Marlon Brumfield - "Motivated to be a leader"

By the looks of him you wouldn't think DePaul Blue Demons center Marlon Brumfield is a humble kid. From his exterior he looks mean and imposing. However, when you chat with him, he is quiet and reserved. The 6-9 260 lb. senior has seen his role dramatically change over his four years in the DePaul men's basketball program. He went from being a seldom-used awkward freshman reserve to a senior captain on a team that is undoubtedly now his own.

When Brumfield began his basketball career in the fall of 2002, he was tagged with that unfavorable of labels: a project. Some argued he was a wasted scholarship. But Brumfield has matured into a physical specimen with rapidly improving basketball skills. He is one who does his job dutifully and usually mistake free. He is now the lone senior on a basketball squad trying to find its identity after losing so much personnel from last year. The team has a new head coach (Jerry Wainwright) and is minus three key contributors (Quemont Greer, Drake Diener, and LeVar Seals) from last year's squad that won 20 games and advanced to the second round of the NIT. All this is on top of the fact that DePaul is switching conference allegiances to perhaps the biggest and baddest in all of the land, the Big East.

So is Brumfield ready to take on an expanded role now with all this added pressure? "They are looking for me to be more of an offensive player and a leader because we have a young team," quipped Brumfield. He seems eager to take charge. "I'm motivated to be a leader," added Brumfield. He knows he is not in this alone though and Brumfield has high praise for his teammates.

"In the past, usually the starters have gotten most of the playing time, but this year I think everybody can play double-figure minutes." Brumfield said. He thinks Wainwright will play no favorites. "(Wainwright) likes to play everybody, so it's going to have be a team effort."

While he thinks highly of everyone, Brumfield, when asked how to compensate for the loss of the departing seniors, Marlon couldn't but heap praise on DePaul's newcomers and what they can bring to the table. "The freshmen are really good. They are really athletic. They are surprising me." He also added, "we got a player that had to sit out last year, Karron Clarke, he is going to be a really good player."

But, does DePaul have a go-to player? Brumfield still emphasized this is a team game and everybody will make an impact. Although he did admit Sammy Mejia (DePaul's leading returning scorer) will be looked upon at times. "I think we'll still going to look at him (Mejia) to score. Last year we wanted to get him more minutes and score and we are looking for the same thing out of him (this year)."

Brumfield is the authority figure now on the DePaul squad and he attributes a lot of it to hard work and conditioning. "I just worked really hard in the summers. Like I said, it's conditioning," Brumfield remarked on how and why he improved so much over the years. You see that's where he and Wainwright see eye to eye. They preach conditioning and that's where Brumfield steps up to the plate. "We have a hard conditioning (program). It's even harder this year than last year. We trying to run more and try to be more of a running team. Our offensive sets will be real good and our defense too. So the conditioning and weight lifting has been a big part." Brumfield then couldn't keep inside how well some of his teammates have adapted to the new emphasis on conditioning. "Wesley Green and Lorenzo Thompson lost a lot of weight. They are looking real good. Marcus Heard has really gotten stronger and gained some weight."

So, while DePaul has a new coach, a new batch of players, and is now in arguably the best conference, one thing still remains at DePaul. That is the rock solid foundation that is Marlon Brumfield. Brum, as he is known around the DePaul circle, and the rest of his teammates can't wait to tip off their season. And we are right around the corner, as DePaul will host Bradley on Saturday, November 19th to start the 2005-06 season. So keep it here at WeAreDepaul.com for more stories leading up to the season tip-off.

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