These days, it's in DePaul's best interest to remind folks why they deserve to be in the Big East. With the impending arrival of one or two new Big East programs, the basketball ranks are going to swell to unwieldy weight. The idea of cutting dead weight wherever possible hasn't been thrown out there but it's hanging over the head of every fringe program in the conference, especially ones that aren't long-time, traditional Big East schools.
DePaul has quickly become to Big East basketball what Temple used to be to Big East football. Absolute dead weight, unable to compete on even a reasonable level and without any proof that improvement is on the way. Eventually, the Big East got tired of propping up Temple and sharing its money with them. Their presence in a large market became useless given their lack of success.
In other words, DePaul is going to have to start doing more than just existing in Chicago. They need to start making headlines again. To be fair, they did just that Sunday night. Though, to be honest, it's not the kind of headlines they really need...
Nobody said Oliver Purnell’s rebuilding job at DePaul would be easy and we were all reminded of that tonight as the Blue Demons fell to Division II Lewis 70-68 at McGrath Arena on the DePaul campus.
Lewis shot 70% in the first half and grabbed a 39-27 lead at the break. The Flyers extended their lead to as many as 15 in the second half before the Blue Demons rallied. However, Mike Stovall’s three-point attempt with 8 seconds left was off the mark and Lewis held on for the win.
As a Syracuse fan, I know I'm stepping into murky territory attacking a Big East rival over their preseason loss to a Division II team. However the difference with Syracuse's loss to Lemoyne last year is that Jim Boeheim was using the game as a teaching lesson for his team, which eventually ended up No. 1 in the nation. For DePaul, there's a strong possibility that they actually played pretty hard in this one. The idea of yet another winless Big East season now looms even moreso over their season.
Congrats to Lewis, who joins the ever-growing list of D-II programs whose greatest achievements take place in exhibition games. And congrats to DePaul, who continue to impress their Big East brethren with just how low they can sink. We'll miss you guys...