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DePaul still without Melvin, Garrett, McKinney vs. Providence

BrandYoung (above) said he has reached out ClevelMelvduring Melvin's suspension. “I’ve played with Cleve since we came here together as

Brandon Young (above) said he has reached out to Cleveland Melvin during Melvin's suspension. “I’ve played with Cleve since we came here together as freshmen. He’s like a brother,” Young said. | Laurence Kesterson/AP

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Updated: January 31, 2014 7:54PM

An undermanned DePaul team again will take the floor Saturday against Providence, with Cleveland Melvin still under suspension and starting point guard Billy Garrett Jr. and junior Charles McKinney still ailing.

“We’re still right where we were [against Seton Hall last Saturday],” coach Oliver Purnell said Friday. “For Billy, it’s a slow process, and we’re going game-by-game. Charles’ ankle is still sore, and Cleve is still suspended indefinitely.”

Purnell couldn’t elaborate on Melvin’s situation.

“Anytime I have to suspend anyone, I consider it serious,” he said of the team’s leading scorer. “I can’t elaborate.”

McKinney sprained his ankle in the team’s 84-74 loss to Xavier on Jan. 20.

Purnell said he again will start walk-on guard Edwind McGhee, guard Durrell McDonald and forward DeJuan Marrero with Brandon Young and Sandi Marcius against the Friars (15-6, 5-3 Big East).

“It’s tough, but you have adversity in life. You have to look for silver linings and think of this as an opportunity, and they have to grab it,” Purnell said. “Everyone has to step up their games.”

Young, whom Purnell benched for the second half of the Xavier game, rebounded to score 23 points in the 86-69 loss at Seton Hall last Saturday.

“I don’t disagree with any of coach Purnell’s decisions,” Young said. “I’m behind him 100 percent. It’s like Coach says, we have to pull together as a team and be a family and trust one another.

``You always like a challenge, and that’s what I’m here for.”

Young said he has reached out to Melvin during the suspension.

“I’ve played with Cleve since we came here together as freshmen. He’s like a brother,” he said.

Purnell said he will “tweak’’ some aspects of the team’s game because of the short bench.

The Blue Demons (10-11, 2-6) also will be without suspended guard Jamee Crockett. But Purnell said he could be reinstated soon.

“I’m hoping to reinstate him shortly, and hopefully he can start conditioning work next week,” he said, adding that Crockett also is recovering from mononucleosis.


Twitter: @toniginnetti

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