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Purnell secures first commitment

By Joe Henricksen

Oliver Purnell landed his first commitment as head coach at DePaul, gaining a verbal commitment from Crete-Monee’s Jamie Crockett. The 6-4 highly-athletic wing committed to the Blue Demons on Tuesday.

Crockett, who in March told the Hoops Report Dayton was very high on his list, shows Purnell and the Blue Demons are poised to target Chicago area kids.

“Purnell came in and did and said the right things with Jamie,” says Crockett’s club coach Mike Irvin of the Mac Irvin Fire program. “He [Purnell] is trying to do the right thing in recruiting city and Chicago area kids. Jamie is one of the best athletes in the country, and it’s a chance for him to play in the Big East and in front of his friends and family.”

Crockett, who is the No. 18 ranked player in the Hoops Report Class of 2011 player rankings, has shown this spring an improved jumper from the perimeter, though he must gain consistency with it. He also must continue to make strides in putting the ball on the floor. He’s a high-major athlete who will wow you at times with his high-flying finishes at the rim.

While this may not be the blockbuster recruit DePaul fans may have been hoping for in the Class of 2011, it shows a certain degree of importance of recruiting the Chicago area by Purnell and his staff.