Don’t look now but the DePaul Blue Demons look competent. Despite what many people think about DePaul, Oliver Purnell or the program as a whole, the team just got a huge lift against an actual basketball team when they beat the Butler Bulldogs in double-overtime, 99-94.
First, in the interest of full-disclosure, it should be pointed out that while beating Butler is still a feather in the cap, that the Bulldogs are 0-3 in Big East Conference play and many picked them to finish at the bottom of the league. Meaning, the win might not be as great as some are making it out to be. Still, a win is a win and DePaul can’t be greedy.
The win snaps a three game losing streak for DePaul and — possibly more importantly — did provide a proper platform for one of the nation’s more under-appreciated players, Cleveland Melvin.
Melvin, a senior who seems like he has been at DePaul since Nixon was in office — is the kind of player that goes under-the-radar because of the program he plays for. Not that DePaul is some mid-major, but they have been floundering as cellar-dwellars during the Purnell era. Even with that, though, Melvin has been able to succeed — at least in an individual, stats type of way.
Really, Melvin is some form of productivity legend. Throughout his entire four-year college career you could just simply mark it down. Melvin was going to get DePaul at least 16 points and 6-ish rebounds.
Last night, however, Melvin exploded. On just 14 shots — 10 of 14 from the floor, 3 of 4 from three — Melvin scored 30 points and grabbed 8 manly rebounds. Leaving only one question, are there any non-manly rebounds?
The win improves DePaul’s record to 9-8 on the season and gives them their first in-conference victory.