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Blue Ribbon Yearbook

CONFERENCE: C-USA (American Division)
LAST SEASON: 18-13 (.581)
NICKNAME: Blue Demons
COLORS: Royal Blue & Scarlet
HOMECOURT: Rosemont Horizon (17,500)
COACH: Pat Kennedy (Kings College '78)
record at school 25-36 (2 years)
career record 351-227 (19 years)
ASSISTANTS: Larry Harrison (Pittsburgh '78)
Tracy Dildy (Illinois-Chicago '91)
Brian Kennedy (Monmouth '92)
TEAM WINS: (last 5 years) 17-11-3-7-18
RPI (last 5 years) 60-108-231-193-51
1998-99 FINISH: Lost in NIT second round.

ESPN.com Clubhouse

The first step was a big step.

The first step took DePaul from the edge of oblivion to the center of the picture. The Blue Demons did not reach the NCAA Tournament in their first season with the first full recruiting class collected by Pat Kennedy, but Chicago was the center of the college basketball universe for one night in late February when the Duke Blue Devils came to town.

It turned out DePaul was not close to ready for this challenge, even though it had managed to beat the team that beat the team just a couple weeks earlier (a 61-60 overtime win over Cincinnati, the only team to defeat Duke until the NCAA title game). Duke destroyed the Blue Demons, 96-64, and the margin of that game did not help the Demons' cause to get an at-large NCAA bid. Nor did it help to go into Birmingham for the Conference USA Tournament and lose by six to UAB. That was probably the final blow.

But did it really matter? In fact, it probably was good for DePaul not to make the NCAA Tournament in the first season with Lance Williams, Bobby Simmons and Quentin Richardson. It would have seemed too easy. This gives them something to work for in Year Two.

The problem with last year's DePaul team is there just weren't enough players for the Demons to be great. There was too much pressure on the young players to carry the team. And still the Demons went from seven to 18 wins in one season against a seriously upgraded schedule.

DePaul had its first winning campaign and first postseason bid since 1994-95, earning the most victories since 1991-92. The Demons moved some of their games to the United Center, which presented the problem of having three different homecourts, but it also made them more of a showpiece in Chicago sports.

Blue Ribbon Analysis

DePaul knows the second step has got to be a big one. The program will not shut down after Richardson departs, but he is someone the Demons need to take full advantage of while he's on the roster.

That means trying to make a big jump this year. They could challenge Cincinnati for the division title and overall Conference USA supremacy, although what may be even more important is winning some of the key non-conference games on their schedule (Florida and St. John's come in, and there are road games at Duke and UCLA). DePaul is also in the Puerto Rico Shootout with Michigan State, Texas, Providence, South Carolina, Virginia and Arizona State. There is room to make a statement.

But it's also important to remember this still is a terribly young team. The only senior contributors will be Avery and Hartfield, and the starting lineup will consist of four sophomores and a freshman. There will be occasional mistakes and slips, but this is a legitimate Top 25 team.

Coach Pat Kennedy has done much to build around the central group of great players he recruited a year ago. The Demons return players who consumed 85 percent of their minutes in 1998-99. To that, he added size (center Steven Hunter) and backcourt depth (freshmen George Baker and Joe Tulley, along with junior Paul McPherson).

This still is not a perfect team. It will be more effective at the offensive end than on defense because none of the three young stars are big-time defenders. Kennedy may still have to trick things up on occasion to hide that weakness. Point-guard play will be a major factor in getting to the next level. There should be some improvement over last season as Rashon Burno takes over for Kerry Hartfield.

But this is a team with enough talent to make a serious dent on the national picture before Richardson makes a likely exit to the NBA following this season. Kennedy wants the NCAA Tournament.

"It's got to be such an important goal for us. Last year, I thought we fell a game or two short. For us, this whole year comes down to the NCAA Tournament. We have to keep that as a goal and a standard and live by it. We've got to get there now."

(6-6, 215 lbs., SO, SG, #3, 18.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 33.5 minutes, 478 FG, .743 FT, Whitney Young HS/Chicago, Ill.)

For the sake of Richardson's future, he and DePaul have perpetuated this piece of fiction about him standing 6-foot-6. It is an innocuous little fib, and Richardson will be found out the moment he steps before the NBA's tape measure in his physical next June. But if it makes him feel like more of a player, that's fine.

