Our third sophomore to review also had up and down moments throughout the season, but continued to develop as a solid rotation player.
Basil Smotherman - Sophomore
34 games, 4 starts. 2.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.9 apg, 47% FG, 19% 3FG, 58.8% FT, 12.9 MPG
Basil had a very similar season compared to Bryson Scott. Both saw about the same minutes per game and saw a similar decrease in their production from 2013-14. Basil dropped from 5.0 to 2.7 ppg and barely played in many games, but he still saw action in all 34 games. Basil is an interesting player because he often plays at the three or the four, but he hasn't truly excelled at either. He is one of Purdue's more athletic players, but did not have many chances for the highlight reel dunks that were his signature as a freshman.
As I said though, Basil's numbers were down. Much of this likely came from the emergence of Vince Edwards at the four. Basil turned into more of a complimentary player and his shooting from the floor dropped from 58% to 47%. He also had half as many rebounds, but his defense improved with more steals and blocks.
This is pretty much a draw between the Iowa game and the home game against Rutgers. Those were the only two games in which Basil reached double figures in scoring and he was a combined 11 of 13 from the field for 30 total points. Against Rutgers he added five rebounds, three assists, and three steals, while against Iowa he had six rebounds and two blocks. In both games he was instrumental in key home victories. It should also be noted he was a perfect 4 of 4 from the free throw line against Rutgers, which is critical for a player that struggled in his few opportunities at the line.
Final Grade: B-
Basil did go down as a player, but I think we have always seen him as a complimentary role player more than a major contributor. He is going to come in and give us 10-15 minutes per game of solid defense, athleticism, and his ability to get to the glass can contribute some offensive rebounds and garbage baskets. His Big Ten season was far better than his non-conference season, so hopefully that is a step forward.
I'd like to see Basil get back up to about 5-7 points per game while being able to be a solid option at the 3 or 4 behind Rapheal Davis and Vince Edwards. The potential addition of Caleb Swanigan may cut into his minutes, but Basil plays good enough defense and is athletic enough to still play every night. He also improved this past year as a three-point shooter (1 of 12 in 2013-15 to 4 of 21 in 2014-15). If he gets into the gym and continues to work on his jumper he will have that shot open to him.