#Purdue’s Emmanuel Dowuona will take a redshirt this season, he and Matt Painter said.— Nathan Baird (@nbairdjc) November 5, 2018
Top-100 center Emmanuel Dowuona has decided to take a redshirt his freshman season after talking with Coach Painter.
The Ghana native and big man committed to the Boilermakers without visiting another school. He is known as a defensive specialist and one of the most athletic big men to play for Coach Painter.
This move does not come as a shock. Coach Painter has a returning big man in Matt Haarms, a transfer in Evan Boudreaux from Dartmouth, and fellow true freshman in Trevion Williams. It was likely that the decision was going to come down to either Williams or Dowuona redshirting. Considering Dowuona has only been playing basketball for about four years, it’s not a terrible surprise that the raw but exciting big man would need a year to refine his game.
In Purdue’s lone exhibition game of the season, Dowuona barely got on the floor. He played only 4:47 compared to Williams who played over 12 minutes. It was a similar minute split in the open scrimmage a couple weeks prior.
Of course a redshirt is not a guarantee to stick all season. Purdue is still thin at the back end of their rotation. If there’s an injury to a big man it wouldn’t be surprising if Painter wouldn’t want to add Dowuona to the rotation, but it’d have to be early in the season. Coach Painter has been more and more willing to sit players their freshman year. He has two, Sasha Stefanovich and Aaron Wheeler, who will take the court for the first time this year after both redshirting last year.
For Dowuona, this couldn’t be better news in the long term. He needs to get more familiar with the game of basketball, and there’s not a better program in the country at progressing big men’s skill set. Matt Haarms, another foreign big man, was a sensation last year after sitting one redshirt year under Coach Painter.
Dowuona’s defense and rebounding could have been used this year, but Williams potential as a scorer and facilitator in the post is a more needed skill set on a team that will struggle on the offensive end.
Dowuona will be an exciting addition to the team network that already looks like one of the most athletic teams in Coach Painter’s tenure.
Purdue’s regular season starts tomorrow, November 6th, against Fairfield.