Tony Stubblefield begins his first season at DePaul. He takes over a program that has a 5-28 Big East record over the past two seasons and that lost seven guys from last year’s rotation. Given that, the Blue Demons are projected to finish last in the Big East again, but I’ll be more interested in seeing how Stubblefield begins to build this program.
Key Losses: Romeo Weems (went pro), Charlie Moore (transfer), Ray Salnave (transfer), Pauly Paulicap (transfer), Kobe Elvis (transfer), Darious Hall (transfer), Oscar Lopez (transfer)
Key Newcomers: Ahamad Bynum, Jalen Terry (Oregon), Brandon Johnson (Minnesota), Tyon Grant-Foster (Kansas), Philmon Gebrewhit (JUCO), Yor Anei (SMU), Javan Johnson (Iowa St.)
Stubblefield has hit the transfer portal hard as he had to given the losses. Jalen Terry comes with Stubblefield from Oregon. Terry was a former Top-100 recruit who hadn’t cracked the regular rotation in Eugene. Terry is a fast point guard who can get to paint to score or find open teammates.
Tyon Grant-Foster transfers in from Kansas. He’s a former top JUCO transfer. Foster is 6’7, long, quick and an athlete who can score at all three levels. One negative that jumped out to me was that he only had four assists in 179 minutes at Kansas.
Brandon Johnson comes in from Minnesota. He’s a big that can space the floor and hit the three. The other transfer I want to touch on is Yor Anei from SMU. He’ll serve as the backup center at 6’10 and offer someone behind Nick Ongenda with shot-blocking ability.
Ahamad Bynum is a freshman that will see time immediately. He was a Dave Leitao recruit, but stayed committed after the coaching change. He comes to DePaul from Simeon High School in Chicago and will be the best shooter on the Blue Demons roster from day one.
Javon Freeman-Liberty is the biggest mainstay from last year’s team. He can be disruptive and defense with his size and a slasher on offense, but has always struggled to shoot it from deep. Sophomore David Jones is a similar mold who should be able to use his length on the defensive end.
Nick Ongenda returns in the middle, where he’ll be the defensive anchor. With crazy long arms, Ongenda is a block machine.
Courvoisier McCauley is another long option as a 6’5 guard, but he had 0 assists in 201 minutes for DePaul! Not typo, McCauley had no assists.
Below is quick list at this year’s depth chart:
This DePaul team was actually pretty good defensively last year: 47th in defensive efficiency and 39th in opponent 3-Point percentage. They were however, terrible on the offensive end. A bad shooting team combined with bad shot quality and careless ball-handlers is a terrible combination for any offense. Leitao’s offense was way too much 1-on-1. They had significantly more turnovers (300) than assists (217) last year. That needs to change if DePaul will get out of the Big East basement. I’m excited to see where Stubblefield will take this team, even if year one isn’t significantly better record-wise.