Purnell Working Maryland Recruiting Ties

With two freshmen from Baltimore that were named to the All-Big East Rookie team this season, DePaul coach Oliver Purnell has established a presence in the state of Maryland. Purnell isn't quite done recruiting for the class of 2011 and has been out working his Maryland recruiting ties recently.

Oliver Purnell is a Maryland native, who served as an assistant coach under Lefty Driesell at the University of Maryland.

Purnell has never forgotten his ties to the Old Line State and gets back there frequently to visit family and recruit the area.

DePaul already has freshman forward Cleveland Melvin from Baltimore who was named Big East Rookie of the Year this season. Fellow freshman Brandon Young from Baltimore was the second leading freshman scorer in the Big East right behind Melvin. Both were named to the Big East's Rookie Team.

If Purnell adds any more Maryland recruits, he may have to stock up on crab cakes for the team dinners.

The Blue Demons recently missed out on Class of 2011 forward Greg Whittington from Columbia, Maryland who verbally committed to Georgetown last week. DePaul continues to remain active with Maryland recruits.

Purnell's latest recruit for 2011 is 6-8 forward Montray Clemons. Clemons is playing at Mack Prep in North Carolina this season, but originally hails from Baltimore.

We recently caught up with Anthony Lewis who coached Cleveland Melvin on the Cecil Kirk AAU program. Lewis also had Clemons on his AAU team last summer.

"Montray is 6-8, a face-up four, very athletic, but not as athletic as Cleveland," said Lewis. "He shoots the ball, he can put it on the deck and take it to the bucket. He's a very, very good player."

Clemons is currently hearing from Boston College, DePaul, Iowa State, and a number of Atlantic 10 schools.

Clemons is hoping to achieve a qualifying standardized test score and sign with a school during the upcoming Spring signing period.

At this point he is finishing up his season at Mack Prep and hasn't set up any school visits yet.

Clemons appears to be a versatile forward with a solid mid-range game who reminds Lewis of another player from Maryland who is currently in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies.

"He's a face-up four guy," said Lewis. "I tell you what, he's in the mold of a Sam Young. He's got some range."

Helping Purnell recruit Maryland recruits is assistant coach Brian Ellerbe. Ellerbe is also a Maryland native who coached Loyola, MD from 1994 to 1997.

Ellerbe and Purnell have solid recruiting ties to Maryland and have a good reputation in the area.

"He plays uptempo," Lewis said of Purnell. "He's a disciplinarian. There isn't any nonsense about him. He gives kids an opportunity to play in an open, uptempo, quick-paced system."

For the class of 2011 and beyond you can be sure Purnell will recruit locally, but will also have their eyes on recruiting hotbeds like Maryland.

Stay tuned to WeAreDePaul.com for the very latest on DePaul recruiting.

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