that includes a 61-57 loss at a 15th ranked Louisville team. There are signs of progress and maturity with Purnell’s young stars, but there is still a long way to go.
“I like the fact that they are continuing to work hard, they’re continuing to respond, and their attitudes are good.” Coach Purnell said. “The young players are getting a tremendous amount of experience, and a lot of time on the floor which is going to help them in the future.”
DePaul will gain more experience, and attempt to break that losing streak Thursday night when they visit Providence. Tip-off is at 8 pm central, and can be heard on 670TheScore.