About 10 minutes before tip last night Purdue Fans worldwide got another punch to the stomach.
Glenn Robinson hurt his back wrestling with a teammate. Isaac Haas had his elbow broken. Now Nojel Eastern rolls an ankle in pregame warmups. Purdue's luck in the NCAA Tournament: not great.— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) March 22, 2019
It is tradition at this point. An unexpected injury in March. Luckily, Jelly played in the second half and looked pretty good for a guy who just rolled his ankle 45 minutes before.
Now, even better news.
Purdue's Nojel Eastern (ankle) is expected to be fully ready for Saturday's game against Villanova, per Matt Painter. Was limited in Thursday's win over Old Dominion.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 22, 2019
This is great news, as ankles generally tend to flare up the day after the injury happens.
What does this mean for Purdue? Well, in short we get a lot better.
Our lone All-B1G defensive player will return to defend the best perimeter player on Villanova, most likely, Phil Booth.
Offensively, it helps too. We get a great rebounding guard back in the lineup and a guy who creates mismatches in the post vs other guards. It also allows Carsen Edwards to play off the ball more, getting screens to get open.
This is a welcomed scene to Boilers worldwide, as we thought the injury demon was back to haunt us again.
Purdue and Villanova tip “around 8:40” which means, be ready for a 9:15 tip time.