Billy Garrett Jr. has made the move from winning a state championship at Morgan Park High School as a senior in March, to adjusting to life as a freshman at DePaul. Overall things have gone well for Garrett.
"It's been a pretty smooth transition for me." Said Garrett. "I thought it was going to be a lot tougher than it was. The hardest part was definitely the conditioning. That's something that I'm going to have to get used to. The game speed I thought was going to be a major factor. I'm adjusting to the game speed. Everything went pretty smooth. There were bumps in the road here and there. I still have a lot to learn, but so far everything is going good."
Garrett comes in to DePaul as a heralded guard. He was ranked as the 96th best overall prospect in the nation for 2013 by Scout.com and a four star prospect. Garrett was also ranked as the 18th best point guard in the country.
At Morgan Park, Garrett averaged 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds per game during his senior year with the Mustangs.
DePaul coach Oliver Purnell plans to play Garrett at both the point guard and shooting guard positions this season.
In last week's exhibition game versus Lewis University, Garrett debuted with the Blue Demons by coming off the bench and scoring 12 points and also dished out four assists.
"He's heady, he's got a great gait," FOX Sports Analyst Bill Raftery said of Garrett. "He's quick, but he can be quicker. A nice change of pace. He knows how to play, a coach's son."
Garrett first committed to DePaul in April of 2011 when he was still a high school sophomore. Because his father, Billy Garrett, Sr., is an assistant coach for the Blue Demons, Billy, Jr. has been hanging around this team for a few years now. That familiarity has helped him make the transition to the next level.
"The chemistry off the court with the guys helped," said Garrett. "That's important for any team. So I got a chance to hang out with the guys and get to know them and their personalities. I didn't really get to work out and play with the guys that much. That part was kind of new to me. All the guys are great. They are easy to play with and everybody has one common goal. It wasn't hard for me to transition to college and get to know these guys."
Also helping Billy make the transition to the next level are the seniors on this year's squad.
"Brandon (Young) has been great," said Garrett. "We kind of play the same position. He's been helping me get adjusted to the terminology, the style of play, and the customs of DePaul basketball. Brandon has been great. Cleveland (Melvin) has been great. Ed (McGhee) too, they've all been helping me make the transition."
Of course as a freshman, Garrett is also given the usual amount of hazing by the upperclassmen.
"They throw me off here and there," said Billy. "They'll do things like tell me a practice time is 30 minutes or an hour before practice starts. That's not all that bad. They give me a hard time, I'm a freshman. They tell you things to help you and then laugh at you. It's been a lot of fun."
Garrett will make his debut in his first regular season game for the Blue Demons on Saturday versus Grambling State. It will be the first of many to come in his career at DePaul.
Garrett Making Transition to Next Level
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