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Purdue Basketball Player Reviews: Dakota Mathias

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The freshman from Elida, Ohio earned a starting job by season's end.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

There are only three players left to review, but they were three freshmen hat ended up playing quite a few minutes as the season progressed.

Dakota Mathias - Freshman

4.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.4 apg, 19.6 mpg, 32.7% FG, 32.2% 3FG, 71% FT

Dakota was supposed to be support as a shooter to Kendall Stephens, but in the end he ended up being a bit more well-rounded than Kendall. Dakota drove to the basket more and showed he was a bit better of a passer. By the end of the year Dakota was starting and playing major minutes, but part of that may have been due to Kendall's finger injury.

There were still concerns, however. Dakota hit only 32.7% of his field goal attempts. The deadly accuracy on open looks that we're going to need as he grows was not there. His 3-points hooting was just 0.5% worse than his overall shooting percentage, but he was still shooting mostly threes within the offense.

Then the threes were falling they were often big. With 97 seconds left in regulation in the NCAA Tournament he hit a gigantic three that put the Boilers up five. Once Purdue got a defensive stop and Jon Octeus hit two free throws the triple should have proven to be a backbreaker, but as we know, it did not work out that way.

Dakota also had a decent season defensively with 17 steals and three blocked shots as a guard. Like P.J., Dakota often played within himself and did not force things. He showed he was a smart, savvy played, which will serve him well going forward.

Best Game

It came in a loss, but Dakota had a season high four three-pointers for a career high 12 points at Michigan State. He finished the night four of seven and he added six rebounds and added two rebounds plus a steal.

Final Grade: B

Mostly, Dakota was a steady player night in, night out. He wasn't expected to carry a huge scoring load, but he delivered the kind of freshman season I expect from Ryan Cline this coming season.

Future Expectations

Dakota has got to become a better shooter. He needed to get over 40% from the field, at minimum. He also needs to knock down his open looks from long range with more regularity. I feel Dakota displayed a lot of maturity this season and learned a lot too. He looks like a player that can be a team leader for years to come.