The front court will once again be the strength of the team. Expectations for this season changed when Caleb Swanigan decided to return for his sophomore year rather than enter the NBA draft.
Arguably the most decorated recruit in program history, Swanigan was a beast on the glass as a freshman (No. 20 in defensive rebound rate, per KenPom) while shooting 52 percent on two-pointers. He’ll carry a bigger offensive burden this season and should be the team’s primary scoring option.Swanigan will be paired next to [url=https://www.mmogo.com/Nba-live-mobile/Coins.html]NBA Live Coins[/url] junior Isaac Haas, who replaces Hammons in the middle. At 7'2, 297 pounds, Haas was a per-minute marvel last season, averaging 9.8 points in only 14.3 minutes per game.
That’s 27.4 points per 40, for those scoring at home. Haas is limited athletically, but he has a nice touch around the rim and it’s almost impossible to score over the top of him. He’s also a sneaky good free throw shooter, making 71 percent of his attempts last season.Junior wing Vince Edwards is Purdue’s third star.
An athletic 6’7 slasher, Edwards made major strides as a shooter last season by making 40.7 percent of his threes. He’s also led Purdue in assists each of his first two years in school. Swanigan gets most of the hype, but Edwards should be an NBA prospect in his own right with a strong season.It isn’t easy to replace a two-way center as good as Hammons, but Purdue should be able to maintain its identity as a physical team that controls the paint on both ends. At this point, they’re probably due for some better luck in March.Projected lineupPG P.J.
Thompson, juniorSG Dakota Mathias, juniorSF Vince Edwards, juniorPF Caleb Swanigan, sophomoreC Isaac Hayes, juniorKey reserves: F Jacquil Taylor (sophomore), PG Spike Albrecht (senior), PG Carsen Edwards (freshman), SG Ryan Cline (sophomore), SF Basil Smotherman (junior)How Purdue can succeed: Dominating the interior on both endsPurdue has finished with a top 20 defense six times in Painter’s 11 seasons.
The common denominator is great rim protection, whether it was JuJuan Johnson or Hammons anchoring the middle. This year that role falls on Haas.Haas’ lack of mobility would be an issue in the NBA where teams would put him in a high ball screen every time down the floor.
At this level, Purdue can keep him near the basket with hybrid zone schemes designed to let his sheer size overwhelm opponents at the rim. It’s telling that Hammons — former Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year — posted a block rate nearly twice as high as Haas’ last year.