Game Day Info
Purdue (0-0) vs Truman State (0-0)
Wednesday, November 2nd - 7 PM
West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue Starting Lineup
Now Starting For Your Purdue Boilermakers
|Center||15||Zach Edey||Jr||7'4"||295||Toronto, Canada|
|Forward||0||Mason Gillis||Jr||6'6"||230||New Castle, IN|
|Wing||25||Ethan Morton||Jr||6'7"||215||Butler, PA|
|Wing||2||Fletcher Loyer||Fr||6'4"||185||Fort Wayne, IN|
|Point Guard||3||Braden Smith||Fr||6'0"||180||Westfield, IN|
This is an educated guess on my part based on the (not so) secret scrimmage. Matt Painter starting 2 freshmen guards is the obvious story with this starting lineup. I’m not sure this is a case of “the best players starting” but rather “the best players to put around Zach Edey starting”. Nor is this starting lineup set in stone. Coach Painter likes to tinker with his lineups early in the season, and there are plenty of unknowns to tinker with on this team.
On offense, everything revolves around the big man with this starting 5. Gillis provides spacing at the 4. Morton and Loyer have excellent length to feed the paint. Smith can break down a defense (in theory) late in the clock, and may be able to turn the corner in the pick and roll (again, all theory at this point). Everyone 1-4 can shoot, providing the spacing Edey needs to operate in the paint.
On defense, it’s all about protecting Edey. We watched teams ruthlessly exploit the big man’s lack of mobility and experience in pick and rolls last season. I don’t see that changing this season. If anything, attacking Zach on defense will be a crucial part of every game plan because he can’t dominate the paint if he’s sitting on the bench in foul trouble.
Morton appears to be the perimeter stopper in this lineup, with Loyer taking the secondary wing and Smith providing ball pressure (please, ball pressure....please) on the opposing point guard. Gillis is able to switch out onto wings or into the paint, making him a versatile piece in defensive rotation.
The main question for this lineup is the two freshmen and their ability to guard. I’m not worried about them on offense. Edey makes things easy for perimeter players in Painter’s system. What I’m am worried about is two 180ish pound freshmen getting bullied by veteran Big Ten guards. Their ability to hold up on the defensive end will dictate Purdue’s ability to regularly deploy this starting lineup.
Help Off The Bench
|Center||Will Berg||Fr||7'2"||260||Stockholm, SWE|
|Center/Forward||Caleb Furst||So||6'10"||230||Ft. Wayne, IN|
|Forward||Trey Kaufman-Renn||Fr||6'9"||225||Sellersburg, IN|
|Wing/Forward||Brian Waddell||Fr||6'8"||195||Carmel, IN|
|Wing/Forward||Camden Heide||Fr||6'7"||205||Wayzata, MN|
|Wing||Brandon Newman||Jr||6'5"||200||Valparaiso, IN|
|Wing/Point Guard||David Jenkins||Sr||6'1"||200||Tacoma, WA|
Any number of these guys could end up as starters by the end of the season, but the surprise is Brandon Newman and David Jenkins. Most assumed they would slide into the starting lineup this season. Looking at Purdue’s depth, I understand why Coach Painter may want to bring his veteran guards off the bench. Outside of Caleb Furst, they are the only players off the bench with any experience. The second team would be four freshmen and sophomore if Newman and Jenkins didn’t start out on the bench. It wouldn’t surprise me if they play starters minutes off the bench.
Furst and Kaufman-Renn are the two highest rated players, in terms of high school rankings, on Purdue, and could provide the Boilermakers with a potent 1 - 2 punch off the bench. I’m interested to see if Painter subs them together, when Edey needs to go to the bench, or if they mix and match the two with Gillis. Personally, I would like to see Furst and Kaufman-Renn hit the court together and change the dynamic of the game with a sudden injection of fresh, talented big men.
Newman, Furst, Kaufman-Renn, and Jenkins are the only four bench guys, barring injury, that I see getting minutes this season. Berg is new to the U.S. game and is dealing with an injury (editor’s note: it was just announced that Berg is redshirting.). He’ll have a season to learn, get healthy, and battle Edey in practice. Heide is coming off a foot injury that derailed his final season of high school ball. I think he’s on the Gillis / Kaufman-Renn plan.
Brain Waddell is coming off a torn ACL during his redshirt season, and was unavailable for Purdue’s super secret scrimmage against Cincinnati. Out of everyone on the deep bench, he has the most potential to play, simply because there is no incentive not to play him if he’s ready to go physically. His shooting could get him on the floor as the season progresses if other wings struggle.
I’m considering making this a copy and paste section to save time. Zach Edey is the key to this game, and he’s the key to the season. The Bulldog’s biggest player is freshman forward Joe Knutson at 6’9”, 225 followed by gaggle of players at 6’8”, 200ish. This is a good test for Edey, because he’s going to see the type of undersized, swarming defense that gave him trouble against St. Peters. He needs to show better poise, and make quick decisions when he sees the double or triple team coming. Even more importantly, he needs to make his free throws, or teams are going to make him prove he can shoot them all season.
Purdue Wins If
They show up.
Truman State is a nice warm-up. They played Iowa yesterday and put up 72 points (while allowing 118). They’ve got some nice players, and Elijah Hazecamp gave the Hawkeyes all they wanted, starting the game 4-4 with 11 points, before cooling off and finishing with 15 points.
They can put points on the board, but they won’t be able to stop Purdue from scoring. Iowa had a 40 point lead in the 2nd half before calling off the dogs (hawks?). The Boilermakers should be able to do something similar. The only foreseeable issue is a bad shooting game by the guards, paired with Edey picking up offensive fouls early and missing his free throws.
Even if the guards can’t shoot and Edey gets tied to the bench with fouls, it’s only a question of what factor of 10 Purdue wins by.
Purdue handles this one with ease.
Purdue - 105
Truman State - 63