Purdue Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Purdue Boilermakers
Big Ten (21-12, 12-6)


Purdue has been one of the more pleasant surprises in the nation this season. Early in the year, the Boilermakers were once again plagued by inconsistency. The game after beating BYU and North Carolina State, Purdue lost at home to North Florida. They later lost to Gardner-Webb. But things changed after that loss; the defense played much, much better in Big Ten play and Purdue was able to win their home games and steal a few on the road as well.

Big Wins: 11/26 vs BYU (87-85), 12/2 NC State (66-61), 1/24 Iowa (67-63)
Bad Losses: 12/6 North Florida (70-73), 12/13 at Vanderbilt (71-81), 12/22 Gardner-Webb (84-89)
Coach: Matt Painter

Why They Can Surprise:
This team is all about seven-foot center A.J. Hammons. Heading into the season, Hammons had all of the pressure on his shoulders. Coach Matt Painter has brought in talent that has worked well with Hammons to get Purdue to this point, but still much of the credit goes to Hammons. The offense works through Hammons and he can score efficiently in the paint, hit the glass hard and block a lot of shots. Freshman Isaac Haas has been superb in a backup role. Hammons will play about 25 minutes per game and Haas can pick up the other 15 with far less of a drop in production than expected. Haas, who stands 7-2 and tilts the scales at 297 pounds, is a pretty polished scorer for a freshman and is no slouch on the glass either. Continued success on the glass is vital for Purdue in the postseason. Vince Edwards, a point-forward who can knock down some three-pointers, can be very effective on the glass. So can 6-4 guard Jon Octeus.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The problem is Purdue will give away more possessions via the turnover than they make up for with their rebounding. Freshmen Dakota Mathias and P.J. Thompson, along with sophomore Bryson Scott, are asked to do most of the ball handling and it does not always go well. Octeus and Rapheal Davis are in the mix as well, but those two are better off away from the ball and slashing to the basket. Another thing this team wants to do is knock down three-pointers to help keep the defense away from Hammons in the paint. Kendall Stephens is the real dangerous three-point shooter on the team. This is a team though that has proven they can still win even if they aren’t hitting shots from outside. They can still score enough in the paint and at the charity stripe to get the job done. However, the turnovers will catch up with Purdue sooner or later.

Probable Starters:
Dakota Mathias, Freshman, Guard, 4.8 ppg, 1.4 apg
Jon Octeus, Senior, Guard, 9.3 ppg, 2.7 apg, 4.8 4pg
Rapheal Davis, Junior, Guard, 10.9 ppg, 2.7 apg, 4.2 rpg
Vince Edwards, Freshman, Forward, 8.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg
A.J. Hammons, Junior, Center, 11.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.9 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Isaac Haas, Freshman, Center, 7.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Bryson Scott, Sophomore, Guard, 3.8 ppg, 1.2 apg
Basil Smotherman, Sophomore, Forward, 2.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Kendall Stephens, Sophomore, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 1.7 apg
P.J. Thompson, Freshman, Guard, 2.5 ppg, 1.1 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.7 (87th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.5 (126, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.7 (76, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.0 (57, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.7 (232, 11)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (202, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.0 (218, 10)
Rebound Margin: 4.8 (39, 3)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (35, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (245, 14)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    CBI    First Round win over Western Illinois
2013    CBI    Quarterfinal loss to Santa Clara
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over St. Mary's
2012    NCAA    Third Round loss to Kansas
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over St. Peters
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to VCU
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Siena
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Texas A&M
2010    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Duke
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Northern Iowa
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Washington
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Connecticut
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Baylor
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Xavier
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Arizona
2007    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Florida

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules