DePaul Blue Demons men's basketball

The DePaul Blue Demons men's basketball program is the NCAA Division I intercollegiate men's basketball program of DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. The team competes in the Big East Conference. DePaul's last NCAA tournament victory was in 2004. DePaul's NCAA tournament record since the end of the 1991–92 season is 1–2, spanning the last 30 tournaments played.

DePaul Blue Demons
2023-24 DePaul Blue Demons men's basketball team
UniversityDePaul University
Head coachTony Stubblefield (3rd season)
ConferenceBig East
LocationChicago, Illinois
ArenaWintrust Arena
(Capacity: 10,387)
NicknameBlue Demons
ColorsRoyal blue and scarlet[1]
   
Uniforms
Home jersey
Team colours
Home
Away jersey
Team colours
Away
Alternate jersey
Team colours
Alternate
NCAA tournament Final Four
1943, 1979
NCAA tournament Elite Eight
1943, 1978, 1979
NCAA tournament Sweet Sixteen
1953, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1984, 1986*, 1987*
NCAA tournament appearances
1943, 1953, 1956, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986*, 1987*, 1988*, 1989*, 1991, 1992, 2000, 2004
* - vacated by NCAA
Conference regular season champions
1992, 2004

The Blue Demons play home games at Wintrust Arena at the McCormick Place convention center on Chicago's Near South Side.[2]

History edit

DePaul was an independent from 1923 to 1991. It joined the Great Midwest Conference in 1991 which later merged with the Metro Conference in 1995 to become Conference USA, in which DePaul was a member through 2005. DePaul left for the Big East Conference in 2005 and was a member until 2012 when it joined the reconfigured Big East in 2013.[3]

Early history (1923–1942) edit

Robert L. Stevenson was the first head coach in DePaul basketball history. In his one season as coach during the 1923–24 season, he coached the Blue Demons to a record of 8–6. Harry Adams was head coach for the 1924–25 season and finished with a record of 6–13. Eddie Anderson was head coach from 1925 to 1929 and compiled an overall record of 37–26.

In 1929, Jim Kelly became head coach at DePaul where he compiled a record of 99–22 in his 7 seasons as coach before leaving in 1936. Tom Haggerty coached DePaul from 1936 to 1940 and compiled an overall record of 63–32. Bill Wendt coached DePaul for 2 seasons from 1940 to 1941 and had a record of 23–20.

Ray Meyer era (1942–1984) edit

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame head coach Ray Meyer coached at DePaul for 42 years from 1942 to 1984 and finished with an overall 724–354 record (.672).[4] He coached his team's to 21 post-season appearances (13 NCAA, eight NIT). Meyer led his teams to two Final Four appearances in the 1943 NCAA basketball tournament and 1979 NCAA Division I basketball tournament.[a] Meyer's 1943 Final Four appearance was his first season coaching DePaul. His teams were a No. 1 seed in its NCAA regional three years in a row in 1980, 1981 and 1982. Meyer led DePaul past Bowling Green to capture the 1945 National Invitation Tournament, the school's only post-season title. In total, Meyer recorded 37 winning seasons and twelve 20-win seasons, including seven straight from 1978 to 1984.[5]

Meyer coached George Mikan who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959, made the 25th and 35th NBA Anniversary Teams of 1970 and 1980, and was elected one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players ever in 1996.[6] Meyer also coached the 1980 Naismith College Player of the Year, Mark Aguirre.

During Ray Meyer's tenure, the Blue Demons originally played in University Auditorium before moving to Alumni Hall in 1956. For the start of the 1980 season, DePaul men's basketball moved to the Rosemont Horizon later renamed Allstate Arena.

Joey Meyer era (1984–1997) edit

Joey Meyer was head coach of DePaul from 1984 to 1997 compiling an overall record of 231–158. He started as an assistant coach at DePaul for eleven seasons under his father, Ray Meyer.[7] When Ray Meyer retired in 1984, Joey Meyer was promoted to head coach.[8]