The only thing is, if the world knew for certain he was doing all these things at 6-foot-4, it would be that much more impressed.

Richardson is perhaps the most amazing rebounder to enter college basketball in the past two decades. Few ever worked the offensive boards to such great effect. He has an incredible knack for reading the ball on the rim and the quickness to get where it's going if he's not there already. And once he gets one of those too-numerous-to-remember offensive rebounds, he has the skill and body control to get the putback.

He finished the year sixth in the NCAA in rebounding, and three of the four guys ahead of him were big players: seven-footers Chris Mihm and Todd MacCulloch and 6-11 Jeff Foster (the nation's leading board man was 6-8 Ian McGinnis of Dartmouth). None of those taller guys -- no one, in fact -- brought down more offensive rebounds than Richardson.

Not only was Richardson's height wrong in most accounts of his play last season, but so was his position. He was a power forward, not a small forward or shooting guard as so many described him as. This made him a difficult matchup for nearly every opponent, and he made them pay: 33 points against North Carolina-Wilmington, 31 against California, 29 against Tulane and UAB, 28 against Maryland, 26 against Saint Louis, 25 against Cincinnati.

He had 18 rebounds in that Cal game, 16 against Kansas, 20 against UAB. Even in the Demons' one-sided loss to Duke, he scored 21 points and got nine boards.

He strongly considered heading to the NBA draft after one year but was wise to return to DePaul for another season. Because, as you might expect, the pros know a shooting guard from a big forward, and he has yet to prove he can play on the perimeter.

He should get that chance, with Williams moving over to the power forward spot and Hunter playing in the post. That pushes Richardson back into the backcourt, where he needs to be in order to be taken seriously as a pro. He should be just fine there. He handles the ball well and can, on occasion, nail a three-pointer off the dribble. Kennedy said Richardson is a much better shooter than people realize.

"He has to learn how to go baseline, pull up and get over people. We want him to come off the dribble, shoot the jump shot," Kennedy said. "He's got range. Q can shoot. It's the medium-range offensive game he's really got to work on."

The problem with shifting Richardson's position is not whether he'll handle it, but how it will affect DePaul. There were a lot of plusses to having Richardson play inside.

So what happens to DePaul after this becomes a full-time move? Well, for one, it should improve defensively. Being undersized up front hurt the Blue Demons, especially in the latter half of the season.

"Where we got stuck last year was if Bobby or Q was down defending inside," Kennedy said. "When we played Cincinnati, we had to run a halfcourt trap for 40 minutes because we couldn't defend down there."

To get Richardson work inside, the Demons can invert their offense to put Richardson in the post. He'll also have freedom to crash the boards, although that will put pressure on point guard Rashon Burno to defend against fastbreaks on his own.

On talent and production, Richardson is a national player of the year candidate. He could be that much more devastating as a shooting guard, because he has the ability to hit 38-39 percent on "threes" and thus could lift his production that way. Or he could be diminished by the distance between himself and the offensive glass.

(6-9, 250 lbs., SO, PF, #52, 13.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 32.2 minutes, .500 FG, .532 FT, Julian HS/Chicago, Ill.)

If there were no Quentin Richardson on last year's DePaul team, no doubt the Blue Demons would have lost a whole lot more than they did. But they still might have produced the nation's leading freshman scorer.

Williams is a genuine force as a low-post offensive player, with a great feel for how to play with this back to the goal and a remarkably soft shooting touch when he catches. He has a number of offensive moves that consistently clear space for him to shoot.

If Williams is to move from great freshman to great player, he will need to get himself into better condition. He was Conference USA's Player of the Week at the end of January, when he had consecutive double-doubles and averaged 19 points and 15 rebounds in two games, but his rebounding numbers tailed off badly at the end of the season. He was down to slightly more than five per game over the final seven contests. He still had enough zip to catch and score, but not to do the dirty work.

"He's one of those guys everybody looks at and immediately looks at his body composition, [then] says he has good size but could be stronger," Kennedy said. "We have to make him physically stronger, regardless of how it looks. Playing against Elton Brand was the greatest lesson, because Elton just moved him around anywhere he wanted.

"At the end of the year, Lance was just, 'Boy, coach, I've got to get stronger.' I could tell him the same thing, but because he felt it, it meant more."

