A few days ago, we looked at Dru Anthrop in the basketball countdown. The senior guard and former walk-on will end his Purdue basketball career this season, but it's good to know that the tradition of bringing on local talent as walk-ons will continue at Purdue even after Anthrop leaves.
One of this year's incoming true freshmen for the Boilers happens to be both local and a walk-on. And since today is 11 days until the start of basketball season, let's look at #11 Stephen Toyra.
Stephen Toyra - Fr.
Hometown: Lafayette, IN (Faith Christian HS)
6'3", 165 pounds
2012 projection: Reserve at Guard, Possible redshirt
Toyra was really something during his high school career at Faith Christian in Lafayette. Last year as senior, he averaged 23 points and 8 rebounds per game. He also averaged a double-double (22 points and 10 rebounds) per game as a junior and averaged 20 points per game as a sophomore. In fact, the 6'3" Guard's high school performance was so good that he was given a rare opportunity.
Earlier this year, Purdue offered Stephen--arguably the top high school basketball senior in the Lafayette area a year ago--the chance to walk onto the team this season. Supposedly, Toyra turned down a chance to walk on at Ball State in order to stay home and walk onto Boilermaker squad instead.
Thus, #11 continues the Purdue tradition of local walk-ons making the men's basketball roster. I'm not sure if it's clear whether he will redshirt this year or not, but if he doesn't he will see very limited minutes as a freshman. However, Toyra, along with Dru Anthrop, offers Purdue quite the depth at either the 1 or the 2 this year.
All in all, it will be interesting to see just how hard #11 Stephen Toyra works for minutes and also how much he inspires his coaches and teammates during his Purdue basketball career.