Joey Meyer led DePaul to seven NCAA Tournament appearances in his first eight seasons, including back-to-back Sweet Sixteen appearances in his second and third seasons. In the 1986 tournament, #12-seeded DePaul—led by freshman guard Rod Strickland (14.1 ppg season average) and junior Dallas Comegys (13.8 ppg) -- upset #5-seeded Virginia and #4-seeded Oklahoma in the East regional before losing to top-seeded Duke 74–67.[9] In 1987, the Blue Demons—again led by Comegys (17.5 ppg) and Strickland (16.3 ppg) -- finished the regular season 26–2 and received a #3 seed in the Midwest regional of the 1987 tournament. They defeated #14-seeded Louisiana Tech and #6-seeded St. John's before losing to #10-seeded LSU. Meyer was honored as the Chevrolet Coach of the Year in 1987.[10] Besides seven NCAA tournament appearances, Meyer led the Blue Demons to three appearances in the National Invitation Tournament.[8]

In both 1988 and 1989, DePaul reached the second round of the NCAA tournament, but they were on a downward trajectory. In 1992, the Blue Demons were co-champions of the newly formed Great Midwest Conference but made their last NCAA tournament appearance under Meyer. In 1996, they finished 11–18, their first losing season since 1971, and the next year, a young DePaul team finished 3–23. Meyer was dismissed on April 28, 1997.[11]

Pat Kennedy era (1997–2002) edit

Pat Kennedy was named head coach after Joey Meyer.[12] It was the first time a member of the Meyer family hadn't coached DePaul basketball in 55 years. Kennedy coached DePaul from 1997 to 2002 and finished with an overall record of 67–85.

Dave Leitao era – First tenure (2002–2005) edit

Dave Leitao was named head coach at DePaul for the 2002–03 season. His teams made post-season play in all three of his seasons as head coach. In his second season, his team advanced to the second round of the 2004 NCAA tournament before being eliminated by eventual national champion Connecticut. His teams also played in the 2003 and 2005 NIT Tournaments. In his first stint as head coach at Depaul, he finished with a 58–34 overall record. Leitao left to become the head coach at the University of Virginia in 2005.[13]

Jerry Wainwright era (2005–2010) edit

Jerry Wainwright was named DePaul head coach in 2005. In his first season he finished with a 12–15 record. In his second season in 2006–07, the Blue Demons beat #5 Kansas, pulling off one of the greatest upsets in school history. They also beat 2006 NCAA tournament teams California, Northwestern State, Marquette, Connecticut and Villanova with Wainwright leading the Blue Demons to the 2007 National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals before losing to Air Force. Four games into the 2007–08 season, Wainwright logged his 200th career win as a head coach, but the team finished with a 10–19 record. The 2008–2009 season saw DePaul finish 9–24 overall and 0–18 in regular season Big East play. Wainwright began the 2009–10 season as head coach, but was fired on January 11, 2010, after a 7–8 start to the season.[14] He still had two years remaining on his contract at the time of his firing. Wainwright finished with a 59–80 overall record in his five years at DePaul. Assistant coach Tracy Webster was named interim head coach for the remainder of the 2009–10 season and finished with a 1–15 record.

Oliver Purnell era (2010–2015) edit

On April 6, 2010, Oliver Purnell, formerly of Clemson University signed a seven-year deal with DePaul.[15] In his first season in 2010–11, Purnell finished with a record of 7–24. The rest of his tenure saw his teams with finish with similar records of 12–19 during the 2011–2012 season, 11–21 during the 2012–2013 season, 12–21 during the 2013–2014 season and 12–20 in 2014–15. At the conclusion of the 2014–2015 season, Purnell announced his resignation.[16] He finished with an overall record of 54–105 at DePaul.

Dave Leitao era – Second tenure (2015–2021) edit

Dave Leitao returned for his second stint as DePaul head basketball coach for the 2015–2016 season.[13] The team finished with a record of 9–22 in his first season back with the Blue Demons. The 2016–2017 season saw the Blue Demons finish with a 9–23 record in Leitao's second season. This season would be DePaul's last season playing at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois after 37 years at the venue. For the 2017–2018 season, the Blue Demons moved back to Chicago to play their home games at 10,387-seat Wintrust Arena at the McCormick Place convention center.[17] The first season at Wintrust Arena saw the Blue Demons return to double-digit wins finishing with a record of 11–20 in Leitao's third season.

