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Nojel Eastern to Return for Sophomore Season

The worst kept secret out there is confirmed.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional-Purdue vs Texas Tech Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Nojel Eastern was probably always going to return to Purdue for his sophomore season. Now it is confirmed per press release from the school itself:

Purdue rising sophomore Nojel Eastern has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and will return to the Boilermakers for the 2018-19 season.

“I want to thank the teams that gave me the opportunity to work out for them. I learned so much and took away a lot of knowledge that can help me reach this level,” Eastern said. “The feedback I received from the evaluations can help to take the next step to become a better player. I have decided to withdraw from the NBA Draft and take what I have learned from this process and apply it in workouts and competitions so that I can become the most complete player possible. Boiler Up!”

Eastern, a 6-foot, 6-inch guard from Evanston, Illinois, appeared in all 37 games for the Boilermakers, averaging 2.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 48.3 percent from the field (42 of 87).

This was all about going through the process and getting feedback as early as possible. Nojel is a work in progress, and based on what we saw this past season, his jump shooting and free throws were the most glaring areas that needed work. He is a promising player, however. He is already a solid defender and rebounder. He can provide second chance opportunities and will be a steady, experienced hand int he back court this coming season. he also provides Purdue with much needed athleticism.

With Nojel and Carsen Edwards both returning here is the current scholarship outlook:

Purdue Basketball Scholarship Grid 2018-19

Player ('18-'19) ('19-'20) ('20-'21) ('21-'22) ('22-'23)
Player ('18-'19) ('19-'20) ('20-'21) ('21-'22) ('22-'23)
Ryan Cline Senior
Carsen Edwards Junior Senior
Evan Boudreaux Junior Senior
Matt Haarms RS Soph. RS Junior RS Senior
Nojel Eastern Sophomore Junior Senior
Aaron Wheeler RS Freshman RS Soph. RS Junior RS Senior
Sasha Stefanovic RS Freshman RS Soph. RS Junior RS Senior
Trevion Williams Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Emmanuel Dowuona Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Eric Hunter Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Isaiah Thompson Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Scholarships Used 10 10 8 6 1
Scholarships Left 3 3 5 7 12

It seems very likely Grady Eifert will be on scholarship this season, as we will have three open slots. We may even have some Luce change around for Tommy Luce.