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18 DePaul The Blue Devils' Q rating got a big lift when their star unexpectedly spurned the NBA


Agents? DePaul sophomore Quentin (Q) Richardson knows all about
agents. During last year's Conference USA tournament, one gave
him a 7 a.m. wake-up call. Later, another said he'd pay $5,000
for a dinner date with Richardson, an offer that came in a
church. But the topper surely came when Richardson visited his
cousin Rico Hill while Hill was at an NBA predraft camp in
Chicago. Within seconds a swarm of agents surrounded him in the
lobby. "I was like, Man, I gotta get outta here," he says.

Funny, that's what everyone thought Richardson would say about
DePaul after winning national freshman of the year honors last
season. Instead, he took stock of his debut (18.9 points and
10.5 boards a game) and his likely NBA draft position (from 10th
to 15th) and decided to spend at least one more year with the
Blue Demons. "Last year I won a lot of individual awards," says
Q, "but I didn't get a chance to win any type of championship."

Fueled by three as-good-as-advertised hometown
freshmen--Richardson, 6'9" forward Lance Williams and 6'7"
forward Bobby Simmons--DePaul last year finished 18-13, though a
late-season fade caused the Blue Demons to miss the NCAA
tournament. With 81% of its scoring and 87% of its rebounding
back this year, however, DePaul could become a Chicago drawing
card for the first time in ages. "People are always telling us,
'Y'all could be better than Mark Aguirre's teams,'" says
Williams, "but I've never seen Mark Aguirre play." (He was born
in 1980, the year Aguirre was a junior.)

Well, Lance, he played a lot like Richardson, a bull on the
inside who can also step outside to score. With the arrival of
7-footer Steven Hunter, Richardson will spend more time on the
wing, the position he'll play in the pros. The biggest concern
for the Deacons is at point guard. Kerry Hartfield, last year's
skittish playmaker (with 70 turnovers to 96 assists), will move
to shooting guard, and the point will be manned by untested
sophomore Rashon Burno. "We don't need a Mateen Cleaves there,"
says coach Pat Kennedy. "We can do it with a Steve
Wojciechowski. Rashon has got to be a Wojo for us. If he does
that, we have a chance."




SF Quentin Richardson[1] 6'6" So. 18.9 ppg
PF Bobby Simmons[1] 6'7" So. 11.2 ppg
C Steven Hunter 7'0" Fr. 8.5 bpg*
SG Kerry Hartfield[1] 6'1" Sr. 8.9 ppg
PG Rashon Burno 5'7" So. 2.5 apg

1998-99 record: 18-13 Final rank (coaches' poll): unranked
Returning starter[1] *As high school senior