Purdue (1-0) vs Austin Peay (0-1)
Friday, November 11th - 7 EST
Mackey Arena - West Lafayette, Indiana (the loudest venue in America)
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|
Milwaukee provided a nice warm up for the guards. Braden Smith and Ethan Morton were the only players with multiple turnovers (both had 3) but they also handled the bulk of the ball handling against a team that likes to pressure. The Boilermakers committed 11 total turnovers, not bad for a team starting 2 freshmen in the back court.
The game plan against Austin Peay is the same game plan you’re going to see all season (as long as Edey remains healthy). Purdue will dump it into the big man early and often and go from there. When Zach is eating down low, the rest of the offense falls into place. Against Milwaukee he struggled to finish around the basket, but trying to finish around the basket is enough to cave an entire defense. He managed 2 nice assists against the Panthers, and will hopefully continue to find players spotting up around the perimeter.
While Zach struggled to finish, Fletcher Loyer came out firing. The sweet shooting redshirt freshman provides the Boilermakers with knockdown outside shooting. He had the bright green light the moment he stepped on the court, and wasn’t shy. He unleashed 12 3’s sinking 5, most not grazing the net. Fellow freshman guard Braden Smith did a little of everything, but most impressive were his 7 steals. I would say he looks like a better shooting version of Chris Kramer, but 7 steals is more than Kramer collected in any single game during his 4 years in West Lafayette.
All-in-all a solid performance from the 2022/23 Boilermakers out of the gate. The stage didn’t look too big for the freshman, Gillis and Morton helped glue the front and back court together, and while Zach struggled to finish, his presence in the paint opened things up for everyone else, and kept Milwaukee from attempting anything close to the basket on offense.
Help Off The Bench
|Center/Forward||1||Caleb Furst||So||6'10"||230||Ft. Wayne, IN|
|Forward||4||Trey Kaufman-Renn||Fr||6'9"||225||Sellersburg, IN|
|Wing/Forward||11||Brian Waddell||Fr||6'8"||195||Carmel, IN|
|Wing||5||Brandon Newman||Jr||6'5"||200||Valparaiso, IN|
|Wing/Point Guard||14||David Jenkins||Sr||6'1"||200||Tacoma, WA|
I’m almost more excited about the bench than I am the starters. When Furst, Kaufman-Renn, and Newman hit the court, they hit it full speed. Newman in particular showed everyone that coming off the bench doesn’t matter to him. He came out looking for his shot, and ended up 6-12 on the night for 16 points. He attempted the 3rd most shots on the roster, behind Loyer (15) and Edey (13). He looked confident and played with and ease we haven’t always seen.
Furst and Kaufman-Renn are going to dominate the Big10 at some point. It might not be this season with a giant maple in the paint, but it’s going to happen at some point, and it’s going to be glorious. Caleb is a model of efficiency, and showed off his range hitting a 3. Kaufman-Renn was more aggressive in looking for his shot, and managed to pull down 7 boards. Purdue may have the best front court depth in the nation by the end of the season once TKR fully adjusts to the college game.
Brian Waddell snagged 20 minutes, but I expect that will be cut into tonight with David Jenkins returning from his nasty black eye. He looked like a guy that hasn’t played in a while, and I’ll reserve judgement until he gets his legs back under him.
Purdue Wins If
They show up.
Austin Peay got bodied by NC State 99-50 earlier this week, and is in line for another beating tonight. Shon Robinson, a 6’9”, 225 pound sophomore out of Chicago was their best player against the Wolfpack, and should be their best player again tonight. His size and athleticism could give Mason Gillis issues early in the game, but no one else on their roster worries me.
Simply put, Purdue has better athletes, better skills, and better coaching. If the Governors keep the game within 30 points, it should be considered a moral victory.
Purdue - 105
Austin Peay - 60
Purdue - 83
Austin Peay - 62
After all the talk of a split preview, we’re down a man. Garrett came down with the flu 3 days ago and is out of commission, and since he’s in charge of the opponent preview, and we’re not particularly worried about his opponent, Austin Peay gets a pass tonight. We’ll be back on our regular schedule next week.