Big East & FOX Sports Throw a Party

Big East & FOX Sports Throw a Party

DePaul got things started on Friday night with Balloons, Bagpipes, Bands, Foam Fingers, Food Trucks, FOX Sports, T-Shirts, and most important – Basketball.

The Blue Demons hosted a Big East Tip-Off Party at McGrath-Phillips Arena that was televised nationwide on FOX Sports 1.

The festivities began with a bounty of refreshments laid out under the "el" platform at Belden Avenue by some of the city of Chicago's favorite food trucks.

The action then moved indoors as the Blue Demons kicked things off with a TV special that was aired on Fox Sports 1.

DePaul senior forward Cleveland Melvin won the event's Slam Dunk contest with some ferocious jams off passes from Megan Podkowa.

A contigent of over 20 recruiting prospects took in the festivities in Lincoln Park.

DePaul coach Oliver Purnell had the opportunity to go on national TV to describe his 2013-14 squad, which features seven newcomers.

"I think we've got a schizophrenic type team in a good way," said Purnell. "We can go small and press and run. We can go big and strong, and zone people, and power the ball inside. I think it makes us more versatile."

The best thing for Purnell was that he made it through the evening without anybody getting hurt.

One newcomer is DePaul freshman guard Billy Garrett, Jr., who is expected to be in the starting lineup this season.

"It was a lot of fun," Garrett said of the night's activites. "It was a great way to introduce the team to the students. I thought their enthusiasm was pretty good. It was my first time doing it, so it was all new to me. I was just trying to take it all in."

Watch the following excerpt from the FOX Sports 1 special featuring Zach Zaidman going one on one with Purnell…

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