On the court, 6-foot-3 combo guard Tre Demps never cared whether he played No. 1 or No. 2. So it’s only fitting that he doesn’t care if Northwestern is No. 1 or No. 2 – that is, the No. 1 or No. 2 journalism school in the country.
Demps, a San Antonio native, said he was enticed not only by the chance to play (and win) right away, but also by the top-flight journalism school.
“That’s probably one of the first things I thought about: If basketball doesn’t work out, you got to have a backup plan,” Demps said. “So I think the No. 2 or No. 1 journalism school in the country, that was one of the main things I looked at.”
While Northwestern’s eminent reputation in journalism was definitely a selling point, Demps – NU’s second 2011 commit along with Lisle, Ill., guard David Sobolewski – is still a basketball player. And he looked at a lot more than U.S. News rankings when he was trying to decide on a college.
“I can see myself in that system,” Demps, a two-star guard, said. “They really spread the court out. I watched a lot of film of Michael Thompson, and I could see myself doing some of things he did when he was there. The way they spread things, it will give me a lot of driving opportunities.”
Thompson will be a senior next season, so Demps’ arrival will coincide with Thompson’s departure. That is apparently something that crossed Demps’ mind.
“(Thompson) being a really good knock down shooter and someone who can create off the dribble – those are things I can do too. I’m a bigger guard than he is, but I could see myself filling his shoes.”
Demps also had scholarship offers from Colorado and Minnesota, and was receiving interest from Vanderbilt. But the combination of potential playing time, a system that suits his skill set and a ballyhooed journalism school was all Demps needed to pull the trigger on a commitment.
“Anywhere where I can feel like I’m needed instead of wanted – that was important to me,” Demps said. “That I would jump on and contribute right away is important. But the main thing though is winning basketball games and trying to take the program to the next level.”
2011 commits Sobolewski and Demps will join 2010 signee Jershon Cobb (Decatur, Ga.) in the Wildcats’ backcourt. That trio – along with rising sophomore guards Drew Crawford and Alex Marcotullio – figure to give Northwestern a stellar backcourt for years to come.
Another part of Northwestern’s lure was the relationship Demps developed with NU assistant Tavaras Hardy, who played for the Wildcats from 1998-2002.
“He’s a very good guy,” Demps said of Hardy. “He’s a person I really respect and valued. I trusted him right away even though I talked to him very few times. He knows a lot about the campus and he kind of gave me an idea of what it’d be like if I were to go to there.”
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