By Joe Henricksen

DePaul's last hope?

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By Joe Henricksen

The sudden assistant coaching opening at De Paul and, what appears to be coaching openings -- yes, that's plural -- could signal a couple of things. First, it could be a new lease on life as it relates to coach Jerry Wainwright's future, which unbelievably has never been in jeopardy despite a horrid 0-18 run in the Big East this past season. Or is pumping new life into recruiting and the program, which the hiring of new assistant coaches is supposed to do, just a band-aid on a program that has much bigger issues?

The need for a head coach to replace an entire coaching staff is nearly as glaring to me as going 0-18 in conference play. But that's just me.

A rising assistant coach can look at the DePaul job a couple of ways -- joining a program that's in the best high-major conference in the country with a fertile recruiting ground in Chicago or joining a potential sinking ship. In addition, there will be some pressure and expectations placed on the incoming assistants.

Keep in mind, the new assistants may not make an immediate impact -- unless they are coming as a package deal with Marshall's Darius Smith. Remember, the Hoops Report's top five prospects in the Class of 2010 are already committed and several others in the top dozen have zero interest in De Paul. DeKalb's Jordan Threloff, the mammoth 6-10 junior, has an offer from De Paul but is hardly the impact-type the Blue Demons need in the loaded Big East. Locally there just isn't a whole lot left in 2010 for DePaul.

No, this job as an assistant coach at DePaul all comes down to one thing: the Class of 2011. If the head coach at DePaul isn't connected, then the assistant coach has to be ultra-connected to both the Chicago Public League and the AAU scene in the city and suburbs. Aside from Mt. Carmel's Tracy Abrams, no one in this loaded class has committed. With that in mind, it's obvious the new assistant coach absolutely has to have some tie to the Mac Irvin Fire AAU program. That's where you will find the De La Salle tandem of Mike Shaw and Dre Henley, Morgan Park's Wayne Blackshear and Whitney Young's Sam Thompson playing their spring and summer ball.

If DePaul wants to have any relevance in Chicago, in the state and in the college basketball landscape in the Wainwright era, it positively has to cash in on the Class of 2011.

Are there really assistant coaches out there that can potentially bring DePaul back into recruiting prominence and help save Wainwright's job? Whether that can be done or not remains to be seen, especially with the obstacles already in place at DePaul. There a lot of names floating around, ranging from high school coaches to AAU coaches to current college coaches. In the end there are really only four names that fit the mold and bring with them contacts and personal relationships with the movers and shakers in Chicago prep basketball.

The first name is obvious. Southern Illinois assistant coach Lance Irvin is already rumored to be a target. There is no assistant coach more tied into the Mac Irvin Fire AAU team than Lance Irvin, who comes straight from the family tree. Irvin has been all over the map in his coaching career, including short stints with Southern Illinois, Loyola, Iowa State, Illinois State, Texas A&M, Missouri and SMU. Ironically, his longest run was at DePaul from 1992-1997 with Joey Meyer.

Another name is Paris Parham, the fast-rising and well respected assistant coach at Illinois State. Parham is a Chicago guy who played at Dunbar and has strong ties to both the Chicago Public League coaches and Mac Irvin Fire. Last fall those ties with the Fire continued to grow as he was instrumental in helping Illinois State sign a pair of players from the Mac Irvin Fire AAU program -- North Lawndale's Terry Johnson and Chicago Lab's Zeke Upshaw.

Former Whitney Young star and current Northern Illinois assistant Dennis Gates will be high on the intrigue list as well. Gates might be much more useful and influential as an assistant at DePaul than at Northern Illinois, which is 16-40 the last two years and has become a recruiting burial ground.

Finally, Tracy Webster is available after the Kentucky staff was let go this past week. Though he left Illinois prior to the recruiting bonanza coach Bruce Weber hit, Webster was very influential in getting the ball rolling. He played a big part in landing a commitment from Jereme Richmond, the single, most influential recruit at Illinois in over two decades, along with current sophomore Mike Davis and a couple of others that are coming on board next fall. He's a graduate of Thornton and has been recruiting the Chicagoland area for years as an assistant at Ball State, Purdue and Illinois.

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7 Comments

All seem like pretty good candidates for DePaul but they aint going to make any difference as long as Wainwright is the head coach, no facility, no luster. Just not going to happen.

Joe, just a question here. But if the Irvin brother you speak of is such a hot commodity, why doesn't he stick anywhere? I can't think of any big time recruits he has gotten at any of those stops.

Big Dogg 1 .... regardless of what Lance Irvin has accomplished or hasn't accomplished as a recruiter over the years, the Mac Irvin Fire AAU program has more individual talent from top to bottom than any other. And the connection can't be ignored. ... Joe H

The Irvins dont have a National Championship in anything AAU or College nor a player in there AAU farm that can get it done or build a program around.

