Melvin Showing His Skills for DePaul

DePaul is improving, although you might have trouble knowing it from their Jan. 1 game against No. 1 Syracuse, but if you look deeply into the box score you see the forward Cleveland Melvin is the real deal, scoring 23 points.

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.

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