For most of the last decade, there hasn’t been much for DePaul fans to be happy about, but the play of forward Cleveland Melvin at least provided some hope whenever the Blue Demons took the floor in recent years.
But Melvin’s career at DePaul came to an abrupt end Monday with the school saying the senior no longer is enrolled. Melvin, the Blue Demons’ leading scorer with 16.7 points per game, had been suspended for the last four games for an unspecified violation of team rules. The school did not say why Melvin no longer is enrolled.
DePaul spokesman Greg Greenwell said the school and coach Oliver Purnell would have no further comment. A phone message left at a number believed to belong to Melvin’s father, Cleveland, was not immediately returned.
After DePaul’s 84-74 loss to Xavier on Jan. 20, Purnell called out his seniors, saying the Blue Demons needed better leadership from their veterans. Senior guard Brandon Young did not play in the second half of that game, but Melvin did.
Melvin was made available to the media before DePaul’s next game Jan. 25 against Seton Hall but did not play in that game, the first of his suspension. DePaul is 0-4 without Melvin and 10-14 for the season.
Melvin was named Big East rookie of the year after a freshman season in which he averaged 14.3 points, and he had a standout sophomore season, averaging a career-best 17.5 points and 7.4 rebounds.