It has been a good offseason for Tre Demps. However, there was no better night for the redshirt freshman guard than May 31, the night of the NBA Lottery.
Demps' father, Dell, is the general manager of the New Orleans Hornets. During the selection of each ping pong ball, Tre was in the Northwestern locker room, watching nervously.
It came down to two teams -- the Charlotte Bobcats and Hornets -- for the No. 1 overall selection, the right to draft Kentucky standout Anthony Davis.
"I was screaming in the locker room, watching the lottery in there," Demps recalled. "I was like, 'say Bobcats at No. 2!'"
Surely enough, the Bobcats drew the draft's second selection, leaving the Hornets with a new superstar and hope for the franchise.
"It's a great feeling," said Tre. "(Dell Demps) is really excited, and I expect them to have pretty good year and surprise a lot of people."
That's only part of Demps's recent good fortunes. After his promising freshman season ended with shoulder surgery and a long rehabilitation process, he has rejoined the Wildcats in summer practices.
Demps worked hard with Northwestern's strength and conditioning coach, Mike Schweigert. The rehab guided Demps to what he believes is his best physical condition ever.
"I feel great, my shoulder is all healed up, I'm ready to go," Demps said. "I'm coming in here looking to help in anyway that I can. Whatever role Coach Carmody wants me to play, I'm willing to play. I just want to help this team win games and get into the tournament."
The competition is tight as Northwestern features one of its deepest teams yet. That is especially true at guard, where Demps will have to battle for playing time with returning starters Dave Sobolewski, Jershon Cobb and Alex Marcotullio, plus true freshman Kale Abrahamson.
Fortunately for Demps, he is '100 percent' healthy and is prepared to fight for playing time.
"It's just a lot of fun competing," said Demps. "This is a game we've all played for 12-plus years. It's a lot of fun, that's all I can really say. Guys are competing and playing hard. We're getting better everyday. Ultimately, it's about how we do as a team."
Demps is a true combo guard who has the abilities to play the point guard or two guard position. As a true freshman, he started his first game, a win over Texas Pan-American, then played in parts of three more games before being shut down to to shoulder soreness from an offseason injury.
Looking ahead to the season, Demps feels he can bring a multi-faceted game to Northwestern's lineup.
"I think I have a lot of versatility," he said. "I just want to make plays, get guys involved; when I have an opportunity, score. I want to make plays happen and just push the ball."
While the competition on the court between each Wildcat is heated, the relationships are stronger than ever. That's why Demps is optimistic this season will be a success.
"It's a great vibe, we have a lot of chemistry on and off the court," he said. "Some of the freshmen last year, me, Dave (Sobolewski) and Mike (Turner), we're really starting to chill, become veterans and help these younger guys out. We have a great group of guys with a lot of versatility."