Rising juniors Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young led DePaul in scoring as sophomores last season. For DePaul to get better in the fall, Blue Demons coach Oliver Purnell will be counting on the pair to improve during the summer.
With that thought in mind, the two received invitations from Nike to attend the Durant Camp at ATTACK Athletics in Chicago over the last three days.
"It's great," Melvin said of the camp. "It's my first time coming here, so I'm trying to learn a lot and focus on my wing skills. Everything is going great so far."
Melvin and Young were two of only 19 college players invited to this exclusive Nike camp.
"It's a pretty good camp," said Young. "They have a lot of top talent. It's great to play with the top talent from across college basketball. I'm just loving every moment of it and getting a learning experience out of it."
The two were watched by a number of NBA Scouts who were in the gym over the last three days looking for future pro talent.
"It's great," Melvin said on the camp experience. "It's my first time coming here. So I'm trying to learn a lot and focus on my wing skills. Everything is going great so far."
Melvin and Young received instruction from former NBA players like Dee Brown, Miles Simon, and John Lucas.
"I learned a lot," Young said. "You use your mind when you're playing this game. Sometimes you're going too fast out there and you have to slow down and take your time. It's a mind game. They teach the right thing."
Melvin, who celebrated his birthday while at the camp, is using the Durant camp as an opportunity to work on his offensive game.
"I'm trying to create my own shot more," said Cleveland. "I'm trying to get open, set screens, and do everything to create my own shot."
Melvin and Young may be on summer break, but both have stayed in Chicago to improve during the offseason.
"The offseason is going great so far," said Melvin. "I'm doing a lot of work right now getting ready for next season. I'm in the weight room and working on my game more. I'm just trying to listen to the coaches and trying to get better."
"It's going great," added Young. "I've been working hard each and every day. The freshmen came in and they're working hard too. We're keeping them on the right track."
It wasn't that long ago that Melvin and Young were the freshman coming in to DePaul, now they are the ones shepherding the newest members of the flock.
"I'm telling the guys to stay focused," said Melvin. "They came here just like we came here to build a team. We tell them to work hard. They've been responding so far. Brandon and I have to be leaders. We have to keep them on the right track, and we'll be good."
"I tell them to stay focused," Brandon said. "Every time you're doing something, somebody is watching. You've got to be a leader. We were in that position at one point. We've got to let them know the wrongs and the rights."
DePaul's freshmen class has only been on campus for a few weeks, but are already coming along.
"They're looking good," Young said of the DePaul freshmen. "They're working hard. They listen and their focused right now, so they're pretty good right now. "
One guy in particular has stood out according to Melvin.
"One of our guards, Durrell McDonald from Las Vegas, is really good so far," said Cleveland. "He's playing his role so far. He's just got to keep it up."
For DePaul to rise in the Big East standings this season they'll need contributions from the young players, but more importantly they need seasoned leadership from players like Melvin and Young.
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