Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Email Travel Subscribe SI About Us College Basketball Women's

  m. college bb
baseball S
pro football S
col. football S
pro basketball S
w. college bb S
hockey S
golf plus S
tennis S
soccer S
motor sports
olympic sports
women's sports
more sports

 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Multimedia Central
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide
 Work in Sports GROUP
 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia

Windy City stars have DePaul shining

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Tuesday October 31, 2000 5:37 PM


By Seth Davis, Sports Illustrated

CHICAGO -- When Pat Kennedy came to DePaul three years ago, he said he would make recruiting the city of Chicago his top priority. Mission accomplished. Six of Kennedy's players, including three of his projected starters, are from the Windy City, and 12 of his 14 players are from Illinois. It's much more important for Kennedy to be successful in Chicago than it is for, say, Steve Lavin in L.A. or Mike Jarvis in New York City. "Chicago is a unique market. They really love their own," Kennedy told me. "In New York the high school kids get very little coverage in the newspapers unless you're a superstar."

Kennedy has brought in two more local stars this season, 6-2 point guard Imari Sawyer and 6-8 power forward Andre Brown. Sawyer prefers to make the spectacular (but not always successful) play over the boring sure-thing, but then again Kennedy isn't known for being a staunch disciplinarian. It may be a little touchy trying to divide time at the point between Sawyer and 5-7 junior Rashon Burno, but since this team is desperately lacking shooters and wing players, Kennedy will have to play the two of them together. That combination won't always look pretty, but at least it won't be dull.

Over the last decade, the teams with the most success in the NCAA tournament have had excellent guard play, and in that sense DePaul has some serious deficiencies. But the Blue Demons are so big and athletic up front that they should still be a factor on the national scene. Now that Quentin Richardson is gone, 6-7 junior Bobby Simmons should be the No. 1 option. Junior Lance Williams looked terribly out of shape during the practice I watched, but at 6-9 and 250 pounds he's still a load to handle on the blocks. Steve Hunter, a 7-0 sophomore, has a huge upside, as does Brown, who gets off the floor very quickly for a guy his size. Kennedy has also been criticized for not doing enough to develop his players' skills. The performances of Hunter, Simmons and Williams will shed light on whether that stigma is warranted. (Hunter, incidentally, is very much looking forward to the Great Alaska Shootout during Thanksgiving week, because that's when he'll face highly acclaimed Ohio State center Ken Johnson. )

The Blue Demons' best hope for success this season is to turn games into a slightly sanitized version of pickup ball. It's won't be enough, however, for opponents to slow down the tempo. They'll also have to hit their outside shots, because no one will beat these guys on the glass.

Several Sports Illustrated writers are touring college campuses and will file occasional Postcards for

Related information
Postcards from Campus: North Carolina
Postcards from Campus: Duke
Postcards from Campus: Seton Hall
Postcards from Campus: Notre Dame
Postcards from Campus: Illinois
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day
Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

CNNSI Copyright © 2001
CNN/Sports Illustrated
An AOL Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.