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Purdue Basketball: The Next Step

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Way too early rankings are in, there are high remarks, how do we live up to that?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-North Texas at Purdue Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

The consensus is that Purdue will be a Top 10 team preseason in 2021.

Everyone should be back, barring Trevion Williams staying in the NBA Draft.

A future NBA guard, two top 50 freshmen coming in, up and coming young players. Everything is going in the right direction for Matt Painter’s Purdue Basketball Team.

But, if anything was shown this NCAA Tournament, it is that guards seem to win the big games.

Baylor had three guards that Gonzaga couldn’t seem to defend.

Good news for us, Jaden Ivey is someone that not many people can defend. But, outside of Jaden, who is the next guard or wing that won’t be stopped?

This is how we take the next step.

Our center spot is set and is a luxury position. We have two of the most efficient bigs in the country with Trevion and Zach Edey, neither can be stopped.

Going into his senior year, could Eric Hunter Jr make a jump to be a scoring guard we saw in high school? I don’t think it is him, he is an all Big Ten Defender, not a scorer.

Is it Sasha? The 3 point specialist showed some glimpses of getting to the hoop last year, but his defense was exposed in the BTT and NCAAT. He won’t be able to stay on the court the entire time.

If we are looking at guys who played a lot early on, I think we need to look no further than Brandon Newman.

The to be sophomore hit a but of a freshman wall after erupting mid season against Minnesota, he went into quite a slump.

Brandon has all the ability in the world. He can play both ends of the court, shoot the ball and put it on the floor to get to the rim as well.

If he can make the next step of being able to create his own shot, we will be in great shape next season with Ivey and Newman being our lead guards.

I hate to put that pressure on anyone, but I see him as an X Factor. I truly believe that if he was in his pre slump form, we would have beat North Texas as well. Playing him instead of Isaiah Thompson would have went a long way, but he was just in that massive slump.

The other pieces are all there, but we just lack another explosive guard. The Big Men are there, veteran leadership with three seniors. A gritty frontcourt piece in Mason Gillis, two top tier freshmen coming in.

The next step, develop another young guard into someone that cannot be stopped.