It is finally here! The opening day of basketball season is finally here, and that means one last player profile before the season starts tonight against Northern Kentucky.
Terone Johnson - Sr.
Indianapolis, IN (North Central HS)
6'4", 198 pounds
2013-14 Projection: Starter at 2 guard
If Purdue is going to have a turnaround and go back to the NCAA Tournament it will come down to its most experienced player to get them there. That is Terone, who cut his teeth on a team that nearly won the Big Ten when he was a freshman. Only he and Travis Carroll can say that. Only he, Carroll, and Neal Beshears are the only players on the roster that have played in an NCAA Tournament in a Purdue uniform.
TJ will likely pass 1,000 career points this season. He enters with 935 on the year, meaning he will likely have the 65 he needs by the time the teams leaves for Orlando. He has seen his scoring increase every season and last year he had 13.5 points per game, good enough for him to receive Third Team all-Big Ten honors.
Terone's leadership will be critical on a team with so many young players. Aside from his scoring, which has increased each year, his other numbers have been incredibly consistent. He is a good rebounder and can handle the ball in a pinch if necessary with 222 career assists. His biggest weakness has been his free throw shooting, which was a dismal 43% in 2011-12 before going up to 62.3% last year.
For Purdue to have a great season TJ needs to play like one of the Big Ten's senior statesmen. He is capable of being a Second Team all-Big caliber player (First Team would be a huge stretch) that leads Purdue back to the NCAA Tournament. 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game with 70% shooting from the line should do that.