Williams won't have an easy start to the season because of a broken right foot. He's out six to eight weeks, which will hurt his conditioning.

As a defender, Williams leaves a little to be desired technically, and the arrival of Hunter should help in that regard. Evan Eschmeyer of Northwestern was 8-for-11 for 18 points, although that would be a nearly impossible matchup for him. With Hunter, there would at least be five extra fouls and the height to challenge that sort of big man.

Williams did have some success throwing his body around, though. UNC Charlotte's Kelvin Price got only three offensive rebounds in the second meeting against DePaul. Dayton's Mark Ashman was 5-for-13 from the field. Maryland's Obinna Ekezie was 2-for-9.

On offense, Williams is the type of player a team can build around (if anyone's interested in being that sort of team any longer). DePaul is, to some extent. In the final months of the season, the Demons got the ball to Williams for more than 12 shots per game. He still could have been more successful using his body to draw personal fouls, but this is something to build with.

Another thing is his experience this past summer with the U.S. junior national team. He averaged 9.5 ppg, shot .579 from the field and an encouraging .833 from the foul line, although he was not in the kind of shape he needed to be to have an outstanding tournament.

(6-7, 210 lbs., SO, SF, #32, 11.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 30.6 minutes, .373 FG, .277 3PT, .793 FT, Simeon HS/Chicago, Ill.)

Of the three celebrated freshmen, there's no doubt which one least deserved the celebration.

The extent of Simmons' talent is obvious from the remarkable numbers he was able to produce despite rarely playing up to his potential. He can handle the ball, pass it and probably is a better shooter than he demonstrated as a Blue Demons rookie.

Simmons was not ready for the physical demands of playing high-major ball. Not really explosive by nature, he looked as though his feet were super-glued to the floor for the last six weeks of the season. He needs to get himself into better condition to become the NBA-caliber player he was expected to be and could certainly become.

Simmons reportedly worked hard in off-season conditioning, trying to build up his strength. He needs that, but he also needs to cut his body fat to become a quicker wing man.

"I expect to see different people than a year ago," Kennedy said. "At the end of the year, we were pretty easily moved around."

The greatest concern with Simmons was how out-of-place he appeared to be when the Blue Demons played their most dangerous opponents. Against NCAA Tournament teams, he was 41-for-113 (.362). In his final four games against teams that made the Tournament, he averaged 3.8 ppg. UAB shut him out, 0-for-7, when the Demons needed to win to stay alive for an NCAA bid. He had only six double-figuring scoring games in the final 15 starts.

The summer was promising for Simmons and, by extension, DePaul. He made the U.S. junior national team for the second consecutive year and was one of its most effective players, averaging 8.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and shooting .469.

It's hard to quibble too much with a freshman who scored in double figures 19 times in 31 games and ranked among the conference leaders in so many different statistical categories. Sometimes, though, a player needs to play to his abilities if his team is to achieve all that is possible.

For DePaul to be a Top 25 team, Simmons has to defend better, shoot a high percentage and cut down on his turnovers just short of three per game.

"He's a multi-talented offensive player," Kennedy said. "He can be a more consistent shooter, but he does have a good stroke. He'll be more of a consistent offensive threat to do more things."

(5-9, 185 lbs., SO, PG, #11, 3.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.5 apg, 16.3 minutes, .294 FG, .286 FT, The Winchendon School, Mass./Jersey City, N.J)

We'd bring up the thing about the fibs and the exaggerations and the heights again, but what's the use? Um, 5-9? Really?

Trust us, he isn't that big. But it really doesn't matter. He proved last season he was the best point guard on the DePaul roster, the only one who understood how to run a team.

"He was on the floor during our most productive minutes," Kennedy said. "What he has to become for us is a Steve Wojciechowski-type player."

DePaul's coaches fought this for a while. They were averse to turning over their team to a player so small in stature. But there were significant problems with junior college transfer Kerry Hartfield running the team. It was obvious the younger Blue Demons were not enamored of his leadership, and it was equally obvious he was not enamored of being a leader.

Burno was much more comfortable in the role and far more effective in distributing the ball. Whereas Hartfield was far more interested in his own jump shot than what Simmons, Richardson and Williams could do for DePaul, Burno would come on and distribute the ball and speed up the pace and keep the team moving in one direction.

