NOTE: This post has been updated since Robbie Hummel’s injury.
2009-10 record: 29-6 (14-4), tied for first in Big Ten
Lost to Duke in Sweet 16
Coach: Matt Painter 112-56, 5years (137-61 overall)
Last NCAA miss: 2006
2010-11 roster [click here]
2010-11 schedule [click here]
The good: E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson are there for experience, cohesion and ability. Moore’s the scorer, Johnson’s a superb shot blocker and continually improving post scorer. Key support players include point guard Lewis Jackson, forward Patrick Bade and swingmen D.J. Byrd, Kelsey Barlow and Ryne Smith. Few teams are tougher than the Boilermakers. That matters in March.
The bad: Hummel’s knee derailed a potential Final Four trip in 2010. He’s never spent a season without some sort of injury concern, which is a problem for a team that relies on his perimeter shooting and occasional ball-handling. Now that he’s out, it’ll affect everything Matt Painter’s team does. If there’s a bright side to it, it’s that they have a month of practices to adjust.
Another issue is Purdue’s rebounding. The Boilers don’t have much size, which affects their offensive and defensive rebounding. Controlling the boards aren’t crucial to Purdue’s game, but it would boost the defense.
The unknown: Who replaces Chris Kramer? The 6-3 guard could be an offensive liability, but underestimating his defensive impact would be foolish. He killed it against Siena and Texas A&M during the NCAA tournament and made life miserable for Duke’s Jon Scheyer during the Sweet 16. Moore’s the obvious choice to fill Kramer’s role, but can he be the go-to scorer and defensive stopper?