Following the 2017–2018 season, DePaul's eleventh straight losing season under coaches hired by current Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto, a group of "concerned students and alumni" purchased a full-page advertisement in the Chicago Sun-Times calling for change within the school's Athletic Department.[18] Additional reasons the students and alumni wanted change was that since the 1989–90 season, DePaul had won only one NCAA tournament game in the 29 seasons that transpired. DePaul had also only been to two NCAA Tournaments since the 1991–92 season, hadn't qualified for the NCAA Tournament since the 2003–04 season and the Blue Demons had not made postseason play since 2006–07. Additionally, DePaul finished last in the Big East eight out of the past ten seasons including a tie for last place during the 2017–18 season.

The 2018–2019 season saw a turnaround for DePaul as the Blue Demons finished with a 19–17 overall record. In Leitao's fourth season, he led the Blue Demons to the 2019 College Basketball Invitational post-season tournament.[19] The team finished as runner-up to the University of South Florida Bulls. In the Best of Three Championship series, DePaul beat South Florida in game 2, but dropped games one and three to the Bulls to give DePaul a second-place finish in the tournament.

Tony Stubblefield era – (2021–present) edit

On April 1, 2021, Tony Stubblefield was hired as head coach. He previously served as an assistant coach at Oregon.

Championships edit

Final Fours edit

DePaul has played in two Final Fours in the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament. The Blue Demons are 0–2 all-time in the Final Four.

Year Coach Record
1942–43 Ray Meyer 19–5
1978–79 Ray Meyer 26–6
Total Final Fours: 2

NIT Championships edit

DePaul has won one National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship.

Year Coach Record Result
1944–45 Ray Meyer 21–3 DePaul 71 Bowling Green Falcons 54
Total NIT championships: 1

Conference championships edit

DePaul has won a total of two conference championships since leaving independent status following the 1990–91 season.

Year Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1991–92 Great Midwest Conference Joey Meyer 20–9 8–2
2003–04 Conference USA Dave Leitao 22–10 12–4
Total conference championships: 2

Postseason edit

NCAA tournament results edit

The Blue Demons have appeared in the NCAA tournament 22 times. Their combined record is 21–25, although the NCAA vacated their appearances from 1986 to 1989, thereby making their record officially 15–21.

Year Seed Round Opponent Result
1943 Elite Eight
Final Four
Dartmouth
Georgetown
W 46–35
L 49–53
1953 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place Game
Miami(OH)
Indiana
Pennsylvania
W 74–72
L 82–80
L 90-70
1956 First Round Wayne State L 63–72
1959 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place Game
Portland
Kansas State
TCU
W 57–56
L 70–102
L 65–71
1960 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place Game
Air Force
Cincinnati
Texas
W 69–63
L 59–99
W 67–61
1965 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place Game
Eastern Kentucky
Vanderbilt
Dayton
W 99–52
L 78–83 OT
L 69–75
1976 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Virginia
VMI
W 69–60
L 66–71 OT
1978 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Creighton
Louisville
Notre Dame
W 80–76
W 90–89 OT
L 64–84
1979 #2 Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National 3rd Place Game
#7 USC
#3 Marquette
#1 UCLA
#1 Indiana State
#9 Penn
W 89–78
W 62–56
W 95–91
L 74–76
W 96–93
1980 #1 Second Round #8 UCLA L 71–77
1981 #1 Second Round #9 Saint Joseph's L 48–49
1982 #1 Second Round #8 Boston College L 75–82
1984 #1 Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#8 Illinois State
#4 Wake Forest
W 75–61
L 71–73 OT
1985 #10 First Round #7 Syracuse L 65–70
1986* #12 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#5 Virginia
#4 Oklahoma
#1 Duke
W 72–68
W 74–69
L 67–74
1987* #3 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#14 Louisiana Tech
#6 St. John's
#10 LSU
W 76–62
W 83–75 OT
L 58–63
1988* #5 First Round
Second Round
#12 Wichita State
#4 Kansas State
W 83–62
L 58–66
1989* #12 First Round
Second Round
#5 Memphis State
#4 UNLV
W 66–63
L 70–85
1991 #9 First Round #8 Georgia Tech L 70–87
1992 #5 First Round #12 New Mexico State L 73–81
2000 #9 First Round #8 Kansas L 77–81 OT
2004 #7 First Round
Second Round
#10 Dayton
#2 Connecticut
W 76–69 OT
L 55–72

* Vacated by the NCAA

NIT results edit

The Blue Demons have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) 16 times. Their combined record is 17–17. They were NIT Champions in 1945.

