2016-2017 Season Review
For the tenth season in a row, the DePaul basketball team failed to win more than 12 games. In David Leitao's second season, the Blue Demons went 9-23 (2-16), their second straight single digit win season and fifth in nine years. Their only conference wins were against Providence and Georgetown, though they did give Villanova a scare to start Big East play and they took Butler to OT. DePaul hasn't had a winning season since 2006-2007.
DePaul lost four guys to graduation, the biggest being Billy Garrett, the only starter to depart. The 6'6 guard averaged 14.9 PPG and a team best 3.3 APG. Garrett started since he was a freshman. Chris Harrison-Docks was a guard that played 19.5 MPG, averaging 6.3 PPG and hitting 40 threes. Darrick Wood and RJ Currington were also both guards that both appeared in 19 games for the Blue Demons. Wood averaged 4.4 PPG while Currington scored 3.9 PPG. DePaul also had two players transfer. 6'8 Al Eichelberger decided to transfer to Cleveland State following a freshman season in which he played 26 games. Guard Erten Gazi decided to transfer to Fordham for his final two seasons of eligibility.
David Leitao returns four of his starters from last season, including leading scorer Eli Cain. The 6'6 junior to be averaged 15.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 2.7 APG a season ago. 6'7 senior Tre'Darius McCallum returns after starting every game last season. He averaged 9.7 PPG, a team high 6.8 RPG and led the team in steals and blocks. Brandon Cyrus is a 6'5 sophomore that started every game as a freshman. He scored 6.3 PPG and grabbed 4.2 RPG. Also starting every game last season was Joe Hanel. Hanel is a 6'7 senior that shot 64.9% from the field and averaged 4.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Devin Gage is a 6'2 sophomore that averaged 4.0 PPG in 11.9 MPG last season, while Levi Cook is a 6'10, 290 pound sophomore that played 10.9 MPG. He averaged 2.6 PPG and 2.3 RPG.
Justin Roberts leads the 2017 DePaul recruiting class as a 5'11 four star PG. Roberts is a true PG that can break down the defense and get to the rim. He has a good feel for the game. Jaylen Butz is a 6'9 three star PF that is a versatile big man with good ball skills for his size. Paul Reed is a 6'8 three star SF that burst into the scene late after a 3 inch growth spurt. In addition to the three 2017 recruits, David Leitao will have three transfers eligible to play this season. Austin Grandstaff is a former four star recruit that was the #14 ranked SG in the 2015 class. The 6'4 sophomore played 10 games at Ohio State before transferring to Oklahoma in December of 2015. He sat out the rest of the season at Oklahoma but then decided to transfer to DePaul after the 2015-2016 season. He sat out last season. Because of his history, he's a high risk, but high reward type of type of transfer. Max Strus sat out last season after transferring from D2 Lewis College. The 6'6 junior was a D2 All American as a sophomore, averaging a 20.2/8.4/3.5 line. Marin Maric is a 6'11 grad transfer from Northern Illinois. He was a third team All-MAC selection last season, averaging 14.4 PPG and 8.4 RPG.
It's been ten straight seasons of brutal basketball for DePaul, but the Blue Demons may finally be starting to turn the corner. They'll open up a new arena this season, Wintrust Arena, and will have a team that has a lot of experience from last season to play in it. Mix those returning starters with a talented group of recruits and transfers and DePaul shouldn't be at the very bottom of the Big East standings this season. They still don't have much size, but they'll still win some more games and definitely be a lot more competitive. With their 2018 recruiting class already looking strong, things are looking up in Chicago.