For DePaul, it’s a different brand of March Madness.
Everything got going in earnest on Friday evening when 2017 5-star prospect Brian Bowen took an unofficial visit to DePaul. The competition for the small forward from La Lumiere is stiff. DePaul is battling the likes of Arizona, Michigan State, Texas, and Creighton for the services of the 6-7 forward who attends La Lumiere Prep in Indiana and is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. Brian is ranked 19th overall by Scout.com and 5th in the nation for the small forward position. Bowen is believed to want to go to a program where he can be the main man and showcase his skills. If that’s the case, then DePaul may be the best option for him. If Bowen were to come to Lincoln Park for next season, he would be the first McDonald’s All-American to attend DePaul since Andre Brown in 2000.
Also on Friday night, a DePaul assistant coach watched Edwardsville, Illinois guard Mark Smith play in the IHSA playoffs. Edwardsville won their sectional behind a career-high effort of 45 points from Smith. Smith also had 14 rebounds and six assists in their 81-59 win over Danville. Illinois was believed to be the leader for Smith, but with the firing of coach John Groce on Saturday, things are now up in the air. Other schools in the mix include Butler, California, Indiana, Kansas State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Texas and Utah.
DePaul head coach Dave Leitao spent the day in the Hoosier state on Saturday watching future Blue Demon Jaylen Butz play with his Fort Wayne North Side Legends team. The Legends won two games on Saturday to advance to Semi-State of the Indiana High School playoffs. It was the first regional title for North Side since 1995. In the 52-49 win over Carmel, Butz recorded 14 points and eight rebounds. Earlier in the day, North Side defeated Homestead 57-38 with Butz scoring 15 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.
Class of 2018 shooting guard prospect John Diener led his Cedarburg Bulldogs team to a 78-75 win over Kaukauna on Saturday afternoon to advance in the Wisconsin state playoffs. Diener scored 21 points in the victory.
Stay tuned to WeAreDePaul.com for the latest developments.