Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan (50) gets pressure from Wisconsin’s Vitto Brown (30) during the second half of Purdue's 91-80 win in an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, March 6, 2016, in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

Purdue’s Swanigan heads toward NBA draft

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Purdue freshman big Caleb Swanigan is declaring for the NBA draft, but will not initially hire an agent, the school announced Tuesday.

New NCAA rules will allow him to work out for teams and attend May’s combine before making a decision on whether or not to return to school ahead of the May 25th deadline.

The 6-foot-9 forward from Fort Wayne, Ind. put up solid numbers during his first season in West Lafayette, averaging 10.2 points and 8.3 rebounds along with 1.8 assists in 25.7 minutes of action per night. He shot 46.1 percent from the floor and 29.1 percent on 72 3-point attempts.

Swanigan is likely a fringe first-round candidate at best this season given a freshman season that wasn’t lights out. His block rate was a meager 0.9 percent, and he wasn’t able to stretch the floor with his shooting, which makes him a less-than-appealing draft prospect given his size.

Still, he won’t turn 19 years old for another month, and he was impressive enough during high school and his few months on campus that NBA surely will be interested in taking a look.

For Purdue, the loss of Swanigan would hit hard as he’s so well positioned to slide right in and replace the graduating AJ Hammons next season inside as they look to move on fro this year’s first-round NCAA tournament exit. Right now, Purdue hasn’t signed a big man in the 2016 recruiting class.

No. 11 Purdue beats Youngstown State 95-64, goes 11-0

Jorden Kaufman, A.J. Hammons
Associated Press
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Freshman Caleb Swanigan and senior A.J. Hammons both scored 15 points to lead four Purdue players in double figures and the 11th-ranked Boilermakers remained unbeaten with a 95-64 victory over Youngstown State on Saturday.

Hammons added 11 rebounds. Rapheal Davis and Issac Haas both scored 13 points for Purdue (11-0), which had a 54-point second half.

Matt Donlan had 19 points to lead Youngstown State (4-6).

Purdue improved to 11-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 team won its first 14. The Boilermakers have won every game by at least 12 points, pulling away from Youngstown State during the second half.

A 3-pointer from Dakota Mathias gave the Boilermakers a 76-55 lead, and a free throw from Haas extended it to 77-55 with 7:17 remaining. Two free throws by Swanigan with 4:09 to play pushed the lead to 86-59.

A layup by Hammons and consecutive dunks by Hammons and Davis gave Purdue a 61-41 lead with 12:17 remaining, prompting a Youngstown State timeout.

Tied at 18 with 8:58 remaining in the first half, Purdue closed the opening 20 minutes on a 23-12 burst, including 3-pointers from Davis and Ryan Cline, for a 41-30 lead.

Swanigan had 11 points, two rebounds and two assists for the Boilermakers in the first half, and Davis added nine points on three 3-pointers. Purdue was 6 of 11 from beyond the arc before halftime.

TIP-INS

Youngstown State: This was the Penguins second trip ever to West Lafayette, dropping a 65-54 decision on Dec. 17, 1983. … Youngstown State was coming off a week of final exams after a 60-56 loss to American on Dec. 4. … The Penguins have not beaten a Top 25 opponent since 1952 when they defeated No. 19 La Salle 68-57.

Purdue: Boilermakers starting point guard P.J. Thompson left the game with 17:21 remaining in the first half after being poked in the right eye under the basket. … Purdue fans applauded loudly with 5:49 left in the first half when coach Matt Painter inserted the 7-foot-2 Hammons into the lineup with 7-footer Isaac Haas, the first time this season he has played the two together.

UP NEXT

Youngstown State hosts Geneva on Tuesday.

Purdue plays Butler in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis on Dec. 19.

Purdue’s Rapheal Davis doubtful against Pitt

Rapheal Davis
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Purdue senior guard Rapheal Davis will likely miss his second consecutive game on Tuesday night as he recovers from a sprained MCL that he suffered in practice last week.

The Boilermakers travel to unbeaten Pitt tonight to play in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and Purdue associate SID Chris Forman said on Twitter that Davis is doubtful and couldn’t make it through practice the last few days.

While it will hurt Purdue to be without the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Davis is apart of a pretty deep Purdue team that should still be very competitive without him. The senior also missed Purdue’s win over Lehigh on Saturday and it’s probably best to make sure he’s healthy for the Big Ten conference season as the Boilers have big aspirations.

