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Purdue Preview

by Chris Mackinder | November 28th, 2007

2006-2007 Record: 22-12 (9-7, Big 10, T-4th)
Postseason Games:

3/9/2007 Iowa Big Ten Tournament W 74-55
3/9/2007 Ohio State Big Ten Tournament L 63-52
3/16/2007 Arizona NCAA W 72-63
3/18/2007 Florida NCAA L 74-67

Returning Statistical Leaders:
7.2 ppg – Chris Kramer
4.9 rpg – Gordon Watt
2.5 apg – Chris Kramer

Starting Lineup: Key Stat:
C JaJuan Johnson 6’10 Fr. Based on three games, a 10-pt, 5-reb guy
PF Robbie Hummel 6’8 Fr. Nearly 2 double-doubles in 3 games
SF Chris Kreamer 6’3 So. Had 64 steals in stellar freshman season
SG Keaton Grant 6’4 So. Likes to dish (2.6 apg), not score (4.4 ppg)
PG E’Twaun Moore 6’3 Fr. Purdue’s best recruit since Glenn Robinson

Key Player Losses: Carl Landry (18.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg), David Teague (14.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg). Landry and Teague weren’t exactly Oden and Conley, but that is how important the duo was to Purdue’s success last season. For a team that didn’t score that much, losing 33 points is a big deal.

Impact Newcomer: E’Twaun Moore. The highly-touted recruit should get plenty of minutes for Matt Painter’s squad. That means plenty of points and highlight-reel dunks.

Tough Question: Can Purdue match last season’s success? Finishing in the top half of the Big Ten should be expected, but a deep NCAA Tournament run would be wishful thinking. Three super freshmen recruits means the future is bright, but it will be tough for Moore, Johnson and Hummel to duplicate the numbers put up by Landry and Teague.

Too Much PT: Marcus Green. While he has the body and potential to be a nice player, he’s nothing more than a serviceable role player for the Boilermakers. There is too much skill in the freshman and sophomore classes to continue giving Green big minutes.

Get Him on the Floor: Tarrance Crump. Crump is Purdue’s lone senior and has superior quickness. While he’s not as skilled as the overflowing pile of underclassmen at Matt Painter’s disposal, he might be the player that keeps a very talented team from looking too immature at key times.

Point Guard Impact: Crump and Moore will split time at the position. Moore can dish it and score while Crump will look mostly for assists. The two have different talents and likely will be used depending on the teams Purdue is playing.

Final Word: Many are expecting great things from Purdue this season. The Boilermakers did, if you remember, give Florida its toughest game of the NCAA Tournament. However, losing Landry and Teague will hurt more than most can imagine. The chemistry and experience both guys provided can’t be replaced by freshmen, regardless of how talented they are. This team will struggle with the Big Ten’s big boys this year and, based on that assumption, the Boilermakers might be one of the season’s “biggest disappointments.” Making the NCAA Tournament, not reaching the Sweet 16, should be Purdue’s goal this season. Purdue likely will reach the Big Dance, securing a seed in the 10-12 range. The “potential Final Four team” label should be saved for the 2008-09 season.

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