Purdue Men's Basketball 2016 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Purdue Boilermakers
Big Ten (26-8, 12-6)
Matt Painter had one of his best teams in West Lafayette this season. With senior leaders and some talented young players mixed in, Purdue tended to be a matchup problem all season for a lot of teams. Their frontcourt was difficult to guard as the Boilermakers boasted the most length in the country up and down the roster. A.J. Hammons leads the way as their linchpin. His experience and physical capability have been great for the team all season. The biggest problem they have had is consistent guard play. Talent and physicality have carried them through the regular season though and they will need five men playing next-level to make the run to the Final Four that many think is possible.
Big Wins: 12/29 at Wisconsin (61-55), 2/9 Michigan State (82-81), 2/27 Maryland (83-79)
Bad Losses: 12/19 vs Butler (68-74), 1/10 at Illinois (70-84), 2/13 at Michigan (56-61)
Coach: Matt Painter
Why They Can Surprise:
As mentioned above, Purdue is simply difficult to handle under the basket. Their two tallest players are two of their most productive. Hammons leads the way in both points and rebounds per game. Isaac Haas, their 7’2” center, averages nearly ten points per game in under 15 minutes. As a team they block five shots per game, among the best rim-protecting squads in the Big Ten. The addition of star freshman Caleb Swanigan to the frontcourt rotation has been a great benefit to this team. He is an athletic star that can play an inside-outside game. He also has great vision to find the open man and leads all Purdue big men in assists. This is an extremely well-balanced team. The Boilermakers can get into foul trouble and, for the most part, they can weather the storm because Painter plays ten guys for well over ten minutes per game. There are a lot of contributors he can turn to when a tough game gets stretched out.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The backcourt is their biggest issue, and it may bite them come tournament time. They have solid players in guys like Raphael Davis and Johnny Hill off the bench, but overall the consistency in the ball handling and perimeter player scoring leaves a lot to be desired. Understandably, they rely a lot on Hammons and his compatriots down low, but it’s difficult to keep defenses honest when they only have to concern themselves with one aspect of an offense. There have been some games this year when the Boilermakers have gone completely cold from long range.  It has cost them some victories. A nice variety of scoring options will help Purdue advance and they have to prove they can do it.
Probable Starters:
P.J. Thompson, Sophomore, Guard, 5.7 ppg, 2.6 apg
Raphael Davis, Senior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 2.2 apg, 3.9 rpg
Vince Edwards, Sophomore, Forward, 10.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.9 apg
Caleb Swanigan, Freshman, Forward, 10.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg
AJ Hammons, Senior, Center, 15.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.4 bpg
Key Roleplayers:
Isaac Haas, Sophomore, Guard, 9.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Kendall Stephens, Junior, Forward, 6.1 ppg, 1.3 rpg
Johnny Hill, Senior, Guard, 5.1 ppg, 2.4 apg
Dakota Mathias, Sophomore, Guard, 5.2 ppg, 2.3 apg
Ryan Cline, Freshman, Guard, 4.0 ppg, 1.3 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.9 (60th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.9 (28, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.9 (42, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.1 (15, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.7 (104, 7)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.8 (70, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.1 (33, 3)
Rebound Margin:  10.9 (3, 2)
Assists Per Game: 17.6 (7, 2)
Turnovers Per Game:  12.2 (124, 10)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NCAA Second Round loss to Cincinnati
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 3/6