Depaul Basketball was once a great program. They lost by two points to Larry Bird and the Indiana State Sycamores in the 1979 Final Four. They only had two coaches between the 1942-43 and 1996-97 seasons, Ray and Joey Meyer. They made the NCAA Tournament twice in the early 2000′s and looked to be on the rise. With players like Wilson Chandler and Quentin Richardson playing for the Blue Devils it looked like it would be no time before the team was Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight level. To prove that, the team made the transition to the Big East, and has never been through a tougher stretch.
After losing 84-62 to the Creighton Blue Jays in the Big East Tournament, Depaul finished their season with a 12-21 record. This finish is the sixth consecutive losing record for them, and it seems the much weaker Big East didn’t help the team at all. While the conference split replaced perennial powers Syracuse and Connecticut with lower-level teams like Butler and Xavier, Depaul still sat at the bottom of the conference. It’s unfortunate that even this weaker conference dominates the Blue Devils.
While no one expects a small, private school without an extremely rich history like Depaul to be a juggernaut with a legitimate chance at a Final Four every season, but Depaul seemed to be a team with potentially a very bright future. Now there are members of the media even asking if the team will ever contend again, whether it be on a conference-level or nationally.
In my honest opinion, Depaul will never get to an elite, or even above-average level of play. Depaul is going to be stuck in neutral for the foreseeable future, and I’m starting to question if they’ll ever even qualify for the NCAA Tournament soon. Oliver Purnell was brought in to take the team to the level that the Meyers brought them to, and he has not succeeded. I can’t see him bringing the team anywhere in the near future.
Do you think Depaul can contend in basketball again? If so let me know in the comment section below, or follow me on Twitter @DRidder17 and let me know there.