We can sort of consider the 2017-18 college basketball season underway as Purdue took part in its first exhibition on Saturday before the football team hosted Nebraska. The Boilers scheduled this as part of a special 3rd exhibition that many teams are doing to raise funds for hurricane relief. At $10 a pop and with an official attendance of 5,168 that means we raised more than $51,000 yesterday. That alone was worth it.
As for the game itself, Purdue led 41-38 at halftime and pulled way for a comfortable 94-72 win. The Sycamores were a pretty miserable 11-20 last season, but they lost a whopping 10 games by 6 points or less or in overtime. They played five overtime games and one double overtime game. They are picked to finish last in the Valley, but with a little more luck they could be dangerous. In fact, they already beat Illinois in their own “secret scrimmage”.
Purdue put four players in double figures with Dakota Mathias and Carsen Edwards each scoring 16 points. Isaac Haas had 13 points while Matt Haarms had an impressive debut with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Purdue managed to shoot 52.2% from the field (36 of 69) and 44.4% from three (12 of 27). If there was a concern it was at the free throw line. Purdue was 10 of 18 and struggled early. Nojel Eastern was only 1 of 4 at the line.
Defensively Purdue held Indiana State to 40.6% shooting on the same number of shots. Jordan Barnes had 15 and Brenton Scott (yes, Bryson Scott’s twin brother) had 12.
Vince Edwards did his stat stuffing with 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. If we’re looking at clues to a rotation Eden Ewing only played 4 minutes, and this was with Jacquil Taylor out. Sasha Stefanovic played 6 minutes as he may be headed to a redshirt. Aaron Wheeler played only 8 minutes. Walk-on Grady Eifert played more minutes with 14.
Purdue’s next exhibition will be Wednesday against Carson Cunningham’s Carroll College, and on November 5th we will play West Virginia in the WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT SECRET SCRIMMAGE in Columbus.