Tag: DePaul Blue Demons

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Coaching Changes: Who’s set for success, failure

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The college basketball coaching carousel was in full effect last spring, as 40 head coaching positions changed hands. Of those 40 jobs, 12 major high major programs will enter this season with a new man in charge while six more teams that would be classified as mid-major plus had turnover in leadership.

Here are the coaches in the best position to succeed immediately, and those that will likely need some time before they see the kind of success they’re used to:


  1. Steve Prohm, Iowa State: With Fred Hoiberg making the move to the NBA, someone was bound to land a job coaching a team with the talent needed to play deep into the NCAA tournament. Prohm was the pick for Iowa State after a successful run at Murray State, and with players such as Monte Morris, Georges Niang and Jameel McKay, his first season in Ames can be a special one.
  2. Will Wade, VCU: Yes, Wade has some personnel losses to account as the former Shaka Smart assistant returns to VCU; most notably, Briante Weber and Treveon Graham have graduated. The cupboard isn’t bare either, however, as Melvin Johnson is back for his senior year, as are JeQuan Lewis and Mo-Alie Cox. Look for the Rams to once again be a factor in the Atlantic 10 race. (And yes, I know my opinion differs from some of my colleagues.)
  3. Tim Duryea, Utah State: Duryea’s definitely familiar with the USU roster, as he served as the now-retired Stew Morrill’s assistant for 14 seasons. And he’s got a good roster to work with, with all five starters returning led by forwards Jalen Moore and David Collette. Utah State exceeded expectations by finishing fourth in the Mountain West a season ago; they’ll be expected to contend this time around and have the pieces to do just that.
  4. Mike White, Florida: Like Prohm, White arrives at his new gig after experiencing a lot of success at his last stop. But unlike Prohm he’s taking over for a coach in Billy Donovan took Florida’s program to heights never before reached in the history of the program. There’s some talent to work with, especially if he can get Kasey Hill going, and White also managed to hold onto most of Florida’s 2015 recruiting class.
  5. Ben Howland, Mississippi State: While Howland’s resume surpasses that of any other coach on this list, and he’ll have Malik Newman at his disposal, that doesn’t overtake the fact that there’s a lot to be done with a program that struggled mightily in the three seasons prior. Howland put together a good recruiting class led by Newman, but if there’s a concern it’s the health of his front court (that wasn’t all too deep to begin with).
  6. Matt McCall, Chattanooga: McCall’s first head coaching gig at the Division I level has the potential to be a very successful one, thanks to the talent due back on campus. Four starters, including guard Casey Jones and forward Justin Tuoyo, return from a team that won 22 games and finished 15-3 in SoCon play.
  7. Eran Ganot, Hawai’i: Last season began with tumult for Hawai’i, but interim head coach Benjy Taylor was able to lead the Rainbow Warriors to 22 wins and a run to the Big West tournament final. Now former Saint Mary’s assistant Eran Ganot takes over an experienced group that returns three starters (seven who started at least two games) led by Big West Defensive Player of the Year Roderick Bobbitt.

