DePaul picks up graduate transfer Ray Salnave

Ray Salnave has joined DePaul as a graduate transfer

Courtesy of Karlee Sell of Asbury Park Press

Ray Salnave has joined DePaul as a graduate transfer

After losing five players to the transfer portal since the season ended in March, DePaul has now added three transfers to help bolster the 2020-21 roster. Monmouth graduate transfer Ray Salnave announced on Wednesday that he chose DePaul over Loyola Marymount, joining Javon Freeman-Liberty and Courvoisier McCauley to commit to the Blue Demons in the last month. 

Salnave also had St. John’s in his final three schools, but the Red Storm were out of scholarship spots for next season, leaving the New York native with DePaul and Loyola Marymount as his final two options. 

“DePaul was there from the jump,” Salnave told The DePaulia. “One of the first few schools to reach out. Through talks, they expressed a need for someone of my caliber to immediately impact the team in a positive way. They also promised to make my needs a priority in regards to what I’m looking for in my last year. The coaches I spoke with made me feel comfortable”

During his redshirt junior season, Salnave averaged 14.6 points per game on 40.4 percent shooting from the field and 37.9 percent from behind the arc. In the 2019-20 season, the 6-foot-3 guard played in all 31 games while starting 27 of them, leading Monmouth to an 18-13 overall record and a 12-8 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. At the end of the season, Salnave was named to the All-MAAC Second Team. 

“They can expect a vocal leader, a tough New York City grimey player who’s not afraid of big moments,” Salnave said. “Someone who can lead and is willing to do whatever it takes to win. I want to change the narrative of whatever school I choose, being that they both are coming off tough seasons.

The Blue Demons are coming off a season where they started 12-1, with signature wins over Texas Tech, Iowa and Minnesota in the non-conference portion of their schedule, but went 3-15 in Big East play — which resulted in a fourth straight last place finish in the conference. As the 10th seed in the 2020 Big East Tournament, DePaul knocked off Xavier 71-67 in the first round on March 11 and was slated to face Villanova in the quarterfinals the next night. But the conference called off the rest of the tournament due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Since the season ended, Devin Gage, Flynn Cameron, Mick Sullivan, Sullivan Menard and Jalen Coleman-Lands have entered the transfer portal. But the Blue Demons have been able to add two players via the portal so far — Freeman-Liberty and McCauley — but they have to receive a waiver in order to play next season.

Salnave, on the other hand, is immediately eligible because he is a graduate transfer and has a chance to start away with junior Charlie Moore in the backcourt. 

“I was looking for a staff that would respect me as a player and person,” Salnave said. “And be able to play me in a way that would help me get to the next level. With that being said, I was looking for a school that would develop me as well for the next level.”

In back-to-back games this season against Princeton and Albany, Salnave knocked down two game-winners to give his team both wins. While being one of the more prolific scorers in the MAAC this past season, finishing fifth in the league in total points with 450, Salnave also led Monmouth in steals with 45 and finished fifth in the conference in that department. 

“My confidence is sky high, I love those end of the game moments,” Salnave said. “I’m very good with the ball in my hand. I can break defenses down and I believe I’m savvy enough to create for myself and others. I draw a lot of attention and can make plays through traffic. I think my passing is overlooked. I’m a killer in transition and from the mid range area. My 3-point shot has improved a lot. I think I am a good on ball defender — even better help defender. I love to take charges. I just want to win, I have that winner’s mentality.”