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Caitlyn Harper Announces Return to Basketball Program For 6th Year

The Covid year will be paying dividends for Purdue.

Syndication: Journal-Courier Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Earlier today Caitlyn Harper took to Twitter, as one does, to announce that she would be returning to the Boilermakers and head Coach Katie Gearlds for her 6th and final year of college eligibility.

Harper finished her first season with the Boilermakers after committing in April 2022 from California Baptist. In her final season with California Baptist she was named the WAC player of the year and averaged 17.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Her commitment was a huge boost to a Purdue squad that was fighting to get back to prominence.

The commitment paid off as Harper became an integral piece of a Purdue squad that got back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2016-2017 season and in just the second year of head coach Katie Gearlds. Harper played in 30 games for the Boilermakers and started 29. She averaged 10.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. That’s quite impressive when you consider the jump in competition from her previous league. In Purdue’s big win over then #2 Ohio State Harper played 31 minutes and chipped in 12 points. In the Boilermakers loss to St. John’s in the First Four Harper played 26 minutes and scored 14 points and grabbed 6 boards.

With the announcement that Harper will return there is hope once again in Boiler Nation that Coach Gearlds is really putting the building blocks in place to get this program back on solid ground after it had fallen so far under the previous leadership. Getting a 6th year player to return and provide a steady head and (super) senior leadership is huge for this team.