Year Round Opponent Result
1940 Quarterfinals
Semifinals
3rd Place Game
Long Island
Colorado
Oklahoma A&M
W 45–38
L 37–52
L 22–23
1944 Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Final
Muhlenberg
Oklahoma A&M
St. John's
W 68–45
W 41–38
L 39–47
1945 Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Final
West Virginia
Rhode Island
Bowling Green
W 76–52
W 97–53
W 71–54
1948 Quarterfinals
Semifinals
3rd Place Game
NC State
NYU
WKU
W 75–64
L 59–72
L 59–61
1961 Quarterfinals Providence L 67–73
1963 Quarterfinals Villanova L 51–63
1964 Quarterfinals NYU L 66–79
1966 First Round NYU L 65–68
1983 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Final
Minnesota
Northwestern
Ole Miss
Nebraska
Fresno State
W 76–73
W 65–63
W 75–67
W 68–58
L 60–69
1990 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Creighton
Cincinnati
Saint Louis
W 89–72
W 61–59
L 47–54
1994 First Round Northwestern L 68–69
1995 First Round Iowa L 87–96
1999 First Round
Second Round
Northwestern
California
W 69–64
L 57–58
2003 First Round North Carolina L 72–83
2005 First Round
Second Round
Missouri
Texas A&M
W 75–70
L 72–75
2007 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Hofstra
Kansas State
Air Force
W 83–71
W 70–65
L 51–52

CBI results edit

The Blue Demons have appeared in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) one time. Their record is 4–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
2019 First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Finals Game 1
Finals Game 2
Finals Game 3
Central Michigan
Longwood
Coastal Carolina
South Florida
South Florida
South Florida
W 100–86
W 97–89
W 92–87
L 61–63
W 100–96 OT
L 65–77

Honors edit

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame edit

Person Position
George Mikan Player
Ray Meyer Coach

Retired numbers edit

DePaul has retired two jersey numbers.

DePaul Blue Demons retired numbers
No. Player Pos. Career
24 Mark Aguirre SF 1978–81
99 George Mikan C 1942–46

National Player of the Year edit

Person Year Awarded
George Mikan 1944, 1945
Mark Aguirre 1980

All-Americans edit

Player Year(s) Team(s)
Ed Campion 1937 Madison Square Garden (1st)
Bobby Neu 1938 Madison Square Garden (2nd)
1939 Madison Square Garden (1st)
Stan Szukala 1939 Madison Square Garden (2nd)
1940 Madison Square Garden (2nd)
Lou Possner 1940 Madison Square Garden (2nd)
Elmer Gainer 1941 Madison Square Garden (2nd)
George Mikan 1943 Helms (2nd)
1944 Consensus First TeamHelms (1st), Converse (1st), Pic (1st), Sporting News (1st)
1945 Consensus First TeamHelms (1st), Converse (1st), Pic (1st), Argosy (1st), Sporting News (1st)
1946 Consensus First TeamHelms (1st), Converse (1st), True (1st), Sporting News (1st)
Dick Triptow 1944 Consensus Second TeamConverse (2nd), Pic (2nd), Sporting News (3rd)
Ed Mikan 1948 Helms (3rd)
Ron Feiereisel 1953 UPI (3rd)
Dave Corzine 1978 AP (2nd), UPI (3rd)
Mark Aguirre 1980 Consensus First TeamAP (1st), USBWA (1st), NABC (1st), UPI (1st)
1981 Consensus First TeamAP (1st), USBWA (1st), NABC (1st), UPI (1st)
Clyde Bradshaw 1981 UPI (3rd)
Terry Cummings 1982 Consensus First TeamAP (2nd), USBWA (2nd), NABC (2nd), UPI (1st)
Dallas Comegys 1987 AP (3rd), NABC (2nd), UPI (3rd)
Rod Strickland 1988 UPI (3rd)

National Coach of the Year edit

DePaul has had two of their coaches awarded the National Coach of the Year, done on five occasions.[20]

Person Year Awarded
Ray Meyer 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984
Joey Meyer 1987

Professional players edit

The following former DePaul Blue Demons have played in the NBA or original ABA:[21]

The following former DePaul Blue Demons have played professionally in leagues outside of the United States:

Arenas edit

Wintrust Arena edit

 
Wintrust Arena

Wintrust Arena is a 10,387-seat multi-purpose sports venue in Chicago. The arena opened in 2017 and is home of the DePaul Blue Demons men's basketball team.[22]

Allstate Arena edit

 
Allstate Arena

Allstate Arena, formerly the Rosemont Horizon, opened in 1980 and was home of the DePaul men's basketball team from its opening until 2017.[23] The arena sat 17,500 people for basketball.

