It's hard to manage a rebuilding project in the Big East. It's even harder when your counterparts -- fellow new coaches Steve Lavin and Mike Rice -- begin their tenures by signing elite recruiting classes (No. 5 overall for Lavin at St. John's; No. 14 for Rice at Rutgers) in their first summers on the job. It's hard to keep up with the Joneses when the Joneses ball like this.
But DePaul's Oliver Purnell isn't one for the quick fix. His style is a bit a more methodical. DePaul fans can have a little patience, then, some measure of faith in knowing that Purnell is skilled at finding the players his uptempo system requires. Of course, top-100 talent doesn't hurt either.
Purnell landed both Tuesday, when he got Shane Larkin, the first ESPNU 100 player to commit in Purnell's short tenure. Larkin is a four-star prospect ranked as the No. 20-ranked point guard in the class, and ESPNU recruiting analyst Reggie Rankin says he'll be the perfect player to fit Purnell's style. All good things.
Sure, it's not a Lavin-esque haul, but it's an awfully good start, especially for a program that saw its high-level talent reserves dwindle under former coach Jerry Wainwright. Purnell's rebuild may not happen overnight, but the acquisition of Larkin suggests that the program is taking some positive steps forward.