For 2011 wing Charles McKinney, his college decision was about family, home and style of play.
"I liked DePaul because it was back home, and I liked Coach (Oliver) Purnell," said McKinney who chose the Blue Demons over Iowa, Oregon State, and VCU. "I felt like it was a family environment. I liked the style of play. They get up and down and they press fullcourt."
McKinney had thought about waiting till after a visit to VCU to make his decision, but felt like he had no need to look any further.
"It was a perfect fit," Charles said of DePaul. "I didn't want to pass the opportunity up."
The 6-4 wing from Quality Education Academy in North Carolina also likes that he'll be taking his game to the Big East, where he'll face the highest level of competition.
"I believe I can play in the Big East," said Charles. "I just need to get to work in the gym with the coaches, and the weight room a little bit, and I should be fine."
Having spent three years at Maine East and growing up in Chicago, it's nice for McKinney to return home after two years at prep school in North Carolina.
"I wanted to go to a place that was the best fit for me," Charles said. "Staying close to home and being able to see my games was important to my family."
Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels describes McKinney as "an athletic wing that is known for his ability to attack the basket and defend".
McKinney does pride himself as being a lockdown defender and compares himself to some of the best the NBA has seen.
"J.R. Smith and Gary Payton, I can see myself like that," said Charles.
Purnell observed McKinney playing on the AAU circuit this summer with the Full Package AAU squad and was impressed with what he saw in the young man.
"Charles is a big-time player," said Full Package coach Steve Pratt. "He's going to be very good and he'll contribute right away."
McKinney also got to know and face off with a couple of his future teammates this summer in Macari Brooks and Jamee Crockett of the Mac Irvin Fire.
"He's a combo guard," added Pratt. "He's very, very tough and a phenomenal competitor. He's won a lot of games in his life. He plays bigger than he is and is real strong."
Pratt also sees McKinney as a good fit for Purnell's press.
"He's a big-time defender," said Steve. "I think it's a great system for him."
While on his official visit to DePaul earlier in the week, McKinney spent a lot of time with DePaul sophomore Tony Freeland.
"Tony is a cool dude, he's nice," Charles said.
Following the visit, McKinney went out to Allstate Arena to watch what would be his future team defeat Florida Atlantic. There he got to see Freeland throw down a nasty dunk on FAU.
"I saw Tony's dunk, that was sick!"
McKinney liked what he saw in that game and was able to gain more insight on Purnell's frenetic defense.
"I thought it was a pretty good game," Charles said. "I saw a lot of positions where I could see myself in the press."
With the Christmas holiday break now over, McKinney plans to return to North Carolina to resume the year with Quality Education, but had one final word for DePaul fans.
"Be excited for a good season next year," added McKinney.
McKinney Talks About DePaul Decision
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