Irvins = Overrated

HOOP SCOOP'S RANKING OF THE NATION'S TOP 600 SOPHOMORES
(CLASS OF 2011)
Published on March 19, 2009
CHICAGO HAS 5 GUYS IN TOP 100 IN THE NATION FOR THAT CLASS DEPAUL NEEDS TO GET AT LEAST 2 OF THEM TO COMPETE IN THE BIG EAST IF THEY CAN GET 2 MORE WILL FOLLOW IN 2012 AND 2013
Rank Player Height Class Position Hometown, State College
1. Michael Gilchrist 6'8 2011 WF Elizabeth (St. Patrick) NJ
2. Tony Wroten 6'3 2011 2G Seattle (Garfield) WA
3. LaQuinton Ross 6'8 2011 WF Jackson (Murrah) MS
4. Austin Rivers 6'3 2011 2G Winter Park (H.S.) FL Florida
5. Trevor Lacey 6'3 2011 PG Huntsville (Butler) AL
6. Wayne Blackshear 6'5 2011 WF Chicago (Morgan Park) IL
7. Aaron Ross 6'7 2011 PF Little Rock (Parkview) AR Arkansas
8. Chris Coleman 6'9 2011 C Buffalo (Burgard) NY
9. Mike Shaw 6'8 2011 PF Chicago (De La Salle) IL
10. James McAdoo 6'8 2011 C Norfolk (Christian) VA
11. Jamal Branch 6'2 2011 2G Atascocita (H.S.) TX Texas A&M
12. Samuel "P.J." Hairston 6'5 2011 2G Greensboro (Dudley) NC
13. C.J. Barksdale 6'7 2011 PF Danville (George Washington) VA
14. Myck Kabongo 6'1 2011 PG Newark (St. Benedict's) NJ Texas
15. Marques Teague 6'1 2011 PG Indianapolis (Pike) IN
16. LaBryan Nash 6'7 2011 WF Dallas (Lincoln) TX
17. Damien Leonard 6'4 2011 WF Greenville (J.L. Mann) SC
18. Rakeem Christmas 6'10 2011 C Philadelphia (North Catholic) PA
19. Grandy Glaze 6'7 2011 WF Frederick (St. John's Catholic) MD
20. Kevin Johnson 6'9 2011 C Gardena (Serra) CA
21. Chane Behanan 6'7 2011 PF Cincinnati (Aiken) OH Cincinnati
22. Ramone Eaton 6'7 2011 WF Sacramento (Sheldon) CA
23. Michael Gbinije 6'6 2011 WF Midlothian (Christ School) VA
24. Angelo Chol 6'8 2011 C San Diego (Hoover) CA
25. Quinn Cook 5'11 2011 PG Hyattsville (DeMatha) MD
26. Marquavius "Deville" Smith 6'0 2011 PG Jackson (Callaway) MS
27. Derrick Wilson 6'1 2011 PG Lakeville (Hotchkiss) CT
28. Andre Henley 6'5 2011 WF Chicago (De La Salle) IL
29. Rodney Hood 6'5 2011 2G Meridian (H.S.) MS
30. Cezar Guerrero 5'11 2011 PG City of Industry (Workman) CA
31. Julian Royal 6'8 2011 PF Alpharetta (Milton) GA
32. Michael Taylor 6'3 2011 2G Brooklyn (Boys & Girls) NY
33. Sterling Gibbs 5'9 2011 PG West Orange (Seton Hall Prep) NJ
34. Marquis "Jerrell" Rankin 5'11 2011 PG Charlotte (Vance) NC
35. Johnny O'Bryant 6'8 2011 C Cleveland (East Side) MS
36. Quddus Bello 6'3 2011 2G High Point (Westchester Academy) NC
37. Brandon Kearney 6'4 2011 WF Detroit (Southeastern) MI
38. Hunter Mickelson 6'11 2011 C Jonesboro (H.S.) AR
39. Adonis Thomas 6'5 2011 WF Memphis (Melrose) TN
40. Tony Kimbro 6'5 2011 WF Arden (The Christ School) NC
41. Tavon Sledge 5'9 2011 PG Newark (St. Benedict's) NJ
42. Kevin Ware 6'4 2011 2G Conyers (Rockdale) GA
43. Jabarie Hinds 6'0 2011 PG Mt. Vernon (H.S.) NY
44. Sheldon McClellan 6'4 2011 WF Houston (Bellaire) TX
45. Deante Sanders 5'11 2011 PG Deland (H.S.) FL
46. Stevie Taylor 5'8 2011 PG Gahanna (Lincoln) OH
47. Matt Carlino 6'2 2011 2G Gilbert (Higland) AZ Indiana
48. Davonte Grace 6'2 2011 PG Brooklyn (Jefferson) NY
49. Tyler Adams 6'9 2011 C Brandon (H.S.) MS
