2008 Purdue Boilermakers Basketball Preview
The Purdue Boilermakers (25-9 overall, 15-3 Big Ten) have been to the Big Dance for the last two years. Both times they went two-and-out. Last year in the tournament, they lost to Xavier 85-78 after beating Baylor 90-79 in round one. Head coach Matt Painter has this team ready to break through to the top of the Big Ten and to go deep into the tourney.
Purdue went with three or four guards last season; this year expect the same. Sophomore Robbie Hummel (28.5 MPG, 11.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 48.4 FG%, 86.5 FT%) is known as the point forward. He can spread the floor, dribble and hit threes at the rate of 44.7%. He did all of that as a freshman. He also proved to be tough and a real go-to shooter. In his second season, Purdue should expect even more from him. Six-foot-ten JaJuan Johnson (16.6 MPG, 5.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.3 APG, 42.1 FG%, 64.9 FT%) had a good frosh season last year. He proved to be an able shot blocker and a decent point producer. However, he needs to bulk up to be a true inside player.
The backcourt is deep. Junior Chris Kramer (28.8 MPG, 6.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.9 APG, 45.4 FG%, 61.8 FT%) plays hard-nosed defense and is an excellent offensive player. Last season he notched 2.3 SPG, while ably offering assists to his teammates. He is a total team player. Guard E’Twaun Moore (30.6 MPG, 12.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.6 APG, 44.3 FG%, 71.6 FT%) can score from an array of spots and positions. Point guard Keaton Grant (28.5 MPG, 11.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.6 APG, 42.9 FG%, 85.1 FT%) is a skilled player who hit 44% of his threes last season.
This Boilermaker team is capable of winning the conference and
getting to the NCAA’s Sweet 16. The team has fine offense
and a good defense. When they play pressure “D” on the
perimeter, forcing turnovers, the Boilermakers are tough to beat.
There’s a lot of hype concerning this club. If they do take
the Big Ten, it will be the first time since 1995-1996.