DePaul, despite their struggles in recent years, had some reasons for optimism entering the 2012-13 season with juniors Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young leading the way.
While the Big East coaches may have picked the Blue Demons to finish 13th in the conference at the league’s media day, there is some hope that Oliver Purnell can lead DePaul closer to the .500 mark (12-19 in 2011-12).
The hopes of the DePaul faithful in that regard were dealt a blow, as the school confirmed reports from Thursday that freshman forward DeJuan Marrero was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.
As a senior at Bowman Academy in Gary, Indiana last year Marrero averaged 20 points and 14 rebounds per game after posting averages of 22.1 points and 15.3 rebounds as a junior.
Marrero was expected, along with fellow freshmen Jodan Price and Montray Clemons (redshirted last season due to injury), to give the Blue Demon rotation some help in 2012-13.
Melvin, Young and guard Moses Morgan are DePaul’s three returning starters, and contributors such as Jamee Crockett and Worrel Clahar return as well.
Is this group improved enough to reach the .500 mark? We’ll see, but the loss of Marrero is a tough one for the Blue Demons.
Photo credit: DePaul University