Max Strus is on a mission to create a winning culture at DePaul

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Max Strus talks about his personal connection to DePaul and how it drives his desire to help create a winning culture.

[MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 1: Max Strus, D-II All-American from Hickory Hills, Illinois.

DAVE LEITAO: Seeing that he's taken such a different path to get to playing basketball at this level, becomes a very unique story.

ANNOUNCER 2: DePaul Blue Demon fans, you are going to love watching this guy play.

MAX STRUS: I'm here now, and it's a dream come true.

CROWD: Strus!

- In high school I always wanted to play Division I, but I didn't really get the opportunity, so I carry that chip on my shoulder. My experience was awesome at Lewis, but I decided to put myself in a better situation and try to play at a higher level-- more competitive.

- When he made a decision and made his decision public, we went a little bit backwards, investigated the background as in watching film, those kind of things. His mother is a graduate of DePaul and played basketball here.

- People tell me how my mom was a stud all the time. She played volleyball and basketball. She's in the Hall of Fame for volleyball.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

- Debbie Brinkman is a special basketball player here at DePaul University. She was one of our first recruits.

- He tells me all the time that she was an unbelievable player, she was a great rebounder, and she just worked really hard.

- We had a conversation about Max, about his mom, when we were recruiting him. To have a chance to go to the same place that your mother competed at-- and Max has a chance here of taking DePaul men's basketball to special places in the Big East that they've never been before.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

- It's a great family environment. I knew a lot about the school. It's close to home still, so my family comes to every single home game, and it was just a great fit overall.

- I knew his potential. Most importantly, I knew what kind of young man that we would be getting-- great teammate, a hard worker, and somebody who was ultimately very, very talented.

ANNOUNCER 3: Look at that by Strus.

ANNOUNCER 4: Oh, how about that? Wow!

ANNOUNCER 3: I don't know how they can stop this guy.

ANNOUNCER 4: Oh, man, Strus is bringing it.

- Well, we're in the process of changing the environment-- it's kind of been a losing culture around here. Coach Leitao has done a great job trying to fix that, and it's just been good since I've stepped on campus.

- Max is great player, a great guy off the court also. A really hard worker, a great teammate, a great leader. He's relaxed just like the rest of us, so it makes it pretty easy to transition in as a transfer.

- He's brought a humility, that when you come from where he comes from in Division II, he didn't mind doing whatever is necessary to help the program stabilize itself and ultimately get better.

- We've been struggling for a while now. I just want to get the program back to a winning culture, and get some wins and get back to the [INAUDIBLE] journey.

[CHEERING]