DePaul Tip-Off Luncheon Launches Hoops Season

On Tuesday afternoon media and basketball fans alike gathered in DePaul's McGrath Arena for the Blue Demons annual college basketball Tip-Off Luncheon.

Women's basketball coach Doug Bruno introduced his team and offered up comments on his squad coming off their first Sweet 16 NCAA Appearance. The Big East coaches predicted the Blue Demons to finish third in their pre-season poll. But, Bruno isn't letting his team buy into the pre-season hype. "Previews are free, reviews are expensive," said Bruno. "They cost a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of work. Our goal is to have a review that's equal to or greater than our preview."

Men's basketball coach Jerry Wainwright also introduced the student-athletes on his 2006-07 Big East contender. "What I can guarantee is this," Waiwright said. "There will be no team in our league that plays harder than we do. There will be no team in our league that shows better on the court conduct than we do. There will be no team in our league, if the good lord keeps us healthy, that will improve as much as we do. I can give you those three guarantees. Where that takes us, I don't know. But, if we follow those three things and have a break or two, this is going to be an exciting year for us in basketball."

Blue Demons senior Sammy Mejia also addressed the crowd. "We're going to have a great season," said Mejia. "We're practicing really hard. The guys have really gotten better over the summer. We're showing great strides of improvement. We're really putting ourselves in a positive situation to be successful this season."

New Uniforms and Commemorative Patches Unveiled

Courtesy DePaul Sports Information

The 2006-07 DePaul men's and women's basketball uniforms feature a commemorative patch to remember a pair of former DePaul coaches in Ray Meyer and Maggie Dixon. Each patch was unveiled at the annual Tip-Off Luncheon on Tuesday.

The men's team features a redesigned uniform that was inspired from the days when Meyer was head coach at DePaul. The jerseys have stripes running along the sides reminiscent of the Blue Demons' run of excellence in the late 70's and early 80's. The memorial patch itself is designed in a red, white and blue basketball with "42" in the top panel, "Coach" in the middle panel and "724" in the lower panel. The "42" is for Meyer's tenure as head coach at DePaul from 1942-84 while the "724" is for his 724 victories with the Blue Demons. The center panel with "Coach" refers to Meyer as he was known in a single word. Meyer, at age 92, passed away on St. Patrick's Day in March.

The DePaul women's memorial patch celebrates both Meyer and Dixon. The red, white and blue basketball is centered with "Coach" while "Ray" for Ray Meyer is in the top panel and "Maggie" for Maggie Dixon is in the lower panel. Dixon was an assistant coach at DePaul from 2001-05 before leading Army to their first NCAA Tournament appearance last season. Instrumental in DePaul's recent success, Dixon tragically passed away following the Final Four in April at the age of 28. Following Army's loss to Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Dixon traveled to San Antonio as the Blue Demons faced top-seeded LSU in the Sweet 16.

Both teams open the exhibition schedule on Wednesday night at McGrath Arena. The women's team hosts Lewis at 6 p.m. followed by the men's team against St. Ambrose at 8 p.m.


Listen to DePaul SID Scott Reed, Doug Bruno, Jenna Rubino, Jerry Wainwright, Sammy Mejia, and Jean Lenti Ponsetto in this complete mp3 audio of today's Tip-Off Luncheon…

Tip-Off Luncheon Audio

Video subscribers can view the following videos of today's luncheon…

See Jenna Rubino, Marcus Heard, and Lorenzo Thompson strut their stuff as they model the uniforms for the 2006-07 season...

See video of Sammy Mejia addressing the crowd...

Also, see video of Blue Demons coach Jerry Wainwright telling a joke...

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