Unlike the norm of the last few years, the Purdue Boilermakers do not have a senior on their Men’s Basketball roster.
Matt Painter has multiple talented juniors such as Eric Hunter, Aaron Wheeler, and Trevion Williams. But with previous seasons having rosters headlined by battle tested seniors like P.J. Thompson, Dakota Mathias, and Isaac Haas, times are a bit different in West Lafayette.
But the future looks bright.
Painter called into The Dan Dakich Show on Thursday afternoon and talked with DD about the start to the Boilermakers season. The guys discussed the young athletes in the Purdue program and being able to accept responsibility.
A duo of freshmen that were both recruited in-state have each played major minutes to start the campaign. Valparaiso’s Brandon Newman hit four three-pointers against Oakland and South Bend’s Jaden Ivey dropped 12 points versus Liberty. The 2020-21 roster also features a freshman seven-foot center in Canada’s Zach Edey.
“If you’re going to play you have to be accountable,” Painter said. “That’s sometimes what young guys don’t understand. Some of them have certain parts of the game where they’re really good, then there’s other pieces that they’re just negligent in. It’s great that you’re playing well and doing some good things, but you have to be a good all-around player and be accountable in what you do.”
This mindset is why Painter has succeeded at Purdue. The guys he gets to come into the program are surely talented; But the development in West Lafayette is the difference.
After an early season hiccup in their 81-70 loss to Clemson, the Boilermakers rallied back to hammer Oakland 93-50 on Tuesday. They’ll take on in-state opponent Valparaiso on Friday night at 7:00.
“If you want to be a good player past Purdue, you have to be a two-way player,” Painter added. “Being here for 16 years now, we’re doing everything in our power to help the guys who stay here and fight.”
The Big Ten is going to be a gauntlet this year. Purdue fans should be ready for a battle every night, but it’s sure going to be fun to watch.
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