DePaul Counting on Seniors for Progress

DePaul seniors Krys Faber and Jeremiah Kelly have experienced the worst of times. It's about time they experience the best of times.

It has been trying times for both Faber and Kelly indeed. Since their time at DePaul, they have only won two Big East game in 54 tries. However, both Kelly and Faber still carry upbeat and positive attitudes. They won't let the past get in the way of trying to go out with a bang and bring back respectability to DePaul.

"I want to go out as being on a team that turned DePaul around," Kelly said. "The past few years have been frustrating, but I think we have a good chance to turn the program around and head in the right direction."

"We got a lot of people doubting us and that's expected," added Faber. "It's an opportunity to do something (win) that hasn't been done in a while."

Both Kelly and Faber are off to solid starts too.

In DePaul's first game against Texas-Pan American, Faber stayed out of foul trouble and gave DePaul a boost by scoring 13 points and collecting seven rebounds. Then in DePaul's second game of the season vs. Mississippi Valley State, Kelly caught fire by nailing six three pointers en route to scoring a game-high 24 points.

For the season, Kelly is averaging 17.5 points per game (a team high) while Faber is averaging 6.5 points per game (after going scoreless against Mississippi Valley State) to go with 5.5 rebounds per game.

For the majority of their careers, Faber and Kelly have served as role players. Although the team will still go as far as sophomores Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young take them, Kelly and Faber have a chance to leave their mark on the team.

"Whatever it takes for me to do to make the team win, that's what I'm willing to do," Kelly said.

As for Faber, he knows there is pressure in the fact that he is one of DePaul ‘s most experienced interior options, but he is up for the task.

"It's pressure," Faber admitted. "But I accept it openly."

After injuries to Tony Freeland and freshman Montray Clemons and losing freshman Macari Brooks to academic issues, DePaul has been left a bit shorthanded since practice started. However, both Kelly and Faber won't let that deter the team.

"I tell them (my teammates) to be calm, keep working and take it one day at a time," Kelly said. "It might be a bump in the road, but you got to get through it."

"Injuries kind of slowed things down," added Faber. "But, we got together as a team and discussed it. We're trying to keep up morale and make sure the guys understand that this is now an opportunity to step up and take on the extra work."

For now Faber, Kelly and DePaul are off to a good start in the non-conference portion of their schedule, but they know they will face murky waters ahead of them in the Big East.

"The Big East is tough," Kelly said. "It's no doubt the best conference in college basketball. Day in and day out, you got to bring it all. We want to place ourselves high In the Big East. We want to make some noise. That's what we're focused on."

"The Big East is physical, it's fast-paced and in your face," Faber added.

At Big East media day the coaches predicted DePaul to finish last. DePaul will use it as motivation for the coming year.

"In the past we had people count us out and we bowed our heads," Faber said. "This year we are using it as motivation to prove those people wrong."

If DePaul is to turn some heads this year, both Kelly and Faber will have to step up and that's fine with them as they are ready, motivated and focused for bigger and better things.

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