Coach Painter wasn’t happy with his team’s veterans after a disappointing second half collapse earlier this week in Miami. So he turned to his freshman, starting 3 of them, and his veterans responded off the bench as the Boilermakers hold court 80-68 ahead of their first Big Ten match-up on Tuesday.
Trevion Williams came into the game as one of two juniors, and the most experienced player on Purdue’s team. He started the game on the bench for the first time in lieu of 7’4 true freshman phenom Zach Edey who responded with an efficient 10 points on just six shots.
But for the first time this season, Williams looked like the All-Big Ten pre-season player he was supposed to be. After the starting lineup struggled, falling behind 10-1 to the Sycamores, Trevion Williams checked in and helped immediately push the Boilermakers offense. His assertiveness, skill, and tenacity was a welcomed change from a season of close misses and lack of finishing at the rim.
The big man looked like the a world-eater, a man amongst boys, he scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. This one felt different though as Indiana State just could not handle the big man inside.
Williams was helped on the inside by Aaron Wheeler - also moved to the bench - who had his first double-double of the season, cashing in 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He also had 4 blocks while playing just 23 minutes.
Sasha Stefanovic broke away from his one game cold spell, finding comfort in Mackey Arena again. He scored 12 points, knocking down 3 of his 5 three-point attempts.
Eric Hunter Jr. still continues to shake the rust off as he put up 13 points, knocking down a three, and leading the team with 5 assists. The junior guard spent the first three games recovering from a fracture in his leg. He played a season-high 34 minutes.
Jaden Ivey continues to watch the games in a boot from the bench.
This is the end of easy games for Purdue. They will start the Big Ten schedule Tuesday against Ohio State.
Purdue is now 4-2.