After an up and down junior season at Purdue, the sharp shooter, Kendall Stephens, opted to play his senior year elsewhere. Today, we learned of his final destination: the University of Nevada.
Take a guess pic.twitter.com/P7yCtL4Asd— Kendall Stephens (@Kensteph21) May 18, 2016
Though he finished three seasons at Purdue, Stephens did not finish his degree on time to be considered a graduate transfer, so he will have to sit out the 2016-17 season before he can play for the Nevada Wolf Pack. Unless there's a waiver that I am not aware of, he will be completing his senior season in 2017-18.
Stephens' time at Purdue was an interesting one. The son of former Purdue legend, Everette Stephens, came to Purdue in 2013 and had an immediate impact, even though the team finished last in the Big Ten that season. His play accelerated at the beginning of his sophomore season, but after injuring his pinky finger in the Maui Invitational, his performance became a roller coaster the rest of the season (at least from my perspective). By the end of his sophomore season, newcomer Dakota Mathias was taking his role in the starting line-up.
Kendall's junior season started out with much of the same hope we saw his sophomore season. By the time conference play started, Stephens was playing with more confidence and even driving to the hoop a few times, something we had not seen in his first two seasons. But after the death of a good friend of his, sometime around the first Illinois game, his performance plummeted, and he opted to take some time off from basketball. Unfortunately, by the time Stephens returned to the squad, Ryan Cline had stepped up in his absence, and now the junior was trying to fight his way back into the regular rotation, and sometimes wouldn't even play during garbage time, like the road game at Nebraska.
It became apparent that Stephens didn't have a place in the regular line-up anymore. Though he seemed to get along with his teammates, and maybe even the coaching staff, Stephens didn't want to spend his senior season on the bench (I assume). Despite the risk of having to sit out another season just to play his senior year elsewhere, Stephens took the chance and opted to take his talents to Nevada.
Thanks for the great memories, Kendall. We will miss you and we wish you the best of luck at Nevada. We'll be cheering for you.
Thanks to #BoilerNation for the love. U guys r one of the best fans in the world!— Kendall Stephens (@Kensteph21) May 18, 2016