Cleveland Melvin came out of the toughest neighborhood you could find in east Baltimore, Md., could have gone to Connecticut, but turned it down because the Huskies wanted him as a power forward and he was looking past college ball and saw his future as a wing.
Melvin is a unique person and player, one who doesn't do things as they are drawn up on the chalkboard but gets them done. His athleticism is unmatched but he still has areas of his game that need work, especially 12 feet from the basket.
He and fellow sophomores Brandon Young and Moses Morgan give coach Oliver Purnell something to build on.
"I know it has been a great program with great teams. But our focus is forward, on us winning and listening to Coach O.P. and taking care of business. It's a great fit for me," Melvin told the Chicago Tribune.
He wound up at DePaul rather than UConn in part because of the recruiting of assistant Billy Garrett, the lone holdover from Jerry Wainwright's program.
He proved to be a really strong fit for what Purnell wanted to do, but the coach admitted he wasn't all that sure of it.
To say that we knew what we were getting, that's probably not true," Purnell said. "We thought we had a good guy who would develop and be a pretty good player in our system."
He has proved to be much more, winning Big East Rookie of the Year last year and this season averaging 18.5 points and 6.5 rebounds a game.
Melvin Showing His Skills for DePaul
We Are DePaul Top Stories
2016 DePaul Women’s Hoops Preview: FearlessThe letters comprised one of the larger handwritten words on the DePaul locker room whiteboard, a word that symbolized, synthesized, and synchronized the Blue Demons' season last…
We Are DePaul1:09 PM
Brandon Cyrus Determined to Make an ImpactEntering his freshman campaign at DePaul, Brandon Cyrus’ role appears unknown.
We Are DePaul6:32 AM
Sports Illustrated now included w/ membershipToday WeAreDePaul.com has another exciting announcement for Blue Demon fans!
We Are DePaulYesterday at 6:32 PM
DePaul to Scrimmage MinnesotaBefore the college basketball season begins, the Blue Demons will play the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a “secret scrimmage” game in Minnesota.
We Are DePaulYesterday at 10:11 AM