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2020-21 Purdue Basketball Homework: Emmanuel Dowuona

That Ghanian big man finally saw the floor in 2019-20.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Some players are instant impact guys. For others, we have the luxury of patience. That’s where we are with today’s player in our homework series. Yesterday I mentioned that Brandon Newman was on extended homework during his redshirt season this year. Today we have a guy that has REALLY been on extended homework, as he is entering year three having barely played.

Emmanuel Dowuona – Redshirt Sophomore in 2020-21

2019-20 Stats: 9 Games played, 0 starts. 3.4 mpg, 1.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 0.1 apg, 46.2% (6 of 13) FG, 0% 3FG (No Attempts), 0% FT (No attempts)

Having the luxury of essentially a double redshirt (or even triple, considering his 2020-21 projection) for Dowuona is nice. ESPN was very high on him, having him rated No. 91 in the 2018 recruiting class. Rivals had him as the No. 30 center and he was 171st overall from 247. Since arriving at Purdue he has been the very definition of “project center”.

Emmanuel has had some setbacks in his career. He had the Jay Simpson/Jacquil Taylor foot injury that cost him part of his redshirt season, as he missed a few months of practice due to a stress fracture in his foot. He also had never played organized basketball before 2015 and I believe he lost part of his time in high school due to eligibility issues stemming from his immigration from Ghana.

Purdue’s depth in the frontcourt this season meant there were few minutes for him, too. For all intents and purposes this season was a second redshirt year, as he saw only spot duty in nine games. That meant a total of 31 minutes, 12 points, 8 rebounds, and an assist. We did see some promise with three blocked shots, as defense is his strongest suit. He was basically playing the walk-on minutes with Tommy Luce, Jared Wulbrun, and Matt Frost. His “best” game was against Chicago State, where he had 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal in nine minutes.

So much about him is unknown, really. We have been told he has a strong defensive presence but had a limited offensive game before he came to Purdue. Surely that has improved over the last two years as he has had big man whisperer Brandon Brantley to work with.

That’s basically what his homework is going forward. In 2020-21 Purdue is still going to have Trevion Williams and Matt Haarms playing most of the minutes at the five. Can Dowuona show enough improvement to get more time in those early Chicago State-type games? Can he be reliable enough to fill in if there is foul trouble or if we want to shift Tre to the four at times? Since it is year three it is time to at least see some sort of contribution from him, especially as he prepares to potentially take over for Haarms after he leaves.

I am operating under the assumption that he will be ahead of Zach Edey when the season rolls around. That at least puts him higher in the rotation depending on what lineups we use. I still don’t expect a lot of minutes because of Williams and Haarms though. We have the luxury of bringing him along more slowly and I feel 2021-22 will be his time. The 2020-21 season will be about him continuing to improve in practice and trying to earn some minutes, prepping him for Haarms’ departure.