Digger Phelps: DePaul hoops could be as good as any program in nation

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College basketball analyst Digger Phelps says DePaul still has the potential to be a “prime job” for the new coach.

Appearing on 670 The Score’s “Mully and Hanley Show,” Phelps said DePaul needs to keep local kids at home and build a small stadium near campus.

“Get them summer jobs and you can do this,” Phelps said. “When they’re not in school they can work and they can get jobs making $25 an hour. Get them in a union, who cares? Get them going.

“They need a gym near that campus that seats about 8,000. Period. And then they play six games — like UConn does. They play in Storrs and they play six games a year in Hartford, where it seats 19,000.”

Every Illinois school is trying to figure out how to keep Chicago kids in-state. Illinois, which was in a national championship game 10 years ago, is mired in a similar hole.

“(DePaul) could become as good as any school in the country, in any conference, even the Big East, if they keep those kids home in Chicago.” Phelps said. “That’s my opinion.”

DePaul parted ways with Oliver Purnell, who resigned during the weekend after five years at the university. Purnell finished 54-105 at DePaul and was 15-75 in the Big East.

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