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Strus declares for NBA draft

Max Strus has averaged 23.5 over the last two games. (Photo Courtesy of DePaul Athletics)

Max Strus has averaged 23.5 over the last two games. (Photo Courtesy of DePaul Athletics)

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DePaul Blue Demon redshirt junior forward Max Strus has taken an important step on his journey towards realizing his NBA dream.

The university announced via a press release this afternoon Strus’ intention to declare for the 2018 NBA draft. He hasn’t hired an agent, meaning if he doesn’t hear his name called on June 21 he can return to DePaul for his senior season of eligibility.

“After talking with my family and coaching staff, I’m entering my name into the 2018 NBA draft to test the waters and get feedback,” Strus said. “In order to get a true sense as to where I stand in the eyes of the NBA, this is the best route to get direct communication with NBA teams.”

Strus is a 6-foot-6-inch wing player who has garnered praise for his motor, competitive edge, and athleticism. He can score from anywhere on the floor and finished 11th in the Big East Conference in scoring average (16.8 points per game) despite commanding the attention of the opposition’s best defender on a nightly basis and frequently having to navigate through double teams as well. He’s also a tenacious rebounder for his size and position, averaging 5.6 boards per game.

In an ESPN insider article written on Dec. 21, draft expert Mike Schmitz included Strus on a list of his most underrated wing prospects of 2018. Strus exploded for a season-high 33 points on two occasions, once against Northwestern on Dec. 21. and another time against Xavier on Dec. 30. He scored at least 20 points on ten other occasions and finished with double digit scoring in 26 out of 31 games. The 81 3-point field goals he poured in this season was the second highest single season total in school history.

If Strus is drafted that’d be a huge blow to a Blue Demon squad that graduated two starters (Marin Maric and Tre’Darius McCallum) and two key role players (Joe Hanel and Peter Ryckbosch) from a squad that finished in last place in the Big East last season. Sophomore guard Brandon Cyrus also recently announced his intention to transfer away from DePaul. But nobody is worrying about next season for now.

“This will be a great experience for Max and we’re excited for the opportunity in front of him to not only get feedback from NBA teams, but also compete against some of the best players in the sport of basketball,” Blue Demon head coach Dave Leitao said. “Going through the draft process will allow Max the opportunity to see where he stands among the group of draft-eligible players and also where he needs to develop to succeed at the highest level of our sport.”

As Strus hinted in his statement, this feels like an opportunity for him to receive feedback and then apply that feedback to his game next season when he exhausts his eligibility at the collegiate level in preparation for the 2019 NBA draft.

 

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Strus declares for NBA draft”

  1. Justin on March 28th, 2018 7:40 pm

    Before I graduated I was pumped for the new stadium. Easier to get to and thought maybe we’d bring back some flair, was definitely sipping the kool-aid . As an alum I’d love to get season tickets but it’s hard to spend money when they just continually throw garbage out there. Nothing against the players, its just how do we rehire an old coach. Sounds pretty lazy in my opinion. Have a vision! Maybe get a younger guy, someone connected to the city. AAU coach, top high school coach who knows. This city had such great teams a while back, and we still have great talent, but we’re just letting it leave. Open the pocket books for once and maybe get someone good who will at least give the alum and current students hope, compared to no hope right now. It’s comical that tax payers put 82mil towards that stadium and Depaul cant afford to pay a coach a whopping 3 mil a year??? But a college who has half of Depauls endowment (Wichita State) can. Quit being a laughing stock! Wish I had Jean Lenti Ponsetto job cause I’d do it for a lot less…… 16 years!!!! Time for someone new

    [Reply]

  2. Change At DPU on March 29th, 2018 9:41 am

    Best of luck, Max. Max’s mother played volleyball with failing Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto back in the late 70’s. Family friendship isn’t enough to not jump off a sinking ship when you see it going down. Congrats to Max for having the hindsight to get out while he still can. DePaul isn’t the “Junior NBA” according to our failing Athletic Director, so why stay? Whether the NBA or as a graduate transfer to your next University, we wish you the best, Max!

    Most importantly, when is President Esteban and the DePaul Board of Trustees going to hold failing Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto accountable for destroying our once proud, flagship and only revenue generating program? It’s time to #FireJLP

    [Reply]

  3. Joseph Bourelly on March 29th, 2018 8:41 pm

    I don’t see Strus getting drafted. He needs one more year, and even then I think he is a late second round draft pick at best. If he really wants to go pro next year, I’m sure there will be plenty of overseas opportunities.

    [Reply]

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Strus declares for NBA draft