College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, November 16, 2013
With so many teams fleeing the Big East (Syracuse, Louisville, Uconn, others), the remaining squads feel they have a legitimate chance at either winning the conference or getting an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in March.
Such is the case of DePaul, often an NIT afterthought when struggling through the Big East schedule, but now 2-1, after knocking off Wright State, 81-72.
Placing four players in double figures, the Blue Demons were led by senior forward Cleveland Melvin's 23 points and 13 rebounds, the kind of numbers Melvin's been putting up in his four years at DePaul, scoring in double figures each season.
A force in the paint, the 6'8" Melvin was 8-for-10 from the field, stepped back to make one of two from three-point range and was six-for-six from the foul line. Four of his game-high 13 boards were on the offensive end.
DePaul shot 54.5% from the field and out-rebounded the Raiders, 34-19.
If DePaul means to make noise in the reshuffled Big East conference, they'll have to do well against holdovers Georgetown, Marquette and Villanova, as well as newcomers, Xavier, Creighton and Butler.
For now, the Blue Demons will be content with their non-conference schedule, which includes games against Wichita State, Oregon State and Airzona State, before opening Big East play on December 31, at Georgetown.
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