Ryan Cline is back tonight against Auburn after serving his suspension+ from an unfortunate decision earlier this year. Now he’s back and though I was able to get a few responses, we failed to receive the five responses we try to go for, but Juan has offered up a pun in the nick of time to post this before the game against Auburn. (Editor’s Note: this pun was only necessary because he couldn’t manage to come up with a response to my question.)
So here’s the question. How much does Cline’s return actually matter?
I'll give it a big "meh". Dakota is coming off of the best game of his career and it seems like he would take some of Dakota's minutes when he plays. My hope is that Painter decides to ride the hot hand between the two of them since I don't think we'll see both on the floor at the same time much. Putting him into some of our smaller lineups with Biggie/Vince/Basil at the five, however, could produce some interesting results.
I say it's a very big deal for two reasons. The first reason is that Purdue needs the depth. This team was already thin before the suspensions of Basil Smotherman and Ryan Cline plus the injury to Jacquil Taylor. Having two of those three back gives Painter more options and more breathing room if someone isn't playing well or even gets sick. The second reason this is a big deal is because Purdue needs the additional shooter in its arsenal. Dakota Mathias has been straight fire lately but there's no guarantee that continues and with Vincent Edwards struggling early and Carsen Edwards still finding himself Purdue needs another proven deep threat and Ryan Cline is that guy. His defense could use some work of course but he's a good shooter and a good passer that helps make this team better.
A moderate deal. He shoot good. Good shoots help Boilers. Boilers win bigger. Get Elite Eight and Big Ten.
(Editor’s Note: Holmes officially checked into holiday mode somewhere around 3 this afternoon and this was all the sense I could get out of him.)
This is a big deal. We saw what happened in the Georgia State game when we can’t hit our perimeter shots. Purdue stops moving and the offense stalls out. You can’t leave Cline alone, and he’s always moving and finding open looks. Despite the turn style defense, he actually tries hard, and is a smart, instinctive help defender with some size. But more importantly, Dakota’s improved D means we can finally play him and Cline together more, having our two best shooters and two of our best passers on the floor at the same time is a really nice luxury to have. Every player gets stretched just a little less now.