With the college basketball season starting Friday, The Catch and Shoot is taking a look at the best- and worst-case scenarios for Chicago’s team. As you may have guessed, this series of posts tries to evaluate each team’s highest peak as well as their lowest low.
Here is a look at DePaul’s best-case and worst-case scenario:
With a year under their belts, sophomores Billy Garrett Jr. and Tommy Hamilton IV blossom into one of the Big East’s best inside-outside duos. The Blue Demons avoid bad losses in non-conference with these two leading the way and enter the Big East with a 10-3 record.
Junior forward Rashaun Stimage returns from a foot injury in time for a conference play and wastes no time adjusting from junior college to Division I. He and Hamilton give opponent front lines fits.
Junior college transfer Aaron Simpson becomes one of the Big East’s leading scorers and Darrick Wood also averages close to 10 points per game.
The Blue Demons finish in the top-six of the Big East and earn an NIT bid. Chicago’s mid-major programs all finish last in their respective leads, and DePaul laughs as sub-.500 Northwestern accepts a bid to the CBI.
DePaul is completely inept with Brandon Young and Cleveland Melvin gone. Garrett’s assist-turnover ratio doesn’t get any better and he continues to shoot below 40% from the field, as does Hamilton.
After missing 10 weeks with a foot injury, Stimage is never able to get into a groove this season and becomes irrelevant. Simpson and Wood are overwhelmed by Big East competition and their scoring does not translate from junior college to Division I.
DePaul fails to win a single conference game, and the Oliver Purnell era ends with nine Big East wins in five seasons. The Blue Demons also lose games to UIC, Chicago State and Northern Illinois, demolishing any positive reputation remaining in the area.