SATURDAY’S SNACKS: No. 4 Iowa State, No. 24 Cincinnati win tournaments

Mick Cronin
Associated Press
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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 24 Cincinnati 61, George Washington 56

The Bearcats picked up their best win of the season in the Barclays Center as they came back in the second half to beat George Washington. Guard Troy Caupain led Cincinnati with 16 points while Farad Cobb and Kevin Johnson had 11 points each.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

Nebraska 82, Tennessee 71: The Huskers had a strong performance from Tai Webster (18 points) and balanced scoring in a neutral-site win over the Volunteers. Andrew White added 15 points while Shavon Shields and Jake Hammond each finished with 11. Nebraska moves to 5-2 with the win.

No. 4 Iowa State 84, Illinois 73: The Cyclones took control of the game with a 12-2 second half run, combining an efficient offense with solid defense to beat the Fighting Illini. Georges Niang led the way for the Cyclones, who are now 5-0 on the season, with 23 points while also grabbing eight rebounds. Malcolm Hill paced Illinois with 20 points, but the loss of Mike Thorne Jr. (left knee) became an issue as the second half wore on.

Seton Hall 69, Georgia 62: The Pirates picked up a solid victory Saturday night in Newark, with an Isaiah Whitehead three in the final minute serving as the dagger. Whitehead scored 22 points and Khadeen Carrington added 20 to go along with six rebounds and three assists for the winner. Yante Maten led four Bulldogs in double figures with 18 points to go along with eight rebounds.

STARRED

Gavin Ware, Mississippi State: The Bulldogs won big over Tennessee-Martin as Ware had 22 points, 10 rebounds and three assists while going 9-for-12 from the field.

Eric Washington, Miami (Ohio): The RedHawks were able to beat UCF as Washington’s go-ahead jumper with 23 seconds left was the difference. The senior guard finished with 15 points, six rebounds, six steals and three assists.

James Daniel, Howard: The nation’s leading scorer was up to his usual tricks Saturday, scoring 39 points and hitting the game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds of the Bison’s 79-77 win over William & Mary.

Kyle Collinsworth, BYU: Collinsworth, who posted six triple-doubles last season, fell just short of his first in 2015-16 in BYU’s 95-81 win over Belmont. 26 points, nine rebounds, ten assists and just two turnovers.

STRUGGLED

Bosko Kostur, Bryant: Kostur scored five points on 2-for-12 shooting in the Bulldogs’ loss at Georgetown.

Jacolby Mobley, UT-Martin: Mobley went scoreless, missing all seven shots from the field, in the Skyhawks’ loss to Mississippi State.

Wright State: The Raiders scored just ten first-half points in their 66-39 loss at George Mason, finishing the game shooting 23.1 percent from the field.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Robert Carter Jr. accounted for 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists as No. 2 Maryland pulled away for an 80-63 win over Cleveland State. Next up for the Terrapins is No. 9 North Carolina on Tuesday.
  • Isaac Haas scored 24 points and Vince Edwards contributed nine points, ten rebounds and seven assists as No. 16 Purdue beat Lehigh, 77-55. Johnny Hill scored 13 points off the bench for the Boilermakers.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS 

  • Georgetown ran past Bryant as L.J. Peak finished with 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting.
  • Siena moved to 4-2 with an overtime win over Loyola (MD) as the Saints had five players in double-figures. Marquis Wright led the way with 21 points. At one point, Siena was down 15 in the second half.
  • Martez Harrison scored 25 points, 17 in the second half, as UMKC outlasted South Dakota State.
  • Penn State held off Bucknell as Brandon Taylor had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Stefan Moody finished with 21 points as Ole Miss won at Bradley.
  • In a small mid-major upset, Ball State defeated Valparaiso, 69-66, as Bo Calhoun led with 15 points. Alec Peters had 28 points in a loss for the Crusaders.
  • UTEP came back from a 17-point halftime deficit to beat Colorado State 99-90 in double overtime.
  • Having already won at San Diego State this season, Little Rock went to Tulsa and beat the Golden Hurricane 64-60. Josh Hagins led the way with 17 points, ten rebounds and eight assists.
  • Bob McKillop picked up his 500th win as head coach at Davidson, with the Wildcats beating Denison College 83-70. Brian Sullivan led the way with 23 points.
  • Louisville pulled away in the second half to beat Saint Louis 77-57 in Brooklyn. Mangok Mathiang led the way with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Zach LeDay (15 points, ten rebounds) and Chris Clarke (ten points, 16 rebounds) posted double-doubles as Virginia Tech beat UAB 82-77 in overtime.
  • BYU outscored Belmont 55-39 in the second half, winning by the final score of 95-81. Kyle Collinsworth led the way, Nick Emery scored a team-high 27 points and Chase Fischer added 19. Craig Bradshaw led the Bruins with 26 points.
  • UNLV took care of Prairie View A&M, 80-62, in Las Vegas. However starting big man Stephen Zimmerman left the game in the first half with a sprained ankle.
  • Reggie Uoshaw scored 17 points and Giddy Potts added 16 as Middle Tennessee beat Toledo 77-70 in the title game of the Great Alaska Shootout.

