2007 Purdue Boilermakers Basketball Preview
The Purdue Boilermakers (22- 12 overall, 9- 7 Big Ten) certainly rebounded last season as they improved from nine wins in 2005- 2006 to 22 in 2006- 2007 and found themselves in the March Madness bracket. They had missed the Big Dance the previous season. In his first two years, coach Matt Painter (31- 31 in two years at Purdue, 56- 36 overall in three years) managed to get the Boilermakers back on track.
In terms of scoring last year, Purdue placed fourth in the Big Ten as they averaged 69.9 PPG. The club was eighth in scoring defense, limiting teams to 63.4 PPG. More ball movement and rebounding acumen would help this team a lot both in rankings and in the college basketball odds. The Boilermakers placed eighth in assists and in rebounding. With 14.0 TPG, they were sixth in that category. The team’s .678 FT% was lower than it should be.
Forward Gordon Watt (7.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 46.7 FG%) may be short, but he’s also extremely tough and determined, and coach Painter certainly admires his character. Look for Watt to continue to improve through hard work and drive. Freshman center JaJuan Johnson looks to be the real thing. Freshmen swingmen Robbie Hummel and Scott Martin will both be tapped to play important minutes in every game. Hummel is a true team player and Martin can find net from downtown.
The only senior on the Purdue team is point guard Tarrance Crump (5.6 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 41.7 FG%). Crump can penetrate with blinding quickness, but he must improve his defense. Guard Kris Kramer (7.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 43FG%) proved to be an able defender and shooter last year. Freshman E’Twaun Moore joins the team and brings a fine shot and good hands.
Purdue’s program is in flux. They have lost some valuable players and are looking for some others to step-up. Coach Matt Painter has made progress in a short amount of time, and it looks like he has a fine class of recruits. Look for the Boilermakers to be competitive in a conference that continues to raise the stakes. Another March Madness bid is certainly possible.