For different reasons, Oumar Barry, Erten Gazi, and Develle Phillips did not play overseas in the four games against French professional and All-Star teams.
Barry, a 6-10, 225 lb. power forward who is a native of the west African country of Guinea, did not travel with the Blue Demons to France due to difficulties with his travel documents.
“Oumar, who was practicing with us, had a visa issue,” said DePaul coach Dave Leitao. “The value of him practicing was great. He’s not lost right now. He fits in. He’s such a great kid, I think he gets it anyway and can catch up real quick.”
Phillips, a 6-9, 221 lb. forward from Bowie, Maryland, travelled with the team to France, but did not play due to recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
“Develle was on the trip, but did not participate in any real basketball activities in the summertime,” Leitao said. “He got to experience some of those things off the court and how it fits on the court. As we started practice, he missed some time due to a little bit of a concussion. He still has to play catchup with basketball. People understand where he’s coming from off the court in terms of that kind of chemistry."
Gazi is listed as a 6-4, 197 lb. guard. Erten was still in his homeland of Turkey and was playing with the Turkish national team during the summer before arriving at DePaul in September.
“Erten hasn’t been with us all summer,” said Leitao. “So, he’s just trying to figure things out. There is new things that come at him every day. But, I think he has the value of having played a lot of basketball against high-level competition, against a lot of older people. So, he understands some of the things that it might take an older guy in college to understand. I’m confident that he’ll get it a lot quicker than others because of his background. It’s still all a work in progress.”
Of the three, Gazi looks to be the one that will make the biggest impact as a freshman. He brings to DePaul international playing experience, athleticism, speed, and good defensive play.
“Erten is like in your face, he’ll pick you up full court for the entire game,” said junior guard Billy Garrett, Jr. “He’ll play really hard. He brings a little Euro style to his game too. So, you see the little scoop shots, the little floaters, the weird layups, things like that. You’ll see that with Erten. He’s a really good player, a lot of fun to watch.”
How much of an impact the freshmen will be able to make this season, remains to be seen.
Be sure to watch the video highlight of Develle Phillips above from Saturday’s Blue Demons practice.