Yes, we are a bit behind on the countdown post here. It really is so hard to find good help these days. Probably gonna have to make some changes around here in the coming days.
Brian Waddell - Redshirt Freshman
Carmel, IN (Carmel HS)
6’8”, 195 pounds
2022-23 Projection: Reserve - Sharp-shooter
Coming off of a redshirt year the Purdue legacy is hoping to find his footing in major college basketball. Yes, he is the son of Matt Painter’s former teammate Matt Waddell but we don’t want to dwell on that. Legacy or not this kid deserves his spot on this team. Reports came out last year that when scouts came to look at the team, most likely Jaden Ivey and Trevion Williams, they asked about Waddell because his shot looked so good. Take those reports with a grain of salt but salt (almost) always makes things better so I’ll take it.
In his senior year of HS Waddell earned Indiana All-Star honors and shot 60% from the field. Those are two things that should give everyone hope for a productive future for this young man. When he committed to Purdue it seems there was an agreement that he would redshirt so there’s no issue there. He needed to put on weight and gain strength. He’s gained at minimum 10 pounds as he was listed at 185 last year and is now shown at 195. Though reports out of high school had him at around 170 so it might be around 25 pounds since high school. For most college freshman that would be very bad. For a college basketball player with a team of folks around him that’s very good.
Of course his redshirt year hit a bit of a snag when he tore his ACL during practice. Made the redshirt all the more necessary. Reports say he will be ready to go by the start of the season.
The forward position is seeing a bit of a logjam right now as Mason Gillis and Caleb Furst (both former starters) will likely see the bulk of the minutes. There’s also talented newcomer Trey Kaufman-Renn coming off of a redshirt season. Then there’s Camden Heide who would seem to be a prime candidate for a redshirt season. Waddell though has always found a way to get on the floor.
My assumption would be that he will average in the low single digit minutes this year but if his three point shooting compares to how he did in high school, as well as the high praise he received since coming into Purdue, he could find a way to raise that number into the double digits. Waddell might be the best shooter among that group of players and it could be his key to seeing the floor. The forward position should be a strength for this Purdue team and Waddell just adds another dimension to it.