5 Thoughts: DePaul's dynamic duo surging

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
3:13
PM CT
Oliver PurnellAP Photo/Ed ReinkeCleveland Melvin has been getting the message and scoring at an elite level.
Here are five college basketball thoughts to chew on Monday.

1. DePaul is one of only two high-major programs to place a duo in the nation's top 80 scorers. Blue Demons sophomore forward Cleveland Melvin is tied for 37th in the country at 19.3 points per game, and sophomore guard Brandon Young is tied for 78th with 17.6 points. Wake Forest is the other team with Travis McKie (18.6 points) and C.J. Harris (17.9 points). Northwestern's John Shurna (18.9) and Drew Crawford (17.3) both fall in the top 100.

2. Illinois couldn't seem to lose at the United Center not too long ago. It won 18 consecutive games there from Dec. 8, 2001 to March 9, 2007. Lately, Chicago hasn't been the Illini's kind of town as Illinois has lost four of its last five games at the United Center. A year ago, the Illini fell to UIC before a full house of orange-clad fans. Illinois will look to reverse that trend when UNLV comes to town Saturday.
3. The last time Illinois and Northwestern were ranked at the same time was during the 1968-69 season. Both were ranked during a three-week span from Dec. 31 to Jan. 20 of that season. There was a chance of that happening again this season if Northwestern had defeated Baylor two weeks ago.

4. As a state, Illinois' 13 Division I teams have a 51-55 overall record. There are six teams over .500, one team at .500 and six teams under it. Illinois (10-0) is the only undefeated team. Northern Illinois (0-8) and Chicago State (0-9) are winless.

5. Loyola played with six scholarship players against Toledo on Saturday and won. The already depleted Ramblers found themselves without Walt Gibler and Joe Crisman due to injuries against Toledo. Ben Averkamp went off for a career-high 31 points, and walk-ons Bill Clark and London Dobubo played a total of 20 minutes off the bench to pull off the unlikely win.
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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