Today we start with the first of five freshmen, and one that will get to be a double freshman before all is said and done.
Jacquil Taylor - Freshman
2.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 42 minutes in six games, 45.5% FG, 25% 3FG, 50% FT
We knew coming in that Taylor would be a project, but after being dogged with injuries in high school the same thing ended his season way too early. Taylor played in the first five games of the season, then saw action against Arkansas State. Unfortunately, a stress reaction in his left shin shut him down for the season. He is the second straight player wearing the No. 23 jersey to be shut down due to injury as a true freshman after Jay Simpson two years ago.
Because the injury occurred in the first half of the season and Taylor played in less than 20% of the season's games he will very likely be able to redshirt and have a year of eligibility back, making him a redshirt freshman next season.
It is hard to find one when he played walk-on minutes, but in the very first game of the year Taylor had a promising start. He was 3 of 4 from the floor in a season high 13 minutes during the 80-40 season opening win against Samford. He also added three rebounds and two blocks. He even outscored A.J. Hammons that night.
Final Grade: Incomplete
Due to his injury it never feels like his season even got started. We only saw Taylor for five minutes against Arkansas State after getting back from Maui. He entered the year as the freshman most likely to get mop-up minutes, but the injury limited even that.
Hopefully he can get healthy, because Jacquil has always been a player with a ton of promise, but limited by injury. A broken foot as a junior in high school scared many top programs away, but some were thinking he was a potential 5-star recruit if not for the injury. Even in his limited time this year coach Painter was surprised:
Stephens said Taylor and fellow freshman forward Vince Edwards have emerged as the most versatile players on Purdue's roster. Painter said every aspect of Taylor's offensive game - especially his mid-range jump shot and ability to knock them down when open - is "a little better than you thought it was."
That versatility can be huge, especially if he can mesh with fellow freshmen Isaac Haas and Vince Edwards. His size allows him to be a true four with some range on his jumper, and moving Edwards to the three is just too damn exciting for words.