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DePaul basketball: Oliver Purnell has Blue Demons going in the right direction

The DePaul Blue Demons might not contend this year, but coach Oliver Purnell has them going in the right direction.

Jim McIsaac

The DePaul Blue Demons are on the up-and-up, or so it would seem. The Big East Preseason Coaches Poll has the Blue Demons picked to finish 13th, not quite at the top of the crop, and above teams like Seton Hall and Providence. But as noted by Mark Strotman of CSN Chicago, it's the highest that the Blue Demons have been picked in the preseason poll since Oliver Purnell took over in 2010.

Last year, they were picked 15th, and in 2010 and 2009, they were picked last. The Blue Demons had a 3-15 record a season ago, but Purnell has done a good job of keeping the team intact. It's returning its top four scorers from a year ago, including junior Cleveland Melvin, who was named a second team All-Big East member last year. He averaged 17.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last year.

Melvin was part of Purnell's first recruiting class, too. Guys like Brandon Young and Moses Morgan are also back, and they also came to the team with Purnell. All of this is focused on him and his ability to lead this team to prominence. It might not come in 2012, but the team is unquestionably going in the right direction.