Burno's minutes began to pick up as some of the young players began to sag, and his energy helped lead a five-game winning streak that made the Blue Demons contenders for an NCAA bid. Burno is exceedingly quick, as you hope he'd be if you're going to play somebody so small, but he also delivers a catchable ball and can zip it through traffic.

His size would appear to be a problem on defense, but Kennedy insists that no one attacks the ball better among his players.

"He defends the dribble as well as any kid I've ever coached, including Charlie Ward," Kennedy said. "Huggins (Cincinnati) and Spoonhour (Saint Louis) their guards didn't want to play against him."

The most significant question for Burno at this point is obviously his shooting. He doesn't have to shoot a lot, but as long as he doesn't teams will be able to drop a defender into the lane and gum up the Demons offense. He was 5-for-19 from three-point range in the final nine games. He's got to be able to pose a more consistent threat from the perimeter.

(7-0, 215 lbs., FR, C, #45, 10.0 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 8.5 apg, .637 FG, Proviso East HS/Maywood, Ill.)

DePaul spent much of the autumn waiting for the NCAA clearinghouse to have its say on Hunter, and it was an anxious wait. But now that he's eligible, Hunter will be a huge key to DePaul's potential to move forward as a program.

He is not a finished product at center, but he is a center. And that's a start. His presence permits a series of changes that would put the other Blue Demons in more advantageous positions, especially on defense, and it gives DePaul a genuine big man in the middle.

"He gives us a legitimate shot-blocker. He gives us somebody around the basket that can change some shots," said coach Pat Kennedy. "You need somebody like that if you want to pressure. We'd like to play a more up-tempo style than we did a year ago. I think defensively he could make us a better team."

Hunter does not have a great feel for the offensive game. He does not have a "go-to" move and is not adept at setting himself in position down low, nor has he shown a face-up jumper. When a player his size scores so few points in high school, it's usually no accident.

But Hunter will not be a target on offense for this team. He will be limited to those shots he can get for himself off the offensive boards (and how many of those will there be with Richardson nearby?). He still needs weight and strength and lost valuable conditioning time while the clearinghouse fiddled around.

His presence will make the Blue Demons a better team, though, because he makes DePaul the team it wants to be rather than the team it has to be.

(6-1, 185 lbs., SR, G, #25, 8.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 29.6 minutes, .377 FG, .374 3PT, .667 FT, Southeastern CC, Ia. & Benton Harbor HS/Benton Harbor, Mich.)

DePaul kept Hartfield in the starting lineup throughout last season, even though it became clear by the end he was not the point guard of choice among the Blue Demons. It's likely he'll go back to being a third guard this season, pinch-hitting at both the point and shooting guard spots.

If you consider Mateen Cleaves to be an ideal college point guard, consider that he averaged 1.43 shots for every assist he generated in averaging 11.7 ppg. William Avery averaged 2.12 shots for each assist he produced for Duke. Hartfield shot 2.71 times for each assist he contributed to the Blue Demons. He just never adopted the mentality of playmaker, of leader.

Hartfield had 10 games in which he attempted double-figure shots, and the thing about those games was he averaged only 12.6 ppg. Richardson averaged 18.9 points for the year on only 13.7 shots per game.

Thus, with Hartfield in charge, there was some degree of dissension among the Blue Demons. They felt he did not do enough to involve them all in the offense. In 30 minutes per game with Williams and Richardson as teammates, a point guard ought to be able to produce more than 3.1 apg.

He can be a proficient shooter, though, which may be what this DePaul team needs from him, anyway. Hartfield can heat up in an instant, and he's athletic and adept enough as a ballhandler to create space for himself.

Although Richardson is a better shooter than some believe, the Demons need someone who can fill the role of zone-buster. Hartfield had 10 games last season in which he hit at least three times from three-point range, including 4-for-8 in the C-USA Tournament against UAB and 4-for-8 at South Florida.

"We found out over the course of the season he was really much more comfortable off the basketball," Kennedy said. "Kerry is probably the best jump shooter we have. I think he's going to have a great senior year."

(6-7, 190 lbs., SR, F, #15, 2.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 13.0 minutes, .433 FG, .667 FT, Prosser HS/Chicago, Ill.)

