Purdue head coach Matt Painter doesn’t take shortcuts in terms of constructing a program. An method centered on participant growth has resulted within the Boilermakers making 12 NCAA Match journeys in Painter’s first 16 seasons as coach.
The usual stays simply as excessive this season. With the choice of All-Massive Ten ahead Trevion Williams to return again for his senior season, Purdue returns all 5 starters and 9 scholarship gamers from a group that completed 18–10 final season and earned a No. 4 seed within the NCAA Match. The Boilermakers will deliver again 94.6 p.c of their scoring and 88.2 p.c of their rebounding from final season, which ended with a loss to North Texas within the opening spherical of the NCAA Match.
Regardless of the disappointing postseason final result, Purdue will enter 2021-22 season as one of many favorites to win the Massive Ten title. The Boilermakers might additionally discover themselves ranked within the preseason high 10 in nationwide polls for the primary time since 2009. There may be expertise, measurement, expertise and depth in any respect positions, the components wanted to win championships.
Associated: College Basketball Top 25 for 2021-22
At a Look
HEAD COACH: Matt Painter
2020-21 RECORD (BIG TEN): 18-10 (13-6)
2020-21 POSTSEASON: NCAA: Misplaced to North Texas 78-69 within the first spherical
F Aaron Wheeler (3.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
The 6’10”, 265-pound Williams has led Purdue in scoring and rebounding in every of the final two seasons. Williams has posted 21 profession double-doubles in his first three seasons at Purdue and is a superb passer within the put up. He is one in every of simply 5 lively gamers nationally with greater than 950 profession factors (967), 625 profession rebounds (630) and 125 profession assists (126).
Sophomore 7’4″ middle Zach Edey proved he might deal with himself inside as a freshman within the Massive Ten final season, averaging 8.7 factors and 4.4 rebounds whereas taking pictures 59.7 p.c from the ground. At occasions, Williams and Edey performed on the courtroom on the identical time, although Painter most popular having one of many two on the bench to spell the opposite in case of fatigue or foul hassle.
Third-year 6’6″ sophomore Mason Gillis can be counted on to stretch defenses from the ability ahead spot once more after taking pictures 35.2 p.c from 3-point vary final season. Gillis began 23 of 28 video games for the Boilermakers and was strong on the foul line, making 81.4 p.c of his makes an attempt.
Sophomore Jaden Ivey, who made Staff USA’s 19-under nationwide group this summer time, emerged within the second half of his freshman season as a scorer able to each attending to the basket and taking pictures from the perimeter. The 6’4″ Ivey averaged 18.2 factors, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists over his final six video games, together with scoring 26 factors within the North Texas loss, the second-most factors for a Massive Ten freshman making his NCAA Match debut in league historical past.
Purdue additionally brings again a pair of three-year starters within the backcourt in senior level guard Eric Hunter Jr. and senior taking pictures guard Sasha Stefanovic. Hunter (26 steals) is Purdue’s greatest perimeter defender and has improved his ball dealing with and decision-making, whereas Stefanovic, with 139 profession 3-pointers, is Purdue’s high perimeter scoring risk.
There’s good depth within the backcourt with junior Isaiah Thompson, sophomore Brandon Newman and sophomore Ethan Morton all returning. Newman shot 37.9 p.c from 3-point vary and began 23 video games earlier than Ivey emerged. Morton struggled via some accidents as a freshman however is a former Pennsylvania Mr. Basketball with good courtroom imaginative and prescient and is flexible sufficient to play a number of spots.
Purdue will all the time play a rugged, bodily fashion underneath Painter, however decision-making with the basketball and perimeter protection are two areas the place the Boilermakers might want to proceed to enhance to ensure that Purdue to achieve its championship targets this season. Management might want to come from Williams and the senior beginning backcourt tandem of Hunter and Stefanovic.
If Ivey and Edey proceed to emerge and the supporting solid can proceed to fill roles, Purdue might discover itself successful a convention crown and making a deep NCAA Match run this season.
Postseason Prediction: NCAA Match Candy 16
Massive Ten Prediction: 2
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