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Reviewing Purdue’s Non-Conference Season - Individual Players

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Let’s break down how each player has performed so far.

NCAA Basketball: Norfolk State at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Originally, I was going to continue yesterday’s schedule post with the individual breakdown, but it got way too long so I decided to split it out into its own column. Here is how each player has done so far:

What We Have Seen From Each Player

Caleb Swanigan – Holy shit! Casey had more on him yesterday, but after leading the Big Ten in rebounding last year he might lead the country this year. After the last two games he is up to 12.5 rebounds per game, second in the nation behind Hofstra’s Rokas Gustys (13.4 rpg). Right now Caleb is preparing to lay waste to teams. If he translates these last two games into averaging a double-double through the Big Ten season he might win Player of the Year. He is ridiculously hard working and has become somewhat of a physical freak of nature. HE HAD A 32 AND 20 WEDNESDAY NIGHT, SOMETHING NO PURDUE PLAYER HAS DONE AGAINST ANYONE IN 45 YEARS!!!!!!!!!

Isaac Haas – It is almost unbelievable to think that Haas, at 7’2”, 290, is a player that is only a benefit in certain matchups, but it is true. Even with all the missed layups (many caused by three guys beating the shit out of him as he shoots) he is hitting 61% from the floor. When officials decide to call fouls against him he is hitting 70% from the line. He cannot be guarded by anyone on the low block one-on one. He’ll be fine against many teams, but the emergence of Purdue’s “small” lineup with Biggie at the five is a relief. I don’t want Haas chasing Thomas Bryant out to the three point line against Indiana. That’s a bad, bad matchup for him. I do want to see him with more “I must break you” staredowns like last night.

Vincent Edwards – Have we come to a consensus here? Is he Vince again? Vincent? He had a bit of a slow start, but so far his numbers are almost exactly the same as last year. I like it. Teams are naturally going to worry about Haas and Swanigan. Meanwhile, Vince can be in the shadows a little throwing up 12-6-4 every night. He is also shooting 46.7% from three.

Carsen Edwards – He is Purdue’s irrational confidence guy. The kid is fearless. Sometimes it leads to bad decisions. More often than not very good things happen. He is averaging 10.4 points per game while shooting only 37.2% from the floor and 29.3% from three. He has attempted the most threes on the team. If he can raise his percentage about 5-10%...

Dakota Mathias – If Vince Edwards is in the shadows then Mathias does his work completely in the dark. He is the guy that hurts you because the other four on the court get everyone else’s attention. He’s at 50.9% form three, has 49 assists, and rarely makes a mistake. He has also become a sneaky good defender.

P.J. Thompson – P.J. has quickly become my favorite player and he is one of the most underrated players in the Big Ten. He just doesn’t turn the ball over as a point guard. He is averaging 3.6 assists and 0.7 turnovers per game. That’s a 5:1 ratio. He is shooting 38.6% from three and that is actually a step back from last year. He is also extremely good at cutting into passing lanes as he has a team high 16 steals. I love P.J. because he is not going to be an All-American and even playing over in Europe might be a stretch, but he is a damn good college point guard that is not going to hurt you.

Ryan Cline – Since coming back from his suspension Cline is shooting 48.6% form three and has even made TWO two-point baskets. That brings his career to 60 made three-pointers and three two-pointers. There is a hashtag I would use here, but the PC police would bust down my door and drag me away.

Basil Smotherman – Basil has added the occasional three-pointer to his arsenal, but he has been a pretty solid reserve that can have a 15-10 every seven games or so. He’ll defend. He’ll rebound. He’ll run the floor. He’ll take smart shots (54.5% from the floor). He can even play the three or the four, which is beneficial.

Spike Albrecht – Spike gets an incomplete because his back has limited him to seven games, but he has been rather steady when he has played. I want him to get completely healthy just to have that ninth guy off the bench if we need him. I was surprised to see he is only shooting 16.7% from the floor and 16.7% from three. It is nice to not have to rely on him 100%. If he comes back and contributes it will be a complete luxury.

Grady Eifert – Eifert has played well enough in only 30 minutes to be an emergency “There are 30 seconds left in the first half and our bigs are in foul trouble so we need a guy to go out and merely finish the half”. That’s a long title, but the sophomore forward has played in eight games and has hit 4 of 5 field goals. He can be a fine “Break glass in case of emergency forward”.

John McKeeman – Purdue’s lone senior, McKeeman has already matched his career high for points in a season with 5. He even has two steals.

Tommy Luce – Who DOESN’T want to see Luce get in a game and dribble circles around people now? His female fans are the “Luce Women” and any assists he gets are “Luce Change”

Jacquil Taylor – We’re not seeing him until February at the earliest, and we may not even see him at all on the court this year. Get well soon, big man.