Basketball is back tomorrow! Sure, it is a game Purdue is probably going to win by 40, but we get real, live games three times over the next six days with SIU-Edwardsville, Chicago State, and a trip to Marquette. It also means we meet the final player on the roster.
Aaron Wheeler – Fr.
Stamford, CT (Brewster Academy)
6’9”, 200 pounds
2017-18 Projection: Reserve Forward
Everything I have heard about Wheeler is that he is a “different type” of player than we usually get. In the Kansas game of last year’s NCAA Tournament the Jayhawks’ superior athleticism turned a two-point game early in the second half into a 32-point blowout. It felt like it took mere seconds to get out of hand, too. Purdue just did not have the sheer athletes to keep up to their fast pace when it got going.
That’s where Wheeler comes in. He is a pure athletic wing that can do a little bit of everything. He has the size to rebound and the athleticism to make some jaw-dropping plays that we don’t often see. He played for a Brewster Academy team that was undefeated last season in winning a National Prep Championship. He was even named the tournament MVP with 22 points in the title game as Brewster clinched a 33-0 season.
As for this year, it will be interesting to see what role he plays. He will probably be Vince Edwards’ understudy, but so far he has not cracked the main rotation. There is even a chance he redshirts, but I think Purdue could use his change-of-pace athleticism. His best case scenario is getting the minutes that Basil Smotherman would have gotten this season if he had stayed.