With the arrival of the three freshmen, Avery went from starter to sub, from key member of the rotation to occasional contributor.

Avery started four games, but the Blue Demons were not as effective with him in the lineup because opponents did not struggle as much with the mismatch against Quentin Richardson.

His body has not grown to the degree necessary for him to have a lot of success inside. He is too easy for the big men in Conference USA to move. His speed and agility occasionally help him as a defender three steals against Kansas in eight minutes, eight rebounds against South Florida but otherwise he basically chews up minutes and tries to hold on while the regulars rest.

Although he was considered a Top 100 prospect coming out of high school, the coaching change did not seem to be to his benefit as the structure of the program moved away from players of his ilk. He also lost a lot when he was ruled ineligible for his freshman season in 1996-97.

Avery needed as much development as he could get.

(6-4, 210 lbs., JR, G, #23, 21.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 3.0 bpg, Kennedy-King JC, Ill. & South Shore HS/Chicago, Ill.)

With the Blue Demons badly in need of perimeter depth following the departure of Coleman, McPherson was an important signee. He can play either the shooting guard spot behind Richardson or at small forward behind Simmons, which gives the Blue Demons four players who can play on the wings.

McPherson, built like a college outside linebacker, is "a real producer," Kennedy said. Because of his size and the fact he is not a tremendous shooter, there were some questions from major programs about whether or not he was a prospect.

"I watched him early, went back and forth, and just kept looking at his numbers," Kennedy said. "Losing Willie he brought a lot to the table. I think Paul has an opportunity to fill that one void."

Because of his strength, McPherson can defend bigger players and handle himself at small forward. He can finish inside and will get some rebounds, which means Richardson may be able to rest comfortably for longer stretches.

"As a coach, with recruiting, you're trying to fill voids," Kennedy said. "If Paul can give us what we lost from Willie, maybe we don't look at losing all that much."

At the NJCAA tournament last March, McPherson was the leading scorer and he was named MVP at the national junior college All-Star game. In a high-level Chicago summer league, he scored 49 points one night. And back when they both were in high school, McPherson twice beat leaping legend Ronnie Fields in slam-dunk contests. That athleticism makes him a worthy addition.

(6-11, 250 lbs., SR, C, #14, 0.8 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 5.7 minutes, .429 FG, .500 FT, Polk JC, Loyola College & North Cambridge Catholic HS/Medford, Mass.)

Lacking any serious size aside from Williams, DePaul took Butler and Peoples in the hope one of the two could become a proficient backup in the middle. It didn't really happen for either. Butler's best game consisted of three points and two rebounds.

Butler was not sophisticated enough as a player to make an immediate impact at this level. He lacked the coordination and strength in his first year out of junior college, but it's possible a year of competing against high-major players made enough of an impression for him to help this season.

(6-1, 170 lbs., JR, G, #10, 2.8 ppg, 0.2 rpg, five appearances, Maclay HS/Tallahassee, Fla.)

Cashin is another player whose role was reduced as the talent level increased and the stakes, as well. He got in 23 games for an average of five minutes as a freshman walk-on, but that was reduced to just five games as a sophomore.

(6-2, 185 lbs., JR, G, #22, 1.8 mpg, 0.5 ppg, four appearances, St. Ignatius HS/Chicago, Ill.)

The son of DePaul women's basketball coach Doug Bruno, David has been a walk-on on the Blue Demons roster the past two seasons. He played in four games last season and made his only shot of the year.

(6-3, 190 lbs., FR, G, #33, 22.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 8.0 apg, 3.4 spg, Dunbar HS/Lexington, Ky.)

A lot of schools had a chance to get in line ahead of DePaul for Baker's services. Cincinnati, Louisville and certainly hometown Kentucky could have had him, and all of them gave it considerable thought.

You'd have a tough time finding anyone who didn't really like Baker's skills. He runs an offense well, handles the ball, is a pure point guard and should be a decent shooter. As a senior at Dunbar, he had five triple-doubles and 13 times scored 25 or more points.

He was named third-team All-State as a senior and played for the Kentucky teams in the Derby Festival and the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star series. The question for those who left him for DePaul to steal is whether he is quick enough to defend the best point guards.

But that's not as big a concern for the Blue Demons. The other teams could not afford to recruit him because they could only afford to take players who were serious upgrades at the position. DePaul can bring in Baker as competition for Burno and as a nice, reliable backup.

