Mark Titus previews this year's Big East conference and takes an always deserved dig at DePaul.
Coach on the Hot Seat — Oliver Purnell (DePaul)
I know. You're surprised that Purnell is still coaching at DePaul. I was, too. I remember him confusing the college basketball world when he left Clemson for DePaul in 2010. Since I haven't heard anything about him in three years, I figured he arrived in Lincoln Park, realized he made a huge mistake, immediately resigned, and spent the last three years fishing. But nope — DePaul's website still has him listed as the head coach, even though no coach in DePaul basketball history has ever gone through a worse three-year stretch than than Purnell has in the past three.
I'm only half-joking about not knowing Purnell was still at DePaul. What's not a joke, though, is that I had no idea until I recently saw it on Wikipedia that Purnell has the same number of NCAA tournament head coaching wins as I do. Even as I read that back it makes no sense. Oliver Purnell has been a Division I head basketball coach since 1988 and he has zero NCAA tournament wins?! ZERO?! As in five less than Steve Alford and one less than Frank Haith? How is that possible? More importantly, why don't DePaul fans hold up signs that read "Oliver Purnell Has 0 NCAA Wins" at games? Why is there not a "Has Oliver Purnell won an NCAA tournament game?" website likeHasMarioBalotelliMissedAPenalty.com that just reads "NO" when you go to it? I was planning on using this space to talk about how the Blue Demons somehow aren't even the best team in Chicago anymore and how Purnell makes $1.8 million a year even though he finished last in the Big East in each of his three seasons at DePaul. But finding out Purnell has zero NCAA tournament wins changed all that. This is my new favorite college basketball statistic. I'm now cheering for DePaul to make the tourney this year just so Purnell can add to his 0-for-6 total.
We miss you already DePaul.