Jeff Eisenberg

Interest from Anthony Davis is a great sign for rebuilding DePaul

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A month after highly touted power forward Anthony Davis cut the list of colleges he's considering to three, the future McDonald's All-American told ESPN Chicago that a new contender has emerged.

"DePaul's very intriguing," said Davis, a Chicago native. "It's really nice. They're local. My family could see every game. The Big East is a tough conference. It's really exciting. Coach (Oliver) Purnell seems like a nice guy."

It's unlikely that Davis will actually pick DePaul over the likes of Kentucky, Syracuse and Ohio State, but it's a moral victory for the Blue Demons that a player of his caliber is even considering them. One of the biggest questions surrounding the hire of Purnell from Clemson was whether he could keep Chicago prospects at home, so this certainly represents a step in the right direction.

Most marquee programs hadn't paid much attention to Davis until a growth spurt transformed him from a 6-foot-2 shooting guard as a sophomore into the versatile 6-foot-10 power forward he is today. In the span of a few short months during the spring and summer circuit, he's caught the attention of numerous marquee coaches and risen into the conversation for the top player in the Class of 2011.

Davis isn't the only promising Chicago prospect in the Class of 2011 that DePaul is having success recruiting. The Blue Demons are also one of the programs 6-foot-8 power forward Mike Shaw is considering.

"It's definitely a good option for me," the top-100 prospect told earlier this month. "I want to go some place I can get up and down and play my game, be versatile. Those are all things DePaul brings."

Merely receiving interest from Chicago-area recruits won't be enough to win over skeptical DePaul fans, but if Purnell can land players like Shaw or Davis, it's only a matter of time.

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