The DePaul men’s basketball roster and staff are full of different backgrounds and schools, creating a diverse and experienced team. However, for a few members of the team, the connections they share to the University of Oregon helped assist them as they transitioned into their new roles at DePaul.
Head coach Tony Stubblefield spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Oregon before taking the helm for the Blue Demons last spring. With his assistance, the Ducks earned eight trips to the NCAA Tournament and 10 postseason appearances in total.
And while Stubblefield greatly valued his time spent with Oregon, he has enjoyed his transition to DePaul and seeing the city of Chicago support the Blue Demons. Their dedication is what motivates Stubblefield to push the team to try to be its best, especially against the fierce competition in the Big East.
“Coming from the PAC-12 to the Big East, you’re staying at a very high level of competition of what you’re facing night in and night out, so there’s been no drop in that,” Stubblefield said. “Probably been even a more challenging league; a tough league from top to bottom.”
Once Stubblefield joined the DePaul staff, he focused on recruiting and bringing additional talent to the Blue Demons. And in doing so, he turned to one of his former players at Oregon — sophomore guard Jalen Terry, who transferred to DePaul last May.
Terry was recruited to Oregon by Stubblefield and played in 20 games with one start for the Ducks. He appreciates that he had Stubblefield as a coach at Oregon and the confidence Stubblefield has in him as a player.
“[Stubblefield was] a great coach there at Oregon, and he always pushed me to do better and pushed me to go harder every day, so I need that type of motivation,” Terry said. “I believe [that] he believes in me and has confidence in me, and I need that type of support.”
That confidence has helped Terry join the Blue Demons and be a strong player off the bench. He has played in 10 games with one start and is averaging 27.5 minutes and 5.3 points per game.
And the additional year that Terry had with Stubblefield at Oregon helps them both know what to expect from one another now at DePaul.
“Jalen knows what I want from a coaching standpoint offensively and defensively, he knows my personality,” Stubblefield said. “And just being around him for a couple of years, I know his personality, what makes him tick. I know his strengths and weaknesses, so I’m just excited he’s here.”
The Oregon connection on the team extends off the court as well.
Patrick Scully, the director of basketball operations, also joined the DePaul staff in May from Oregon, where he worked as a graduate assistant and video coordinator after graduating from there.
Scully worked with Stubblefield for years and saw Terry grow as a player in the year that he played with the Ducks.
“With Jalen, what you get is what you get in the sense that he comes in, whether it’s the practice floor, the weight room or in study hall, he comes in and he handles his business,” Scully said. “I think Jalen will also say that he didn’t necessarily have the same approach as an 18-year-old at Oregon, so for me it’s been awesome to see his maturity and development over the past 14 to 15 months.”
Now at DePaul, Scully does a bit of everything for the Blue Demons. He coordinates the team’s schedule and travel and helps with scouting. Additionally, he’s able to continue working with Stubblefield after years at Oregon, which he was grateful for in his transition to DePaul.
“It was really good, I think, for all three of us, just having that comfortability and support and just knowing that you’re in this kind of new environment with people that you know, trust and that you’re familiar with,” Scully said. “I know speaking for myself, especially to have someone like Coach Stubbs, who’s been a mentor to me for eight or nine years, it’s been an incredible opportunity.”