DePaul turns to Stubblefield to revive dormant Blue Demons
Tony Stubblefield, you're up,
DePaul's new men's basketball coach will try doing what Dave Leitao, Oliver Purnell and Jerry Wainwright could not -- get the Blue Demons back to the NCAA Tournament.
Leitao did guide DePaul into the postseason in 2003-04, but he failed to duplicate the success in his second tour of duty as head coach.
After the Blue Demons went 5-14 last season, Leitao was canned and replaced by Stubblefield, who was an assistant coach at Oregon the past 11 years.
Reviving a program that's finished last in the Big East 11 times in the last 13 seasons is a daunting task, but it's one that Stubblefield welcomes.
"I'm very familiar with the tradition of success this program has achieved," the new coach said. "I know we can achieve it again together. The challenge ahead is the most exciting part."
This season's biggest challenge is playing competitive basketball with an unproven coach and a roster to match.
Wednesday vs. Coppin State at Wintrust Arena
Javon Freeman-Liberty, guard; Nick Ongenda, center; David Jones, forward.
Freeman-Liberty, a Valparaiso transfer, averaged 14.4 points per game last season, his first at DePaul.
Javan Johnson, forward (graduate transfer, Iowa State); Tyon Grant-Foster, guard (transfer, Kansas); Philmon Gebrewhit, guard (transfer, South Plains College).
Johnson started 18 games for Iowa State last season and averaged 9.7 points per game.
Charlie Moore, guard (transfer, Miami, Fla.); Romeo Weems, forward.
Weems, a big-name recruit for Leitao, is playing for the Memphis Hustle in the NBA G League.
While they enter the season with low expectations, the Blue Demons do have a favorable early schedule.
The first eight games are at Wintrust Arena and DePaul doesn't hit the road until Dec. 10, when the Demons play at Louisville.
Dec. 4 vs. Loyola; Dec. 18 at Northwestern; Jan. 8 vs. Villanova.