Purdue’s Isaac Haas embracing leadership role

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Next year is going to look a little bit different at Purdue as the program is moving on after the loss of some key seniors like A.J. Hammons, Raphael Davis and Johnny Hill.

But the program also returns plenty of talent from an NCAA tournament team and one of the players that is expected to make a big jump is junior center Isaac Haas.

The 7-foot-2 Haas has split time at center with Hammons the last two seasons, but now, he’ll be expected to play many more minutes and be one of the focal points of the team’s offense after being highly productive in his limited minutes. During this offseason, Haas appears to be embracing that challenge.

In a story from Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, it goes into detail about how Haas is preparing to play more minutes and also be a team leader.

Haas is trying to play around 25 minutes a game after playing close to 15 a contest the last two seasons. That’s meant better conditioning for Haas as he tries to prepare for handling a heavier burden. Leadership is also something Haas is working to improve, as he wants to be a vocal leader, even modeling himself after Draymond Green in that regard.

“I’ll be that fiery guy. I saw Draymond Green play and I knew I would try to be that guy. I never thought I’d take something from a Michigan State player, but I look at the way he plays, his energy and fire and the way he gets everybody to rally around him and play well. I want to instill that in my game,” Haas said to DiPrimio in the story.

There are a lot of good quotes and anecdotes from Haas and Purdue head coach Matt Painter in DiPrimio’s story, but it’s definitely a positive sign if Haas is trying to be a leader of this team.

While Purdue still has some question marks entering this season in terms of point guard play and consistent floor spacing, there is still plenty of talent there to remain one of the better teams in the Big Ten. Watching Haas get a chance to play increased minutes will be one of the fascinating developments to monitor because there aren’t many 7’2″ dudes who are that talented with that much upside.