Scoring options, defense make No. 21 Purdue a Big Ten contender

Matt Painter
Associated Press
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Entering the season the one question mark for No. 21 Purdue was how their perimeter play would combine with a talented front court. If this weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut is any indication, the Boilermakers are deserving of the “contender” label in a competitive Big Ten.

Matt Painter’s team went on a 12-0 second half run Sunday afternoon, pulling away from Florida and winning what was at one time a competitive game by the final score of 85-70. What stood out for Purdue offensively this weekend was the many options they have, which allows for them to make up for off nights from an expected contributor.

One day after A.J. Hammons and Kendall Stephens combined to score 30 points off the bench in their 61-39 win over Old Dominion, it was P.J. Thompson who stepped forward against the Gators. Thompson scored 15 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists without a single turnover. Thompson’s play in the reserve point guard role not only made up for starter Johnny Hill’s quiet outing (two points, one assists, three turnovers), but it also helped Purdue account for Stephens going scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting.

In total five Boilermakers scored in double figures, with the Big Ten’s best defender in senior Rapheal Davis leading the way with 18 points, shooting 50 percent from the field and 11-for-26 from beyond the arc (which includes Stephens’ 0-for-6). Given the interior scoring Purdue can get from the likes of Hammons, Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan and the all-around game of sophomore forward Vince Edwards, opportunities to score from the perimeter will be there for this group.

The key is that the guards take advantage, and to this point in the season that’s happened. And when someone, in Sunday’s case both Hill and Stephens, struggles there’s another option ready to step forward. Thompson was productive off the bench against Florida, and the same can be said of fellow guard Dakota Mathias who hit two three-pointers during the second half run that essentially decided the outcome.

Of course some will point to the level of competition Purdue ran into this weekend, but keep in mind that they beat two solid teams in Connecticut. ODU will be a contender in Conference USA, and Florida should have a good year especially once the injured Alex Murphy returns to the rotation.

Part of being a contending team is proving that you can take care of the games you’re expected to win. Thus far Purdue’s done exactly that, using the combination of an offense with multiple options and a stifling defense to get the job done. When discussing who Big Ten contenders, the Boilermakers certainly deserve mentioning.

SUNDAY’S SNACKS: Three ACC teams, No. 21 Purdue win tournament titles

Grayson Allen, Reggie Cameron
Associated Press
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GAME OF THE DAY:  No. 5 Duke 86, Georgetown 84

In the finals of the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden, Grayson Allen went for 32 points as the Blue Devils rallied then held off the Hoyas for the win.

I went more in-depth on this game here.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 21 Purdue 85, Florida 70: Matt Painter’s Boilermakers ran off a 12-0 second half run to take control of their game against the Gators in Uncasville, Connecticut. Their depth, talent and commitment to the defensive end make the Boilermakers a team to watch in the Big Ten. More can be read about them here.

Miami 85, No. 22 Butler 75: The Hurricanes won the Puerto Rico Tipoff, grabbing control in the first half and hanging on after the Bulldogs managed to cut the deficit to four with just over three minutes remaining. Angel Rodriguez scored 19 points and Ja’Quan Newton added 17 and three assists off the bench.

