DePaul's Deidre Naughton eligible

DePaul senior guard Deidre Naughton was granted her sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after missing nearly all season with a torn ACL, the school announced on Monday.

Naughton was a preseason Wooden and Naismith Award watch candidate last season before tearing her ACL during the first half against Northwestern on Nov. 24. Naughton, who played at New Trier High School, led the Blue Demons with 15.5 points, 54 3-pointers and 142 assists as a junior.

"I want to thank the NCAA for granting me a sixth year and a chance to play out my senior season," Naughton said in a statement. "I would also like to thank [director of athletics compliance] Doug Bakker for his tireless work throughout the whole process.

"I am looking forward to getting back on the court after seven months of rehab. I have been really lucky to have the support of my teammates, the coaching staff and therapists and can't wait to wear the DePaul uniform again this season."

DePaul has hopes for the 2009-2010 season as it returns all five starters from last year's NCAA tournament team.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.