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11 Days To Purdue Basketball: Stephen Toyra

The sophomore walk-on is a townie looking to be a Paint Crew hero.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue has a virtual mob of walk-ons this season with Neal Beshears, Anfernee Brown, John McKeeman, and Stephen Toyra. It is almost enough to harken back to the old days of the Walk-On Whiteout. A pair of those walk-ons are sophomores entering their second year in the program, including townie Stephen Toyra.

Stephen Toyra - So.

Lafayette, Indiana (Faith Christian HS)

6'3", 177 pounds


2013-14 Projection: Deep reserve

That Toyra even made the roster at all is a testament to his talent. He played in high school for Faith Christian on the east side of Lafayette, which wasn't even an IHSAA school during his tenure. As a senior he averaged 23 points and eight rebounds for a team that was a probationary IHSAA member. They did not play in their first IHSAA tournament until last season.

Faith Christian was12-8 that year with some wins over lower-level class A teams and private schools. One school they did beat was Clinton Prairie, which is where former Boilermaker Ryne Smith will be coaching this season in his first year as a head coach. Because Faith Christian wasn't an IHSAA school little was known about him. For three years he averaged better than 20 points per game as they began the move up.

Once at Purdue, Toyra was often at the end of the bench, seeing action only in blowouts. He saw action in 11 games with a season high seven minutes in the 58-49 win at Penn State. In that game he saw his only first half action, as coach Painter shook up the lineup by throwing him in the game early. He had two of his four rebounds that night.

His only points came in the 74-43 win over Northwestern, where he hit on two of four free throws in five minutes of action once both teams cleared their bench. That is the type of role he will likely have again this season. He has attempted one field goal in his career, so we're looking at a guy that contributes a lot more in practice than he does on game days.