Purdue Boilermakers (25-7, 14-4)
Reached Sweet 16 (lost to VCU 94-76).
Coach Matt Painter (112-56)
Projected starting five:
Sr. F Robbie Hummel (Three-time All-Big Ten selection)
Jr. G/F D.J. Byrd
Jr. G Kelsey Barlow
Sr. G Ryne Smith (85.5 percent free throw shooter)
Sr. G Lewis Jackson
JaJuan Johnson: 20.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg
E’Twaun Moore: 18.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.2 apg, 40 percent from 3-point range
Fr. PF Donnie Hale (Rivals.com three-star player)
Fr. PF Jacob Lawson (Rivals.com three-star player)
The Boilermakers return only 47 percent and 62 percent of their points scored and rebounding, respectively. This is due to the loss of two starters, JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore, and the early season loss of Hummel. The addition of two physical freshman, 6’ 8” Donnie Hale and Jacob Lawson, and Hummel’s health will make the sky the limit for this team. Assistant coach Mike Jackson joins Painter’s staff this season and should help bring along the freshman talent.
An interesting match up against Miami at the end of November could leave Purdue stunned if they don’t show up ready to play. A brutal stretch of conference play has them facing Wisconsin, Michigan, and Michigan State in a span of twelve days. I see Purdue waiting until they make it to the National Tournament before really unleashing fury on their opponents and erasing a lackluster season from the minds of fans.