The last freshman (remember, no Grant Weatherford review since he was redshirting) belongs to a guy who has already redshirted. Jacquil Taylor came out of his medical redshirt knowing he likely wasn't going to play a lot given Purdue's depth in the frontcourt. That was a good thing though. He had another year to watch and learn. Given limited minutes he played pretty well, too.
2.0ppg, 1.7 rpg 0.3 apg
Taylor only played in 12 of 35 games as he was the one scholarship player that was not redshirting that did not play in the regular rotation. His final stats are very skewed, however, from his best game of the year. In the demolishing of Rutgers Taylor was able to play a career high 14 minutes and finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. In the other 11 games he only had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
We saw quite a bit in that small stretch against Rutgers. He demonstrated some range in his shot by hitting a pair of three-pointers. The moved him to 3 of 9 for his career combined with the eight games he played in 2014-15. This should be something interesting for him going forward.
You see, I expect Taylor to play a lot more in 2016-17. I expect Isaac Haas to play the lion's share of minutes at the five and for Purdue to occasionally go small with Caleb Swanigan at the five. The rest of the time we will see Taylor as Haas' primary backup. He is a different type of big man than Hammons and Haas, however. That allows Purdue to give some different looks. He is a more athletic big that can also spread the floor and hit from outside. We saw his athleticism in his final appearance this year, when he chased down a meaningless rebound in the win over Michigan in Indianapolis.
Purdue could definitely use more athleticism. This season Painter seemed to be married to the "we must have a plodding center on the floor at all times" concept. For the most part it worked, but it also made our offense even more predictable. With Taylor, Purdue can do some different things. Obviously, what we have seen from Jacquil so far has been a very small sample, but I like what I have seen. He might be what we had hoped Jay Simpson could have been if he had not been forced to retire.