Melvin Chooses DePaul Over Rutgers

New Rutgers coach Mike Rice missed out on 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward Cleveland Melvin, who chose DePaul over Rutgers and Marshall. Melvin pointed toward an existing relationship with one of the DePaul assistant coaches as to a big reason. However, all was not lost on the day for Rutgers, who received some good news after Rice met with signed guard Austin Carroll over the weekend.

When it came down to it, Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, Mass.) forward Cleveland Melvin's relationship with the DePaul coaching staff won out.

The 6-foot-8, 215-pound Melvin, who is a member of the 2010 recruiting class, said during a lunchtime interview he chose DePaul over Rutgers and Marshall.

"I think DePaul is great and better situation for me, as far as playing time and academic support,'' Melvin said. "It was a tough decision. I think Chicago is a great atmosphere. Oliver Purnell is a great coach.''

Mike Rice began recruiting Melvin with fervor after being introduced as Rutgers' new coach earlier this month, but could not make up for lost ground.

Mevlin said a key ingredient in choosing DePaul was his relationship with assistant coach Billy Garrett, who was retained from the previous staff.

"It plays a lot into it,'' Melvin said. "He was a really good guy, and he came to some of my prep school practices and everything.''

Melvin visited Rutgers last week, but added his familiarity with DePaul was a big factor. "I was comfortable at Rutgers,'' Melvin said. "There was nothing wrong with them. I just think DePaul is a better fit.''

But the Scarlet Knights did get a piece of good news Monday when Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) guard Austin Carroll said he would not look to get out of his signed letter of intent.

Carroll's decision came after a Sunday night meeting Rice.

"It went well. Going to RU,'' Carroll texted. "I like the school and I like (Rice).''

Still, Rice plans to to add to a depleted Scarlet Knights roster for the upcoming season.

The Scarlet Knights return six players from last season and signed wing forward Gilvydas Biruta and shooting guard Austin Carroll. Sophomore Brian Okam is the only true center on the squad.

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