East Tennessee State 69, Georgia Tech 68: Ge’Lawn Guyn buried the game-winning 3-pointer with three seconds left as the Buccaneers picked up a big road win at Georgia Tech. Guyn finished with 24 points and seven rebounds to pace East Tennessee State, who moves to 3-1 on the season. Marcus Georges-Hunt led Georgia Tech with 20 points, as the Yellow Jackets took a bad loss at home.

Wisconsin 74, VCU 73: A Bronson Koenig spin move and layup with seven seconds remaining was the difference as the Badgers beat the Rams in a thriller at Madison Square Garden. Koenig led four Badgers in double figures with 22 points. Melvin Johnson, whose three-pointer as time expired missed the mark, led VCU with 21 points.

STARRED

Shavar Newkirk, Saint Joseph’s: Newkirk buried a long two with one second left to break a 64-all tie as the Hawks escaped with a win over Old Dominion. Newkirk had 10 points in the game. 

Grayson Allen, Duke: Allen’s 32 points capped a good weekend in New York for the sophomore, as he scored a total of 62 points in wins over VCU and Georgetown.

Jakob Poeltl, Utah: Poeltl racked up 32 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in the Runnin’ Utes’ 74-68 win over Temple at the Puerto Rico Tipoff.

Jarrelle Reischel, Eastern Kentucky: Reischel racked up 37 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in the Colonels’ 110-97 win over Longwood.

STRUGGLED

Kasey Hill and DeVon Walker, Florida: Hill and Walker combined to shoot 2-for-13 from the field in the Gators’ 85-70 loss to No. 21 Purdue.

Aaron Bacote, Old Dominion: Bacote scored nine points, making all seven of his free throw attempts, but he shot just 1-for-7 from the field in a two-point loss to Saint Joseph’s.

Northwestern State’s turnover count: The Demons were in trouble at No. 12 Arizona, especially with Jalan West out for the year with a torn ACL. But 18 turnovers with just four assists in the 61-42 loss isn’t good.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 11 Villanova rebounded from a slow start to beat Akron 75-56 in an unbracketed Preseason NIT matchup. Josh Hart led the way with 27 points and nine rebounds, and Ryan Arcidiacono added 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
  • No. 16 Utah held off Temple 74-68 to win third place at the Puerto Rico Tipoff. The key stat in this one: Jakob Poeltl, who finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, shot 12-for-14 from the foul line. The sophomore shot 44 percent from the charity stripe last season.
  • No. 25 Oregon held off Valparaiso 73-67 in Eugene, as Dillon Brooks leading the way with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Tevonn Walker paced the Crusaders with 14 points.
  • No. 12 Arizona moved to 4-0 on the season with a 61-42 win over Northwestern State. Gabe York scored 18 to lead the way, with forward Ryan Anderson (ankle) being held out.
  • No. 6 Virginia won the Charleston Classic title, beating surprising finalist George Mason 83-66. Tournament MVP London Perrantes racked up 16 points and 11 assists, and Malcolm Brogdon scored a game-high 21 points.

NOTABLES

  • Cincinnati earned a big win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff as Farad Cobb went for 20 points. The Bearcats are 4-0 but they haven’t played any real competition yet.
  • Boston College erupted for 53 points in the second half  as they beat Harvard at home. Matt Milon paced the Golden Eagles with 16 points.
  • Tennessee had big games from Kevin Punter (24 points, seven rebounds, six assists), Devon Baulkman (22 points) and Armani Moore (15 points, 16 rebounds) as they cruised past Gardner-Webb.
  • Gavin Ware had 25 points as Mississippi State beat Missouri State in a consolation game at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
  • Tulsa advanced to the title game of the Paradise Jam with a 67-59 win over Indiana State. James Woodard tallied 16 points and ten rebounds for the Golden Hurricane.
  • Oklahoma State made things a little more interesting than they had to be down the stretch, but the Cowboys hung on for a five-point win over Long Beach State to win third place at the Charleston Classic.
  • South Carolina advanced to the Paradise Jam title game with a 94-84 win over Hofstra. All five Gamecock starters reached double figures, with Lamonicus Chatkevicius scoring a team-high 18 points. Juan’ya Green scored 28 points and dished out seven assists for the Pride, but it wasn’t enough to advance.
  • Joe Rahon put on a show in leading Saint Mary’s to a 78-61 win over Stanford, racking up 24 points, six rebounds and three assists. Emmett Naar and Evan Fitzner scored 15 apiece for the Gaels, with Naar also dishing out six assists.