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Better Know a Recruit: DePaul’s Al Eichelberger

DePaul doesn’t have a ton of bigs. Al Eichelberger is big.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at DePaul Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

If you look back to last season, it’s a bit hard to believe that DePaul was one of the tallest teams in the nation in terms of average height. Outside of Tommy Hamilton, DePaul’s bigs didn’t really make much of an impact.

Hamilton grabbed 5.5 rebounds per game and as a top 150 defensive rebound% at 21.4. He transferred to Texas Tech this offseason.

DePaul’s freshman class last year, largely recruited by the since-resigned Oliver Purnell, included bigs like Oumar Berry (6’10), Develle Phillips (6’9), and Fred Scott (6’7). All three never quite found the right fit in Dave Leitao’s rotation and transferred.

DePaul’s left in an unfavorable spot where their tallest returning player is walk-on Peter Ryckbosch (6’10). Of course, not all walk-ons are necessarily bad players. Ryckbosch saw time in 24 games last season and even made seven starts.

What does this all mean for DePaul? It means Tre’Darius McCallum, Levi Cook, and Al Eichelberger will all likely be thrown right into the fire.

Eichelberger, a 6’7 forward originally from Saginaw, Michigan, played at Indiana’s La Lumiere alongside fellow 2016 commit Brandon Cyrus.

Eichelberger moves quite well for a taller player, as you can see in his highlight video below. Also, he’s listed at 251 pounds, which would make him one of the bigger bodies on the DePaul roster.

While it’s entirely possible Eichelberger takes a bit of time to adjust to the college game, DePaul’s nonconference schedule (specifically the first five games) offer plenty of opportunities for Leitao and his staff to throw some of the younger guys onto the court and see what works.