50. Robert Garrett 6'10 2011 C Sacramento (H.S.) CA
51. Carlton Brundage 6'1 2011 2G Southfield (H.S.) MI
52. Kyle Wiltjer 6'9 2011 C West Linn (H.S.) OR
53. Elgin Cook 6'5 2011 WF Milwaukee (Hamilton) WI
54. Myles Mack 5'7 2011 PG Paterson (Catholic) NJ
55. Mychal Ammons 6'6 2011 WF Vicksburg (H.S.) MS
56. Thomas Gibson 6'7 2011 PF Cedar Hill (H.S.) TX
57. Juan'ya Green 6'2 2011 2G Radnor (Archbishop Carroll) PA
58. Gelaun Wheelright 6'2 2011 2G Corona (Centennial) CA
59. James "Zac" Price 6'10 2011 C Lakewood (St. Edwards) OH
60. Jermaine Sanders 6'5 2011 WF New York (Rice) NY
61. Khem Birch 6'8 2011 PF Montreal (Riverdale) QU
62. Cinmeon Bowers 6'6 2011 PF Glendale (Nicolet) WI
63. John Isaac 6'3 2011 PG Leesville (Pickering) LA LSU
64. Achraf Yocoubou 6'3 2011 WF Brookville (Long Island Lutheran) NY
65. Ryan Taylor 6'5 2011 WF Indianapolis (Lawrence North) IN Louisville
66. Chasson Randle 6'2 2011 PG Rock Island (H.S.) IL
67. LaDontae Hinton 6'5 2011 PF Lansing (J.W. Sexton) MI
68. Andre Hollins 6'3 2011 2G Memphis (White Station) TN
69. Corbin Miller 6'2 2011 2G Salt Lake City (Brighton) UT
70. Quincy Miller 6'8 2011 PF Winston-Salem (Quality Education Academy) NC
71. Jason Pimental 6'7 2011 PF Ocala (Westport) FL
72. Julien Lewis 6'4 2011 WF Galveston (La Marque) TX
73. Maurice Harkless 6'6 2011 PF Forest Hills (H.S.) NY
74. Tyrone Johnson 6'2 2011 2G Plainfield (H.S) NJ
75. Sam Thompson 6'6 2011 WF Chicago (Whitney Young) IL
76. Michael Thompson 6'2 2011 2G Las Vegas (Canyon Springs) NV
77. Nick Johnson 6'2 2011 2G Gilbert (Highland) AZ
78. Ryan Anderson 6'7 2011 WF Long Beach (Poly) CA
79. Amir Williams 6'9 2011 C Birmingham (Detroit Country Day) MI
80. John Johnson 6'1 2011 2G Philadelphia (Girard) PA
81. Shannon Scott 6'1 2011 PG Atlanta (Lovett) GA
82. Andre Drummond 6'9 2011 C Hartford (Capitol Prep) CT
83. Nick Jacobs 6'8 2011 C Atlanta (South Atlanta) GA
84. Norvelle Pelle 6'8 2011 C Compton (Dominguez) CA
85. George Marshall 5'11 2011 PG Chicago (Brooks) IL
86. Kory Alford 6'3 2011 2G Albuquerque (La Cueva) NM
87. Devin Coleman 6'3 2011 2G Wynnewood (Friends Central) PA
88. Myles Davis 6'2 2011 2G Jersey City (St. Peter's) NJ
89. Marshall Plumlee 6'9 2011 C Arden (Christ School) NC
90. Evan Blackmon 6'1 2011 2G Ft. Wayne (Bishop Luers) IN
91. Matt Giorski 6'10 2011 C Midlothian (Cosby) VA
92. Fred Landers 6'5 2011 PF Ft. Lauderdale Lakes (Dillard) FL
93. Michael Chandler 6'10 2011 C Indianapolis (Lawrence North) IN Louisville
94. Malcolm Gilbert 6'11 2011 C Bryn Athyn (Academy of the New Church) PA
95. Quevyn Winters 6'5 2011 WF Milwaukee (Washington) WI
96. Shaquille Stokes 6'0 2011 PG Brooklyn (Lincoln) NY
97. Mikael Hopkins 6'8 2011 C Hyattsville (DeMatha) MD
98. Jordan Williams 6'6 2011 PF Dallas (Lincoln) TX
99. Tracy Abrams 6'1 2011 PG Chicago (Mt. Carmel) IL Illinois
100. Naadir Tharpe 6'0 2011 PG Wolfeboro (Brewster Academy) NH

Speaking of burials when does NIU play Depaul again soon I hope!Go Huskies!

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on March 28, 2009 10:38 PM.

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