11. DePaul Blue Demons
2019-20: 16-16 (3-15), 10th in Big East
Key Departures: F Paul Reed*, G Jalen Coleman-Lands, G Devin Gage
Incoming Freshmen: G Kobe Elvis
Incoming Transfers: N/A
Headline: Does DePaul have enough offense to avoid landing in the Big East basement for the 11th time in 13 years?
Star Watch: Charlie Moore
Who makes The Leap: Romeo Weems
As we all struggle through an era of change and confusion in our daily lives, it is somewhat comforting to see DePaul in its natural habit – the basement of the Big East (sorry, Blue Demon fans).
Things could be pretty bleak in Chicago this season. Reed will likely remain in the NBA Draft, a bad sign as DPU really struggled with Reed off the floor last year. Moore will have the ball in his hands at all times in 2020-21. He did average 15.5 ppg and 6.1 apg last season but did so on just 38 percent shooting. Moore’s career marks are now 37 percent from the field and 32 percent from deep for three different teams, so I don’t foresee his shooting numbers climbing as a senior, particularly without much help around him.
Let’s roll through the bright spots though. Weems landed on the Big East all-freshman team, the first Blue Demon to do so since Eli Cain in 2016. Weems, a former top-100 recruit, started all 32 games for Dave Leitao’s club and averaged over 30 minutes per game, a mark only 18 Big East freshmen have reached since 2009-10 (and it’s a pretty solid crop of players). Rising sophomore point guard prospect Markese Jacobs is still around, as is Nick Ongenda, whose minutes doubled down the stretch as he became accustomed to the speed of the Big East. Butz has turned into a nice, versatile player.
DePaul is also among the final five schools for the services of five-star point guard Karim Mane, joining Marquette, Michigan State, Memphis, and Pittsburgh. (247Sports’ Evan Daniels talked to Mane about his recruiting process last week.) Marquette and Michigan State seem to be the favorites to land the Canada native, but DePaul can certainly tailor its team around Mane perhaps more than any of the other programs on his list.
DePaul is better off than they were in the first half of the 2010s under Oliver Purnell, but not by much. It doesn’t seem like much will change to start the 2020s either.