For DePaul's purposes, the key is to make him that reliable backup. He's still a little wild and wants to play everything full speed. Baker will need to make sure he involves his teammates as he makes the transition to college.

(6-2, 180 lbs., FR, G, #12, 24.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, Boylan HS/Rockford, Ill.)

It may be difficult for Tulley to gain a spot in the rotation at this early stage of his career. The one position at which DePaul has any depth is shooting guard, and that is where he fits.

Tulley started three years for his high school and was named first-team All-State as a senior. He scored 54 points in one high school game.

Tulley is a fine shooter with a nice, compact form that has very few moving parts, although his shot flies a little low and without much arc. That could be a problem if players who flash on him are as athletic as, say, Marques Maybin of Louisville or Altron Jackson of South Florida. Against man-to-man defense on the perimeter, he will need assistance from his teammates and coaches to get shots against big-time defenses. He does not put the ball on the floor all that well and is not powerful enough to score in traffic.

Tulley should benefit from college weight training and could be used as a late-game or situational shooter his first season.

(6-1, SG, 11.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 31.7 minutes, .429 FG, .543 FT)

Just how important was Coleman to the Blue Demons? Well, it's this simple. He cost them an NCAA Tournament bid.

He did that by hurting his wrist. If it hadn't happened, there's a good chance the Demons would have been able to hold onto the lead they held for 30-some minutes at Kansas. Without him playing at all, the Demons went to Louisville and Dayton and lost those games by a combined 38 points. They returned home to defeat Houston, then got a mere 18 minutes from Coleman in a visit to Cincinnati. So with Coleman playing either not at all or extremely limited minutes, DePaul was 1-4.

He didn't really look like a shooting guard and he hit only 30 three-pointers on the year, but Coleman was a gamer, a leader. He had an astonishing knack for making big plays.

(6-6, F, 2.1 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 10.7 minutes, .325 FG, .462 FT)

By necessity, Cooper was a scorer for the Blue Demons in his first two seasons, which was kind of interesting because he couldn't really shoot and didn't have any offensive moves.

Cooper was a decent athlete who never really could play the game. He averaged 9.8 ppg as a sophomore, hitting .380 from the field and 21-for-81 (.259) from three-point range. That team won three games.

As a junior and senior, his role gradually shrunk. He shot .297 and averaged 7.4 ppg in his first year under Kennedy, then became a situational reserve as a senior.

(6-11, C, 1.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 4.5 minutes, .364 FG, .938 FT)

When Northeastern Illinois disbanded its program, DePaul picked up Peoples for his senior year in the hope he might be able to help the Demons as a reserve big man. He did not make a serious contribution in his one year.

(5-11, G, 1.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg, five appearances, .364 FG, .938 FT)

Fitzgerald was one of several walk-ons needed to fill out the roster when the Demons' numbers were down. He played in five games, scoring in two of them.

Defense? Opponents were able to get too much done against the Blue Demons inside last year (.442 FG percentage defense). A big man like Steven Hunter helps with shot-blocking, but he must also be sound positionally and stay out of foul trouble.

Depth? It looks better on paper, but DePaul was one tired team by the time it hit March 1999. McPherson and Hartfield have to adjust to playing off the bench, and Avery needs to be tougher up front.

Shooting? The Demons shot .329 from three-point range last season. That's not going to win many long-range shooting contests, and it's not going to win any championships, either. Richardson needs to be a bit better in this department and Hartfield has to take on a shooter's mentality (no, wait, no, he's got that already ).

"Q!" Quentin Richardson could be college basketball's player of the year in 1999-2000. Although he'll be shifting positions, he is creative, intense and multi-talented. And he's going to want to win in what figures to be his final season of college basketball.

Burno! Yeah, he's too short. Big deal. This is a leader, a point guard who'll get the ball where it needs to go at the right times and who'll bother opponents who've come to think operating an offense against DePaul is a breeze.

Rebounding! Don't miss a shot against DePaul; you may never see the ball again. And don't count on making the Demons miss as being the end of the story. No one gets to offensive rebounds as consistently as Richardson.

The 19th edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook is on sale now. To order, call 800-828-HOOP (4667), or visit their web site at http://www.collegebaskets.com

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