A healthy Terone Johnson will go a long way towards the Boilers success this year. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Finally, the day we’ve all been waiting for is here! The regular season for Purdue Men’s Basketball begins tonight as we re-dedicate that building that has such a fond place in many of our hearts.
The last installment of the 2011-2012 countdown features our old pal Terone Johnson. The 6’2" guard out of North Central in Indianapolis came to Purdue last year as the highest-regarded recruit out of the 2010 class, and had what I believe to be a solid Freshman campaign to show for it.
Terone appeared in 34 games last season, averaging just shy of 5 PPG. He shot 34.9% from the field, 29.3% from behind the arc, and a somewhat alarming 55.6% from the free throw line. To fill out the stat line, he averaged 2.4 RPG and 1.7 APG. While his numbers were far from stellar, I feel that Terone made steady improvement as the season wore on, and the team will need that trend to continue this coming season.
Obviously, Terone’s continued growth and maturation will be heavily dependent on his ability to recover from offseason knee surgery. During the first two games, it appeared that he was still a step slow compared to his teammates, no doubt due to rehabilitation cutting into his conditioning time. There are some who expect Terone to be a backup for LewJack in running the point; if this is the case, his conditioning will need to come along in a hurry.
I don’t mean to paint a cloud of negativity over one of our boys, though. Far from it, actually. There were times last season when I saw some flashes of great potential out of Terone, and I’m very excited to watch him this season with some experience under his belt. Maybe it was because I was in attendance that evening, but I felt like the away game against Indiana was one of those times. In a hostile environment, he was very cool in banging home a few jumpers to end some Indiana runs, ending the night with 9 points towards another Boilermaker win.
Here’s to the knee feeling a whole ton better and getting into shape. Once he’s at 100% I have confidence in Terone’s ability to help Purdue win basketball games this upcoming season.
So, yeah. It’s basketball season. Get excited.