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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

September 21st, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

DePaul Blue Demons

 

Overall Rank: #52

Conference Rank: #8 Big East

 

2005-06: 12-15, 5-11, 13th (t)

2005-06 postseason: none

 

At the end of last year, DePaul began to show what they could do with a victory over Seton Hall followed by a 39 point drubbing of NCAA Tournament bound Syracuse.  With all but one impact player returning, the Blue Demons are a middle of the pack Big East team…and that puts them on the bubble. 

 

Who’s Out: Almost as painful as the loss of big man Marlon Brumfield is the loss of his hopeful replacement Keith Butler.  Brumfield started 24 games last year and was never a dominant big man, but was at least a big body who could grab some boards and play some defense.  Butler, a transfer from Temple, never quite made it in the “Who’s In” list and is not expected to suit up for the Demons.  Seldom used Rashad Woods has opted to transfer after his freshman campaign in Chicago.

 

Who’s In: Unfortunately, none of the post players that DePaul really needed made it here.  However, point guard Will Walker will find some minutes in the crowded backcourt.  Walker is talented enough to play either guard spot, but second year coach Jerry Wainwright will need him to use his poise and passing skills to run the show as a freshman.  At 6-0 and 180 pounds, Walker’s size is a concern, but the Bolingbrook, Illinois product has proven time and time again that he can flat out get the job done.  Thijin Moses finds himself at the end of a deep depth chart.  The 6-8 small forward has loads of potential, but will need some time to adjust to the level of play in the Big East and is a probable redshirt candidate.

 

Who to Watch: Every year it seems the expectations of center Wesley Green reemerge.  The once highly touted recruit then shows up overweight and suffers a variety of injuries.  Without Brumfield or Butler, the five spot will have to depend on Green and that has not been a wise thing to depend upon over the last couple of years.  The power forward spot is in good hands with Wilson Chandler.  While ideally a three, Chandler proved he can be effective enough at the four during his freshman campaign.  The Benton Harbor, Michigan native isn’t the greatest outside shooter, but he’ll get to the basket and finish with the best in the Big East.  After a freshman season that saw Chandler average 10.6 points and a team high 7.2 rebounds, big things are expected of the 6-8, 210 pound sophomore.

 

Final Projection: If this was five-on-five streetball where the big guys inevitably get left on the other side of the court and consequently the bench, DePaul would be a top ten team.  Sammy Mejia is a solid scorer on the wing and Jabari Currie is developing into a solid point guard.  As long as Currie and Walker can manage the point, Mejia will be able to cut his minutes running the point to nil and move off the ball where he is much more effective.  Draelon Burns was second on the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game mostly coming off the bench.  He may not find a starting role this year either, but will get plenty of minutes and score plenty of points and be the odds on favorite to win the sixth man of the year honors in the Big East.  Karron Clarke is the best long range shooter of them all and will be starting at the small forward spot once again.  Cliff Clinkscales started ten games last year and will be another experienced player adding depth to the backcourt.  If the guards can use their experience to take smart shots and hit them with a little more consistency, the frontcourt deficiencies can be disregarded and the Demons can sweat it out on Selection Sunday.  If they jack up too many threes and Green isn’t ready to see significant minutes, it will be another long season for DePaul fans.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT

 

Projected Starting Five:

Jabari Currie, Sophomore, Guard, 5.1 points per game

Sammy Mejia, Senior, Guard, 15.1 points per game

Karron Clarke, Junior, Forward, 10.0 points per game

Wilson Chandler, Sophomore, Forward, 10.6 points per game

Wesley Green, Junior, Center, 4.3 points per game

53 Utah State » Complete List » 51 UMASS

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