This past April, the DePaul Blue Demons added JUCO hooper Tre’Darius McCallum to their 2016-17 roster. The move was the absolute last that DePaul could make for the upcoming year as he nabbed the final scholarship available for head coach Dave Leitao, and Leitao & Co. are hoping that it will pay off for them.
DePaul has had experience in fielding transfers in the past. One in fact just left the program. That of course being Myke Henry, a former Illinois Fighting Illini forward who made an immediate impact for DePaul after stepping onto the floor two seasons ago. In addition to Henry, the Blue Demons have another JUCO player on the roster. Darrick Wood, whom Raymond Simms talked at length about on Sunday, can relate to McCallum in coming from a junior college and eventually landing at DePaul even if their paths were a little bit different.
McCallum didn’t quite have as topsy turvy of a trek as Wood did, though he hasn’t stuck around in just one place. He first wound up at Sheridan College before eventually transferring to notable junior college Indian Hills Community College. While he was there, he posted numbers of 11.8 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game and 1.5 steals (per DePaul Athletics).
The move to get McCallum was a savvy one as they are of course lacking in their front court. As mentioned in yesterday’s profile of Levi Cook, the Blue Demons don’t exactly have length this year as only two players on the roster are listed at 6’10. Tre’Darius isn’t exactly a skyscraper, but at 6’7”, he can give the Blue Demons a much-needed presence on the wing and down low as well when needed.
The easiest role to suggest for McCallum if he lands on the floor this year is probably that of Myke Henry’s from a year ago. Depending on the rotations that Leitao goes with it wouldn’t be too surprising if he were on the floor with DePaul’s bevy of guards. It’s an experienced ball club with three seniors who could crack the starting lineup -- Billy Garrett Jr., R.J. Curington, and the aforementioned Darrick Wood. Eli Cain earned enough in his freshman year to be a starter from day one of his sophomore season, so that will of course leave Leitao with the option of McCallum, Peter Ryckbosch or freshmen Al Eichelberger or Levi Cook.
Of course, Leitao could opt for similar lineups from last year and instead of going with four guards, he could opt for three with two forwards, giving him a better shot of being in the lineup. Since he’s experienced, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see him get significant minutes if he earns it. McCallum does have the numbers to back up his play, and anything close to 11 and 7 would be a welcome addition to the Blue Demons this coming year.
Whatever the case, DePaul fans will likely be familiarized with Tre’Darius McCallum sooner rather than later. If he adds instant impact, then he will become a very familiar face for them as they look to get themselves back up the ladder in the Big East. And McCallum seems capable of giving them a boost if and when it’s needed.