Summer in the City

Thanks to a new NCAA rule change, instead of spending time at the beach this summer, DePaul coach Oliver Purnell and his Blue Demons squad have been in the gym working hard.

The NCAA had previously not allowed college coaches to work with their players during the summer months unless they were on a foreign tour. Beginning this summer, coaches are permitted two hours per week over an eight week stretch where they can conduct practices.

Purnell has been putting 10 scholarship players and four walk-ons through their paces this summer and has found the extra practice time to be beneficial to his team.

"It's not just us, it's really with all of college basketball," said Purnell. "I think you're going to see kids getting in less trouble. I think you're going to see maybe the transfer situation go down a little bit, because now you have a chance to interact with a kid in the place where he is probably most comfortable – on the court. So, not only do you have a chance to practice, put in some stuff, and work on fundamentals, but you have a chance to talk in an environment where it just helps you develop a better relationship with your players at a critical time."

The summer gives incoming freshmen a chance to get acclimated to college living without having to deal with the pressure of a full course load like they have in the fall.

Purnell also sees summer ball as a way to cut down on some of the outside influences that exist in college hoops.

"When you think about not being able to be on the court all summer long, well that gives a lot of other people a chance to influence them in different ways," Oliver said. "It helps us already develop better relationships with our players."

"Other benefits are clearly to be able to work on fundamentals for eight weeks, to be able to do student work for eight weeks is beneficial as well, but everybody has that advantage," added Purnell.

The NCAA has successfully introduced a rule change that has actually helped the game of college basketball. It's a change that Purnell would also like to see expanded in 2013.

"Probably more time, not just two hours a week," said Purnell. "Maybe six or seven hours a week would be good. I would start with that."

Health Report

Purnell has had all but two of his scholarship players participating in the summer workouts.

Redshirt freshman forward Montray Clemons has been limited with the knee injury that he picked up the night of Blue Madness last year.

"We can't count on him right now," Purnell said of Clemons. "His injury generally takes eight months to a year to recover. It happened on Ocotober 15th last year, so we just can't count on him right now."

Incoming freshman forward DeJuan Marrero has not been allowed to participate in the summer workouts while he waits to hear from the NCAA Clearinghouse regarding his initial eligibility status. The NCAA has been investigating Marrero's alma mater - Bowman Academy. Purnell expects to get a response from the NCAA Clearinghouse in a week or so.

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