#62 Purdue Men's Basketball 2013-2104 Preview

Purdue Boilermakers

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #62
Conference Rank: #7 Big Ten

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The 2012-2013 campaign was forgettable for Purdue. The Boilermakers finished with just a 16-18 overall record and were lucky to go to the CBI. Once there, they beat Western Illinois before falling at home to Santa Clara. Besides rebounding, there was not much that Coach Matt Painter’s squad did particularly well. The defense was just awful at times and the offense was inconsistent at best. The Johnson brothers will have to lead the way on both ends of the floor. Terone led the squad with 13.5 points per game and added 2.9 assists. Terone is a great talent, yet he has not put it all together. Ronnie is the point guard and averaged 4.1 assists to go along with his 10.3 points. His turnovers need to come down and his shooting must improve. Ronnie shot just 38.5 percent from the floor and 16.7 percent from beyond the arc.  

2012-13 Record: 16-18, 8-10
2012-13 Postseason: CBI
Coach: Matt Painter
Coach Record: 176-95 at Purdue, 201-100 overall

Who’s Out:
D.J. Byrd was easily the best shooter on the team, knocking down 79 three-pointers on the year. Offensively, Byrd did not do much more than shoot three-pointers, but he was a decent passer and perimeter defender as well. Anthony Johnson never found his shooting stroke during his two years with the team, but he was still one of the first players off of the bench. Even Dru Anthrop, a former walk-on, earned a couple starts on the perimeter. Center Sandi Marcius and forward Jacob Lawson averaged about ten minutes each and could have filled a similar role this time around.

Who’s In:
Coach Painter has brought in an interesting group of newcomers. Sterling Carter and Errick Peck are both senior transfers who have the potential to make a big impact on the wing. Carter, who comes from Seattle U, is a decent scorer if he can stay healthy and out of trouble. Peck averaged 9.7 points and 4.8 rebounds at Cornell last season and he could be the shooter off of the bench that this team desperately needs. The incoming freshmen are quite talented too and will build a nice base for the future. Bryson Scott is a tough point guard who could see some minutes this year if he proves to be capable of keeping the turnovers down. Small forward Basil Smotherman and shooting guard Kendall Stephens will be asked to fill the void left by Byrd. Stephens, at 6-5, has the size, shooting touch and play making ability to play next to the Johnson brothers on the perimeter.  

Who to Watch:
The best way for Purdue to create better looks for the perimeter scorers and to boost their overall shooting percentage is to get more scoring punch out of the frontcourt. Seven-footer A.J. Hammons did his part during his freshman campaign, averaging 10.6 points and 6.0 rebounds. With a year of starting experience under his belt, Hammons could develop into one of the more dominating big men in the Big Ten. Donnie Hale, another sophomore, is expected to join Hammons in the starting lineup. Hale was not the most efficient scorer in the paint and needs to toughen up on the glass, but he has the tools. Jay Simpson, who played in ten games last year before suffering a foot injury, and senior Travis Carroll will provide most of the depth in the frontcourt. Without too many options, Purdue needs them to stay healthy and productive.

Final Projection:
Purdue has plenty of potential and this is a group that can compete for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. That all depends on the Johnson brothers’ efficiency with the ball in their hands and in the shooting department. That will be much more likely if Hammons takes the next step. There are more options on the perimeter now and Stephens will likely move into the starting lineup sooner or later. Rapheal Davis will have something to say about that. The 6-5 sophomore started 17 contests in 2012-2013 and ranked fifth on the team with 5.7 points per game. He can score in a variety of ways, but in order to hold onto the starting job, Davis will have to knock down some outside shots.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Ronnie Johnson, Sophomore, Guard, 10.3 points per game
Terone Johnson, Senior, Guard, 13.5 points per game
Rapheal Davis, Sophomore, Guard, 5.7 points per game
Donnie Hale, Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 points per game
A.J. Hammons, Sophomore, Center, 10.6 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.2 (205th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.0 (128, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.6 (212, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.5 (68, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.3 (326, 12)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.0 (NA, NA)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.3 (291, 11)
Rebound Margin: 5.2 (34, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.8 (110, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (116, 9)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#17 A.J. Hammons

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#67 Kendall Stephens
#93 Bryson Scott


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