It’s that time of year again. We’re just two days away from Purdue basketball in our lives again. On Thursday and Friday, I’ll be revealing my 30 predictions for the upcoming season and a couple guest predictions, but first let’s take a moment to look back at last year’s predictions and see how I did.
Again, this exercise wasn’t so much about nailing the predictions - a lot of them were arbitrary and weirdly drawn - but more so about identifying possible trends and themes to look out for. That said, feel free to pile onto some of the worst predictions I made last year. I deserve it.
1. Purdue will be in the top 20 for assists per game in the nation.
Purdue finished 7th at 17.6 assists per game. Starting off well.
2. As a team, we'll be in the top 10 for assist rate in the country.
Purdue was 8th in the nation for assists per field goal made, which I think is what I meant by this.
3. P. J. Thompson and Johnny Hill will average within 4 minutes of each other in minutes per game.
.9 minutes away from glory, but there she is, the first mistake. P. J. really took the spot from Hill as the season progressed, and hushed a lot of doubters, myself included.
4. When the Indiana teams meet at the Hoosier Crossroads Class, only Indiana will not be undefeated.
Butler: 9-1 (loss to Miami)
Notre Dame7-2 (losses to Monmouth, Alabama)
Indiana: 8-3(losses to Wake Forest, UNLV, Duke)
Well, at least Indiana lost the most.
5. Vince Edwards will lead Purdue in Minutes Per Game.
Rapheal Davis: 29.7
Vincent Edwards: 27.5
Caleb Swanigan: 25.7
:( :( :( I think we can all agree I should have been right here. Alright, officially below 50%. I’m doing okay though. We got this.
6. Caleb Swanigan will lead our Big Men in Minutes Per Game.
Hey Guys, I’M BACK ON THE BOARD. I don’t even have to look at this to know it’s true. Caleb also led in minutes per game being yelled at by me, but we’re trying to work past that. Back to even.
7. Purdue will be top 8 in Offensive Rebounding %
Oh, no, we weren’t. Purdue finished with an offensive rebound percentage of 34.9, good for 31st in the country. Still good, with Hammons leading the way with an offensive rebound percentage of 11.5 on his own, 133 best nationally.
8. Purdue's Offensive Rating will be in the top 45.
Crushed it. According to Kenpom, Purdue was the 19th best offense in the country after being 59th the year before.
9. Purdue's Defensive Rating will not move into the top 50.
Know how I crushed that last one? Well take that momentum, multiply that by a hundred, divide by two, then add a million, and that’s how much this one crushed me. Hammons was still on our team. This was really dumb. Purdue had the 11th best defense in the country. I’m the worst.
10. Rapheal Davis will match his 2014-15 3 pointers made before Conference play begins.
Entire 14-15: 18
Non-con 15-16: 12
Small disclaimer, Ray-D ended up missing 4 non-con games with his knee injury, pretty much killing this prediction on the spot.
11. Vince Edwards will lead the B10 in offensive rating.
This was the start of day 2 of predictions, and to be honest, they’re not great. Vincent had a good year, but he didn’t even lead his own team in offensive rating. That would be P. J. Thompson, and another player in the conference by Denzell Valentine ended up leading the entire nation.
12. Ryan Cline will make more 3's than Dakota Mathias this season.
Down to the wire, but Dakota gets the edge with a late push. Naturally, I want to point out how ballsy it is to take the freshman over the proven sophomore, right? Right? Oh, I’m still wrong. Got you.
13. Caleb Swanigan will shoot 15 free throws in a game.
Holy hell this happened! This was one of the zanier choices, but thanks to Caleb’s coming out party against Wisconsin, he got to this number comfortably. In the game against the badgers, Biggie hit 14 of 17 free throws and scored a season high 27 points. The only game he broke 20 all year.
14. A. J. Hammons will be the only big man to fail to shoot 70% from the free throw line.
They all got to 70%, which was huge, the biggest surprise being Haas raising his average almost 20% from his freshman campaign. As you can see, A. J. stayed above the 70, but he was the lowest. Partial Credit?
15. Purdue will block more than 8 shots a game.
With the change of the shot clock, a bunch of tall monsters, and I dunno, a few handfuls of opiates, I thought Purdue would block three more shots a game than before. Instead, they stayed at 5 shots a game for the second straight season.
This is getting long. We’re gonna break it off into two parts. Check back later today for the second half of predictions and keep a look out Thursday and Friday for our predictions on the upcoming seasons.
Prediction Score Card: 5/15 *
* the asterisk makes me feel better about a couple close ones.