In less than three weeks Purdue will heads off to Taiwan to represent the United States in men’s basketball at the World University Games, and now the roster is complete. For the games themselves Purdue can bring a 12-man roster, and 11 of those spots were set beforehand with the 11 of the 12 scholarship players currently on our roster. Matt Haarms is not allowed to play since he is not a U.S. citizen, but he can travel and practice with the team.
Purdue was expected to add Missouri State forward Obediah Church as the 12th man, but a summer injury has prevented that per Nathan Baird at the Lafayette Journal & Courier. That means the 12th spot will go to Grady Eifert.
Eifert is a junior and he has been on and off scholarship as Purdue has had room. With an open spot in 2017-18 it is likely he will be on scholarship yet again. The 6’6” forward has played in 26 games in his career, scoring 22 points. He has mostly been a “Break glass in case of emergency” forward in that time, averaging 2.9 minutes per game in blowouts. His career high was 8 minutes against McNeese State last season. I assume Tommy Luce, our other walk-on, can also travel and practice with the team as well.
This also means that Purdue has a thin frontcourt for this event. Jacquil Taylor, who needs the minutes anyway, will have the lion’ share of minutes backing up Isaac Haas. Contrary to what the rest of the world will think, Haas is an American and not an actual giant.
This will be a big event for Purdue, as we can work in a large cast of newcomers with actual game action. Nojel Eastern, Aaron Wheeler, Eden Ewing, and Sasha Stefanovic will all be active and can play, giving Purdue about 8 games to meld together with the existing core.
2017 World University Games / Men’s Basketball Pool C Schedule (all times Taipei time, which is 12 hours ahead of West Lafayette).
Sunday, August 20
3 p.m. – Romania vs. Czech Republic
5:30 p.m. – USA vs. Argentina / Taipei Arena (5:30 a.m. ET)
5:30 p.m. – United Arab Emirates vs. Estonia
Monday, August 21
10 a.m. – Czech Republic vs. Argentina
12:30 p.m. – Estonia vs. Romania
3 p.m. – USA vs. United Arab Emirates / University of Taipei Gymnasium (3 a.m. ET)
Wednesday, August 23
12:30 p.m. – Argentina vs. Estonia
5:30 p.m. – USA vs. Czech Republic / Taipei Arena (5:30 a.m. ET)
8 p.m. – Romania vs. United Arab Emirates
Thursday, August 24
3 p.m. – USA vs. Romania / Taipei Arena (3 a.m. ET)
8 p.m. – Estonia vs. Czech Republic
8 p.m. – Argentina vs. United Arab Emirates
Friday, August 25
12:30 p.m. – USA vs. Estonia / Taipei Arena (12:30 a.m. ET)
12:30 p.m. – Czech Republic vs. United Arab Emirates
3 p.m. – Argentina vs. Romania
August 27 – 29 Bracket Play
Medal Bracket Play will be held in all four facilities. Team USA’s first game will be held at the Basketball Gymnasium of Heping Elementary School on August 27.