2009-2010 Purdue Boilermakers Basketball Preview
This season it looks like the Purdue Boilermakers (27- 10 overall, 11- 7 Big Ten) will once again, as they did last season, take second in the conference. In last year’s NCAA Tournament, the Boilermakers made it to the Sweet 16 where they lost to Connecticut 72- 60. This season, Purdue could make it to the Final Four. If they do, then anything is possible.
Overall, Purdue offered a well-balanced offense and defense. The club’s scoring offense, which was ranked second in the conference, scored 69.1 PPG, while the scoring defense, which earned a fourth place ranking, allowed 59.8 PPG. However, the team’s shooting was overall mediocre and their rebounding, which offered a margin of minus-0.6, was below average and rated eighth. Hitting 44% (7th) of their shots from the field, 35% (8th) of their threes and 70% (6th) of their frees caught up to them at the Big Dance.
Upfront, the Boilermakers put two fine talents on the court: forward Robbie Hummel (12.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.9 APG) and forward/center JaJuan Johnson (13.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 0.7 APG). Both are juniors who have been chosen for the All-Big Ten first team. Hummel can do just about anything: hit threes, post up and rip the ball out of the air on the rebound. Johnson is a premier post player. The problem for Purdue is depth. Purdue, which plays with two in the front, will use Sandi Marcius or Patrick Bade as subs. Bade is a fine perimeter shooter.
The star of the three-guard backcourt is E’Twaun Moore (13.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.0 APG). Moore, when in control, makes solid decisions, can slip past opponents and get to the rim and hit from outside. In the second guard spot, senior Chris Kramer (5.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.5 APG), the tough emotional leader of the team, is a top defensive player. The third guard is point man Lewis Jackson (5.9 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.3 APG). Last season as a freshman, he showed fine quickness and excellent defensive chops.
In four years, coach Al Painter has taken Purdue from a non-tournament team to three straight NCAA appearances. Now he’s got the veteran players he needs to get the team deep into March Madness. Along with going to the Big Dance, the Boilermakers certainly possess the personnel to challenge Michigan State for the Big Ten title. This team can make things happen and they look like they will take advantage of their ability to do so.