MORE: 2015-16 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

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  1. Shaka Smart, Texas: A key question for some is how Smart’s pressure system will mesh with bigs who are best equipped to play in the half court. However the biggest issue in Smart’s first season at the helm in Austin is the strength of the Big 12, with perennial favorite Kansas leading what should be a deep race. There’s still talent, enough to make the tournament, but contending in the Big 12 may take a little time.
  2. Rick Barnes, Tennessee: Barnes has relocated to Knoxville, where he’ll aim to rejuvenate a program that dealt with the Donnie Tyndall investigation (and ultimately, firing) for much of last season. Three starters return but the one true difference-maker, Josh Richardson, isn’t among those players. Add in a lack of size in the post, and this could be a difficult season for Barnes in an SEC that will be improved.
  3. Avery Johnson, Alabama: Johnson and his staff have made some waves recruiting-wise, most notably reeling in Terrance Ferguson, and that certainly bodes well for the future. However, when it comes to this season he inherits a roster that lost its top three scorers from a season ago. That could prove difficult to overcome in a league that’s improved from last season.
  4. Chris Mullin, St. John’s: To say that Mullin and his staff were left with a bare cupboard would be an understatement. Two of the remaining players (Chris Obekpa and Rysheed Jordan) didn’t exactly mesh with the new staff’s plans, so they moved on. The work done by Mullin and assistants Barry Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih to fill out the roster will help St. John’s in the long run, but this season could be a difficult one.
  5. Brian Wardle, Bradley: Wardle’s move from Green Bay to Peoria, Illinois is a big one for a Bradley program that struggled in a big way under Geno Ford. Given Wardle’s accomplishments he’s got a good chance of turning things around. But it’s going to take some time to do so, especially with just one starter from last season’s nin win team back on campus. There was a lot of turnover on the roster, so the Braves will take their lumps as a result.
  6. Bobby Hurley, Arizona State: Hurley put together two successful seasons at Buffalo before making the move west, and he inherits a roster doesn’t lack for experience. In a similar situation at Buffalo in 2013-14, he led the Bulls to 19 wins and had the MAC Player of the Year in Javon McCrea. The two issues this time around: while the Pac-12 may not have a dominant team as it did a season ago (Arizona) it is deeper, and the Sun Devils will have to navigate a tough non-conference slate as well.
  7. Dave Leitao, DePaul: Since Leitao’s first run at DePaul came to an end in 2005, the Blue Demons have struggled mightily. Now he returns to the Windy City, and while there is some talent (Billy Garrett Jr. being one option) there’s a long way to go when it comes to making a move up the Big East standings and being a true factor in the conference.

Report: 2016 point guard Myles Powell trims list to five

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One of the top guards in the Northeast, Myles Powell has been on the receiving end of recruiting attention from more than a few top programs. Thursday night it was reported by SNY.tv that Powell, who will finish his high school career at South Kent Prep in Connecticut, has cut his list from eight schools to five.

The five schools that remain on the list are Connecticut, DePaul, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and VCU. Georgetown, Georgia Tech and Saint Joseph’s, which were on the list Powell revealed in late July after playing for the Playaz Basketball Club (NJ), are the three programs that did not make the cut.

UConn, which will lose three seniors from its backcourt at the end of the 2015-16 season, has already landed one point guard in the Class of 2016 in Georgia native Alterique Gilbert. The Huskies also have freshman Jalen Adams, but playing multiple point guards at the same time has been something that head coach Kevin Ollie has been more than willing to do since he’s taken over the program.

DePaul has also landed a guard in the Class of 2016 (Devin Gage), but with players such as Billy Garrett Jr., Darick Wood and Aaron Simpson all being upperclassmen there’s a need for depth moving forward. Pittsburgh, which has a senior point guard in James Robinson, has a need to address at the position especially with Josh Newkirk’s decision to transfer to Indiana.

Seton Hall is young on the perimeter, with Kansas State transfer Jevon Thomas sitting out this season, but they also have a need to fill at the point and landing Powell would help in that regards. The Pirates will be led on the perimeter this season by sophomores Isaiah Whitehead and Khadeen Carrington and grad student Derrick Gordon. As for VCU, the Rams may not have a senior at the point, but Powell’s perimeter shooting ability would help them account for the eventual loss of senior shooting guard Melvin Johnson.

According to the report, Powell will begin setting up official visits in the very near future.

Three-star 2016 power forward Kevin Marfo trims list to ten

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Playing with the BABC grassroots program, 2016 power forward Kevin Marfo put together a month of July that led to more than a few high-major programs looking to get involved in his recruitment. Sunday ot was reported by ESPN.com that the 6-foot-8 Marfo has trimmed his school list down to ten.

The schools still in the running for Marfo’s commitment are Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, George Washington, Rhode Island and Providence.

Marfo attends Worcester Academy in Massachusetts, where he plays for head coach Jamie Sullivan. On the Nike EYBL circuit this spring/summer, Marfo averaged 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

Video credit: Hoop Dreams Magazine