With Purdue not returning a lot of experienced players — only five scholarship players return from last year’s team — head coach Matt Painter is experimenting with unique line-ups to start the season.
One of those includes an ultra-big line-up that features 7-foot junior A.J. Hammons and 7-foot-2 freshman Isaac Haas playing together. According to Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal-Courier the duo showed some promise as they had interior passing for scores and made other plays.
A line-up of the two 7-footers would be one of the biggest front line’s college basketball has seen in some time.
Hammons and Haas were two of the standouts in yesterday’s scrimmage. The duo played against each other and together in different line-ups over three 10-minute periods of play.
I’m not sure if this is a long-term answer for Purdue and defensively the duo would be weak on the perimeter against smaller and quicker opponents on pick-and-rolls and perimeter jumpers.
But for a change-of-pace for a few minutes a game, it could be beneficial to the Boilermakers to slow the game down in the half-court and work the ball inside to the massive interior.
This will be something to monitor in preseason games when Purdue faces smaller opponents. If they go to the line-up and see it works, Painter could use it in small chunks during the season.