Alumni Hall edit

Alumni Hall was completed in 1956 and was the on-campus home venue of the DePaul Blue Demons men's basketball team through 1980 when the Rosemont Horizon opened.[24]

University Auditorium edit

University Auditorium, nicknamed "The Barn", was the original on-campus home gymnasium for DePaul men's basketball starting in 1923 until 1956.[24]

Alternate arenas edit

McGrath-Phillips Arena, located in the Sullivan Athletic Center, was the home venue for select on-campus games for the men's basketball team from 2000 until 2017.[24] The venue also hosted DePaul men's basketball games during the 2007 National Invitation Tournament[24] and 2019 College Basketball Invitational Tournament.[25]

Chicago Stadium was the home of college basketball doubleheaders involving the DePaul men's basketball team in the 1940s and 1950s.[24]

Practice and Training facilities edit

McGrath-Phillips Arena is the practice facility for the DePaul Blue Demons men's basketball team.[24] The facility is located in the Sullivan Athletic Center, which was completed in 2000.

Head coaches edit

Footnotes edit

  1. ^ At the time, the NCAA did not sponsor championships in women's sports.

References edit

  1. ^ DePaul University Graphic Identity Guidelines (PDF). Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  2. ^ "Event Center at McCormick Square to be named Wintrust Arena" (Press release). DePaul Blue Demons. November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  3. ^ "DePaul Men's Basketball History". Archived from the original on 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
  4. ^ "Ray Meyer". sports-reference.com. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  5. ^ "Raymond J. "Ray" Meyer". hoophall.com. Archived from the original on January 30, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  6. ^ hoophall.com (February 23, 2007). "George Mikan Biography". Archived from the original on May 22, 2008. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  7. ^ "Following Father, Meyer Falters A Bit," Stephen A. Smith, Philadelphia Inquirer, Saturday, January 4, 1997.
  8. ^ a b 2010-11 DePaul Men's Basketball Media Guide, p. 100.
  9. ^ 2010-11 DePaul Men's Basketball Media Guide, pp. 148-152.
  10. ^ 2010-11 DePaul Men's Basketball Media Guide, p. 117.
  11. ^ Temkin, Barry. "DePaul Fires Meyer," Chicago Tribune, Tuesday, April 29, 1997.
  12. ^ Jauss, Bill. "New Blue Demons Coach Combines Styles Of Valvano, Al McGuire," Chicago Tribune, Friday, June 13, 1997.
  13. ^ a b Dave Leitao returns as head coach at DePaul , accessed April 30, 2019
  14. ^ Jerry Wainwright fired as men's basketball coach at DePaul
  15. ^ Purnell leaves Clemson for DePaul
  16. ^ Nicole Auerbach (2015-03-14). "DePaul's Oliver Purnell resigns after five losing seasons". usatoday.com. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  17. ^ Matthews, David (October 16, 2017). "DePaul Opens Wintrust Arena 'To Bring Successful Basketball Back' To City". DNAinfo. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  18. ^ Kenney, Madeleine, "DePaul students, alumni buy ad calling for firing of athletic director," Chicago Sun-Times, March 11, 2018, 10:08 p.m. CST
  19. ^ "It's official. Let the games begin!". College Basketball Invitational. Twitter. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  20. ^ DePaul Basketball Record Book: All-Time Honors| accessdate=March 3, 2009[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ NBA & ABA Players Who Attended DePaul University
  22. ^ Matthews, David (October 16, 2017). "DePaul Opens Wintrust Arena 'To Bring Successful Basketball Back' To City". DNAinfo. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  23. ^ "Fond Farewell Allstate Arena-And Thanks For The Memories". depaulbluedemons.com. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  24. ^ a b c d e f "DePaul Basketball A-to-Z". depaulbluedemons.com. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  25. ^ "CBI Championship to be Decided Friday at McGrath-Phillips Arena". depaulbluedemons.com. Retrieved May 2, 2019.

External links edit