DePaul will feature in Paradise Jam tournament next season


Alexa Sandler/The DePaulia

DePaul junior guard Sonya Morris looks to drive past a Villanova defender on Monday at Wintrust Arena.

The DePaul women’s basketball team is one of eight teams set to compete in the Paradise Jam tournament in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands next season.

The three-day tournament will run from Nov. 25-27, with the Blue Demons representing the Big East conference.

Arizona, last season’s NCAA Tournament runner-ups, are also set to participate along with Northwestern, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Pittsburgh and South Dakota.

This will be the first tournament held since the 2020 edition was canceled because of Covid-19.

We wanted to make sure we made up for last year’s absence by getting the amazing people of the Virgin Islands something to be excited about for the 22nd year of this event,” said Paradise Jam Executive Director Nels Hawkinson in a statement. “This field of strong women’s programs has everything you want in an elite preseason event, and we‘re excited to see it translate onto the court.

DePaul is no stranger to the tournament as the Blue Demons took part in 2012 and finished in second place. Arizona, Northwestern and South Dakota are the only three teams out of the eight set to make their debut.

Being able to host the tournament once again was a priority for the organizers following last year’s cancellation.

“Having no women’s event last year was heartbreaking for us since we feel that we have become well-known for putting together one of the strongest women’s fields in the country year after year,” said Tournament Director Jennifer Ashby. “Bringing in these eight big women’s programs will give the Virgin Islands the same memorable experience they have become so used to, and we know the teams will feel the same about their stay in St. Thomas.”

The Paradise Jam tournament should represent a good opportunity for coach Doug Bruno to see what kind of team he has for the upcoming season.

DePaul went 14-10, 11-5 in conference play, last season and missed out on the NCAA Tournament. One of the goals next season, at minimum, will be to make a bid and get back in the tournament.

The schedule, and opponents, for DePaul will be released at a later time. Fans will be given the option to buy packages and travel to the Virgin Islands to support their team. For those who can’t make it, they can catch the action on ESPN 3 and ESPN+.