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Team USA 94, Team Canada 86: Exhibition Game 1

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Purdue wins their first exhibition against Team Canada.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Purdue vs Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue just finished the first of two back-to-back exhibition games against Team Canada winning 94-86

First off, despite the team being full of Purdue Boilermakers, they were playing as Team USA. How cool is that?

Since this was an exhibition and the first time we get a look at this next year’s team, we’re just going to have some quick hits on what we learned in Carmel.

Jacquil Taylor

There’s a permanent asterisk assigned to Taylor’s name at this point. Can he stay healthy? Team USA and Purdue better hope so because defensively he showed off the kind of athleticism and length that can anchor a defense. He had at least four blocks at the rim and each was as impressive as the last. He gets up to the glass quick, anticipates well, and uses his long arms to avoid bodying the offensive players. With Haas in front of him, he’ll not have to carry the load this year. What Purdue needs is ten to fifteen minutes a night. He looks prepared to be a potential difference maker on the defensive end.

Nojel Eastern

He came in and right away showed his potential as a super long pick and roll point guard. He’s herky, long, and attacks the paint with strength. He got lost on some defensive assignments, doesn’t have a jump shot, and turned the ball over some, but the kid can break down a defense. He’s gonna bother defenders on the ball with his arms, and once he adjusts to the college level, he’ll be able to find the open passing lanes to help his teammates. He looked like the best of the freshman and an instant contributor.

Offensive Rebounding

Wheeler, Ewing, Edwards, Eastern, and Haas. That’s a lot of length. That’s a lot of hustle. That’s a lot of offensive rebounds. This game was won on getting second chance points. Wheeler’s is crazy long. Vincent looks even more explosive for the third year in a row. Nojel is gonna dwarf any point guard he guards. Haas still looks down on Seven Footers. This team is going to be tough to stop once, they’ll be damn near impossible if they get two or three shots at it.

Grady Eifert

Grady was really good. I don’t mean, aww cute, look it’s a walk-on good. He was legitimately good. Conor Morgan was the National Player of the Year in all of Canada last year. Eifert outplayed him in the third quarter. Grady showed touch at the rim. He showed hustle on the glass. He didn’t make any mistakes. This is a young team about to be in some very high pressure situations. It wouldn’t shock me to see Painter give Grady real minutes when he needs someone he trusts.

Carsen and Dakota

I wrote a piece earlier today about the work these two have been putting in. They’re the guards capable of creating their own shots and they showed it in flashes. Carsen has a renewed confidence in his jumper. He still might pull a little too much, but it looks better and it looks like it’ll be going in a lot this year. He was 4 of 7 from beyond the arc on mostly pull-up long 3’s. Dakota is still Dakota. Smooth, efficient, deadly. He’s got some new moves though, particularly relying on his threat of shooting at any time. He pulled off a beautiful pump fake off a curl with his man running full speed, who continued to go full speed and by Dakota in the air before Dakota splashed in the mid-range jumper.

Ewing and Wheeler

They’re still getting comfortable. They don’t have as easy a fit as Nojel does, but they both offer energy and length. Especially Wheeler who is just gigantic. He should be able to fly through the air like a young Vincent and eat offensive rebounds like tic tacs. He also plays with a calm pace that’s unusual for a freshman. But man, when he lets it go, he’s a gazelle running through the meadow.

Isaac Haas

He’s Purdue’s best player. We’ve gotten too cute. The frustration with the big man has gone too far. He went 8 of 9 from the floor. Scored twenty points. Had 3 assists. He blocked 3 shots and had a steal. He drew a ton of fouls and grabbed 11 boards. He’s a mismatch. The Purdue offense looks good when it was going through him. He should touch the ball more than Caleb or Hammons ever did. He’s that good. He can’t be guarded. He hit hooks with both hands and threw down dunks.