It takes a brave, brave soul to cover the DePaul Blue Demons basketball team in this day and age, but there is one man out there on the interwebz who has shouldered that responsibility. That'd be Jonathan Carroll over at Blue Demons Lair - by far the best (and only?) DePaul blog out there. Make sure to follow him on Twitter as well, he's very active.
Jonathan was kind enough to answer some questions before this Saturday's showdown between his boys and the Villanova Wildcats (WILDCATS! BLUE DEMONS! IT'S THE BIG EAST ON SNY!). Make sure to head over to BDL and get involved to show him some thanks.
And away we go...
I've heard a lot of people questioning Oliver Purnell's decision to leave Clemson. What do you say to that?
DePaul is a diamond in the rough program. We're in the third largest city in the US and have amazing talent in the area. Plus, there's no other competition locally for it. Purnell got two million per year to come here, so it's not like he's doing this as a favor.
I keep telling people it's not the coach but the athletic department. Its run like a mom and pop operation with incompetent people making huge decisions. Our wonderful AD extended the contract of Jerry Wainwright (under the table) after a run in the NIT! That's why he was kept around way too long.
In my most recent blog, I questioned if Purnell was the right guy. He's not youngster and there's so many things to fix. I like his attitude and staff, but I'm not sure that he can fix this program until they clean house in the athletic department.
Purnell made the right move from a money and program potential standpoint.
More fun with DePaul after The Jump.
How close is DePaul to retiring their perennial bottom-feeder status in the Big East?
There's some talent finally developing within the program, and solid recruits are coming around. I'd say within two seasons things may improve. My fingers are crossed...
Who are the stars of this DePaul team, and more importantly, who will help raise the program in the next few years?
Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young are the two hopes for the future. Both have shown real skills and have played well despite being singled out by other teams. Tony Freeland is a good player at times and Moses Morgan has been solid as well. There's a need for more Big East talent, but there's a start for our program.
Relative to your preseason expectations, how is DePaul performing this season?
The new style of play is refreshing and exciting. We're not seeing wins and losses, but the young players are progressing. I wish we had a conference win or two, but the dead weight on the roster prevents it from happening.
What would resurrecting the program mean to the city of Chicago? Would it be similar to the St. John's resurgence in New York City?
People want to love DePaul and need a reason to do so. Coach Ray Meyer was beloved in this town and DePaul was the toughest ticket to get in town many years ago. There's promise for this program and people will fall in love again with it if we win. Just look at the Blackhawks. If you win, they'll come around.
As a fellow basketball-only school, are you worried you could possibly be kicked out of the conference for a school that brings football with it?
Hell yes. Wins will cure that for DePaul. Don't forget our women's team is a top 15 program. That helps.
(TNB Side Note: Our women's team just won our 1st conference game a couple days ago. If we don't move up, should I be worried? Shit.)
What are your thoughts on Villanova moving to FBS in football? If it was DePaul, what would you want the school to do?
I wish we had a football team. I think its always a good move to move forward as an athletic department. DePaul fails at this all the time.
(TNB Side Note: DON'T 'SCHRUTE' THIS LIKE DEPAUL)
How will Saturday's game play out?
You'll win. It will be close early and a blow out in the end.
Succinct and to the point, especially with that last one. I think 'Nova Nation will pray for that blowout, but based on recent results, we'll just take the win.
Thanks again to Jonathan, and make sure to hit up Blue Demons Lair!