Work in Sports
The Blue Demons' Q rating got a big lift when their star unexpectedly spurned the NBA
Agents? depaul sophomore Quentin (Q) Richardson knows all about agents. During last year's Conference USA tournament, one gave him a 7 a.m. wake-up call. Later, another said he'd pay $5,000 for a dinner date with Richardson, an offer that came in a church. But the topper surely came when Richardson visited his cousin Rico Hill while Hill was at an NBA predraft camp in Chicago. Within seconds a swarm of agents surrounded him in the lobby. "I was like, Man, I gotta get outta here," he says.
Funny, that's what everyone thought Richardson would say about DePaul after winning national freshman of the year honors last season. Instead, he took stock of his debut (18.9 points and 10.5 boards a game) and his likely NBA draft position (from 10th to 15th) and decided to spend at least one more year with the Blue Demons. "Last year I won a lot of individual awards," says Q, "but I didn't get a chance to win any type of championship."
Fueled by three as-good-as-advertised hometown freshmen -- Richardson, 6'9" forward Lance Williams and 6'7" forward Bobby Simmons -- DePaul last year finished 18-13, though a late-season fade caused the Blue Demons to miss the NCAA tournament. With 81% of its scoring and 87% of its rebounding back this year, however, DePaul could become a Chicago drawing card for the first time in ages. "People are always telling us, 'Y'all could be better than Mark Aguirre's teams,'" says Williams, "but I've never seen Mark Aguirre play." (He was born in 1980, the year Aguirre was a junior.)
Well, Lance, he played a lot like Richardson, a bull on the inside who can also step outside to score. With the arrival of 7-footer Steven Hunter, Richardson will spend more time on the wing, the position he'll play in the pros. The biggest concern for the Deacons is at point guard. Kerry Hartfield, last year's skittish playmaker (with 70 turnovers to 96 assists), will move to shooting guard, and the point will be manned by untested sophomore Rashon Burno. "We don't need a Mateen Cleaves there," says coach Pat Kennedy. "We can do it with a Steve Wojciechowski. Rashon has got to be a Wojo for us. If he does that, we have a chance."
Issue date: November 15, 1999