I will try and do this as often as possible. The day after a Purdue basketball game, I will grade their performances. My criteria is, anyone who played over 10 minutes. 10 Minutes of basketball should be enough time on the court to try and get a feel of their game from that night.
So, I will be focusing on the game last night vs Fairfield. An opponent Purdue had their way with for the night. Leading to another opening night victory for Coach Painter and his Boilermakers.
First, lets grade the starting 5 from last night.
Why?: The Preseason All American and B1G POY did not disappoint on opening night. Carsen cruised to 30 points on 10 of 17 shooting, including 7 of 11 from three. He showed his athleticism on both ends of the court, being a menace on defense and attacking the rim on offense as well. Carsen was himself, carrying over from last year. Laid Back Shuga will get all the shots he wants this year and more. He gets an A+.
Why?: No one believed this off season that he would make the giant step forward we needed him to do this year. If last night was any indication of how he will do this season we will be in good shape. Ryan had 13 points, but most importantly he lead the team in assists, he had 8 while only turning the ball over once in 29 minutes of play.
Why?: Nojel struggled last night. Good news is, he will be fine. He is too good not to get mistakes fixed. He gets a C for his defensive tenacity and being able to guard anyone. Offensively he struggled, not scoring a point.
Why?: Eifert, to the surprise of many is our starting 4. The former walk on played great on his first start of the season. He lead the team with 10 rebounds and was one point shy of a double double. He also hit two three point shots. Eifert played 28 minutes and looked very good on both ends of the court.
Why?: Haarms was in foul trouble last night, collecting four personal fouls, which lead to only playing 17 minutes. In 17 minutes though, he scored 9 points and had 8 rebounds. As expected, Matt chased for blocks, while getting a couple he also had a couple of bad fouls. He will need to pick his battles better defensively to not get those cheap fouls, we need him.
Now for the bench players who were in over 10 minutes last night
Eric Hunter Jr:
Why?: In his first college basketball, Hunter played great off the bench. Having 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, leading the Bench Mob. I have said this a lot, but his slender frame reminds me of young Smooge and his ability to create his own shots furthered my comparison. Hunter will be good for us this season.
Why?: With Eifert playing at such a high level last night it was hard for Wheeler to find the court. In twelve minutes of play he had 2 points and four rebounds. He is noticeable on the court with his length and height, but what I noticed the most last night was he struggling on O. He will pick it up and be solid off the bench.
Why?: Evan, the Dartmouth transfer has started his season by coming off the bench. The big reason is to play either the 4 or the 5 for our second unit. He did not disappoint. He played hard with his inner Brian Cardinal. In 18 minutes he scored 10 points of 4 of 6 shooting and played hard on the defensive end.
Why?: In 19 minutes of play, Sasha had only 3 points. That is not the reason I gave him a C+ here. My real reasoning was the three turnovers he had. You cannot come off of the bench and turn the ball over. We need our bench players to come in sustain the lead and take care of the ball. Sasha failed to do that last night.