"I feel like I can replace him," said Demps, a 6-3 senior combo guard from San Antonio. "He's a great point guard. I've watched a lot of tape on him. Those are big shoes to fill, but I feel like I can fill them."
Demps showed Northwestern and others he was capable of playing at that level recently at the LeBron James Skill Academy. Before the camp, Demps was being recruited by mostly low- and mid-major programs. After it, Northwestern, Minnesota and others were after him. ESPN's Jay Bilas named Demps one of his top 12 players at the camp.
"I think my performances at the LeBron James Skill Academy showed not only I could play, but I could outplay some of the top stars in the country," said Demps, whose father Dell Demps is the San Antonio Spurs' director of pro player personnel. "I think some of the top schools in the country saw that. My motivation was looking at the websites and seeing those other players getting recruited by Duke and North Carolina. I still haven't [been] ranked by anyone yet. That was a big motivation for me."
Northwestern won out over Colorado and Minnesota because of its academics and the chance to immediately play. Wildcats assistant coach Tavaras Hardy was the lead recruiter on Demps.
"I just felt like academically it fit me perfectly as far as me wanting to go into journalism after basketball," Demps said. "Also, it was a situation where I have a great opportunity to come in right away and have the ball in my hands my whole career. I don't think I could find a better place in the country for me."
Demps averaged 19 points and four assists as a junior at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.
Demps is Northwestern's second Class of 2011 recruit. Benet guard David Sobolewski committed earlier this month.
Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.