In his junior season at DePaul, Jeremiah Kelly played more minutes than any other Blue Demon. Kelly started 30 games and averaged 31.7 minutes per game. With the transfer of freshman point guard Shane Larkin to Miami this summer, Kelly will be relied upon to play as many minutes this season.
Kelly has shown evidence that he's stepping up for his senior season. After averaging 7.6 points per game and three assists per game last season, Jeremiah was the second leading scorer on DePaul's four game overseas tour in August. Kelly averaged 15.3 points, 5.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per game in DePaul's battles with professional teams in France and Monaco.
As a senior, Kelly is in a position where he is imparting his wisdom and experience on DePaul's young group of freshmen.
"Right now I'm just trying to lead the team and be more consistent and try to teach the younger guys what it's like to play Big East basketball and what to expect," said Kelly. "I'm just trying to play my game and play more loose and not to think so much."
Leaderships and consistency are two goal that DePaul coach Oliver Purnell has outlined for Kelly.
"He wants me to be more of a leader and be more consistent and get guys going," said Kelly. "He wants me to be more of a vocal leader out there."
What has made Kelly so much better in just one year?
"Another year of experience," said Purnell. "He understands our system much better and what we want. The guy has been around for awhile. We're expecting a big year for him. He showed us what he's capable of. Now we need that consistency and shouldering that responsibility of really leading. If he can be a really consistent player, he can be a hell of a player."
Playing against professional players in Europe has fostered Kelly's goal of improving this season.
"I really liked the opportunity to get to go to France," said Kelly. "It's something I never pictured myself doing. France was amazing, we got to do things. We got to see the Eiffel Tower and visit the palace of Versailles. It was just a great experience."
Kelly says that there is a whole different feeling in Lincoln Park going into Purnell's second season as skipper of the Blue Demons.
"The whole summer, starting back in June when we got to practice, it was just like you could feel a different vibe with this year's team," said Kelly. "We've got a lot of young guys and when they came in I didn't know what to expect. They are way more mature than on paper. They've got a lot of talent and they're ready to compete on a daily basis. I'm looking forward to that."
DePaul fans have much to look forward to this season.
"There is something on this team I can't describe right now," said Kelly. "I've been here over three years. It's a feeling that's very exciting. I'm looking forward to getting out this year and playing. It's going to be a good year for my last year. "
WeAreDePaul.com subscribers can watch the below highlights of Kelly in action in DePaul's win over Monaco.
DePaul's Kelly Steps up for Senior Year
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