Exhibition Game | Truman State @ Purdue Boilermakers | Post Game Wrap Up
Given the nature of this game against an overwhelmed opponent in Truman State, you weren’t looking at if Purdue won but in how they did so. After a very hot start from the Bulldogs from behind the arc (starting the game 5 of 6), Purdue was able to overwhelm their opponent into shooting 27.3% from behind the arc and shooting 36.5% overall from the field. Purdue also did a good job in limiting their turnovers (4), which was a major problem for the team last season.
Zach Edey led the way for the Boilers scoring 23 points on 8-9 shooting from the field and 7-9 from the free throw line. Off the bench, Brandon Newman (13 points), David Jenkins Jr. (12), Trey Kaufman-Renn (15), and Caleb Furst (11) combined for 51 points.
Let’s take a look at some musings from the game:
Improved Ball Movement:
Something that needed to really improve from last season was the lack of ball movement the Boilers had. Past Boilermaker teams, who didn’t have a great off the dribble scorer but shot really well from three always seemed to have a penchant to pass up good shots for great shots. During the game, Purdue had multiple instances where they showcased great ball movement to get a great shot with the extra pass or two. Last year there were plenty of times great shots were just one pass away but a contested shot was taken instead.
Last season Purdue just seemed to not only be careless with the ball but make poor decisions at key points in time. Tonight, Purdue took care of the basketball and I know that it came against a team who doesn’t have the athletes or the length Purdue will see from here on out, but only having 4 turnovers show the off season focus on taking care of the basketball may have been heard.
Zach Edey is a Legit Contender for All American Honors:
Yes, I know the tallest player for Truman State is 6’8 and at times Edey could easily turn and hit a layup but the young man seems to have taken a big lead forward in his development again. Edey looked confident when dealing with the number of different double teams that Truman State brought by being patient and finding the open player around the arc. He also looked improved at being decisive once he caught the ball on a post entry pass and not fumbling around with decision making and trying to do too much. Edey can easily average over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game this season and those are the types of numbers that garner All American honors, if not consensus ones.
The True Freshman Are Going to Be Really, Really Good:
I’m not much into hyperbole but you really have to take notice of the fact that Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer are starting over two really good players in David Jenkins Jr. and Brandon Newman. Those two guys sitting on the bench behind these two freshman aren’t just really good major conference players, they are guys who have started games and won games for their respective teams. The young guns will have their struggles but they looked like they belonged on the court starting next to three guys who have played a hell of a lot of basketball at Purdue.
Purdue Will Bring Four Legitimate Major Conference Starters Off the Bench this Season:
Will Purdue be the most talented team on the floor like they were most every game last season? No, but they may be one of the deepest, if not the deepest team, in the B1G this year. I’m not sure another program can boast having four legitimate starting caliber players to bring off bench in Trey Kaufman-Renn, Caleb Furst, David Jenkins Jr., and Brandon Newman. In the last three of those four, there are a total of 118 total starts and that may very well win a lot of games for Purdue this season. Don’t be surprised if there are games that are close but then suddenly between the under 16:00 to the under 8:00 media timeouts Purdue has stretched out a double digit lead as they keep throwing starting quality players at teams who may struggle with depth.
Mr. Big Shot?
Purdue looks to have two veteran guys who could grow into that role of going to get a bucket when Purdue needs something late in the clock in Brandon Newman and David Jenkins Jr. Both are confident and seem to bring something different to the floor. Newman is cut from the same cloth as shooters like Sasha Stefanovic and Ryne Cline who could run off multiple screens, catch, and shoot as quick as anyone where as Jenkins can use his wider body to bully defenders into the lane and get a shot that he wants. The offense will rightfully be run through Zach Edey and when Purdue needs a bucket they’ll go to him but late shot clocks and game winning shots probably go to those two veterans coming off the bench.
What’s the Ceiling for This Team?
I’ll say the ceiling for this team may be an Elite 8 run because they have enough shooters across the board to give any opposing team absolute nightmares when coupled with centers like Zach Edey, Trey Kaufman-Renn, and Caleb Furst. I firmly believe this team could easily average 40% shooting from behind the arc as a program and that means the ceiling is incredibly high when those pieces are playing well.