Vince Edwards

Mathias, Haas lead No. 23 Purdue over Vermont 107-79

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Dakota Mathias scored 17 points and Isaac Haas added 16 in Purdue’s 107-79 victory over Vermont on Sunday in a game in the Naismith Hall of Fame Tipoff.

Caleb Swanigan added 14 points and 13 rebounds, Vince Edwards scored 14 points, Rapheal Davis had 12 and Kendall Stephens scored 11 for Purdue (2-0).

Stephens and Haas scored 11 points each in a 60-point first half. Purdue’s 18 3-pointers is a school record, besting the 16 the Boilermakers made on Feb. 7, 1998, in a Big Ten victory at Ohio State.

Edwards made the record-breaking 3-pointer from the left wing with 8:27 remaining, giving Purdue a 91-64 lead.

The Boilermakers, who defeated North Carolina A&T 81-40 in their Friday night opener, made 10 of 19 3-point attempts in the first half against Vermont, with six players making at least one.

Through two games, the Boilermakers have made 30 3s.

Ernie Duncan led Vermont (0-2) with 18 points, and Trae Bell-Haynes added 17.

Purdue raced to a 17-4 lead only 5:40 into the game and was never seriously threatened, enjoying a 60-45 lead at the half. The Boilermakers made 17 of 31 field goal attempts (54.8 percent), including 52.6 percent from beyond the arc, in the first half.

A.J. Hammons, Purdue’s 7-foot senior center and leading returning scorer, was benched for a second consecutive game by coach Matt Painter, who has not given a reason why Hammons has not played. Hammons is neither injured nor in trouble with law enforcement. The benching is not expected to be prolonged.

The Boilermakers increased their lead to 68-52 on consecutive 3-pointers by Edwards and Swanigan with just over than 15 minutes remaining. A dunk by Swanigan and a 3-pointer from Mathias expanded the lead to 75-54 with 12:44 remaining, promoting a Vermont timeout.


Vermont: Purdue honored Catamounts recruit Josh Speidel of Columbus, Indiana, in a touching pregame ceremony. Speidel suffered serious injuries in an automobile accident on Super Bowl Sunday and is still receiving therapy for a brain injury. He played AAU basketball with Purdue freshmen Ryan Cline and Grant Weatherford. … Duncan, a redshirt freshman is from Evansville, Indiana.

Purdue: Purdue has won eight consecutive home games, including the final six of 2014-15. … When North Carolina A&T was 0 of 15 from beyond the arc on Friday, it marked the first time since Dec. 4, 2010, at Alabama that an opponent failed to make at least one 3-pointer, a stretch of 161 games. … Purdue is 35-1 in November home games during Painter’s 11 seasons at his alma mater.


Vermont: Hosts Quinnipiac on Wednesday.

Purdue: Hosts Incarnate Word on Wednesday.

Chase for 180: Sterling Gibbs’ improved shooting a significant factor in Seton Hall’s 6-0 start

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The “Chase for 180” is back for a second year, and for those who may not be familiar with the project it’s our attempt to identify some of the best shooters in America. But what makes one an “elite shooter?” For some it’s merely the ability to knock down perimeter shots at a high rate, but that isn’t the case for all players. High-level shooting requires proficiency from three, the field overall, and from the foul line. 

“180” refers to the resulting number when adding a player’s field goal, three-point and free throw percentages, with the best shooters either approaching or surpassing that mark. 50 percent or better from the field overall, 40 percent or better from three and 90 percent or better from the foul line. This achievement has occurred more often in college basketball than it has in the NBA, where just six players (Steve Nash did it in four different seasons) have done it in the history of the league. 

This season we’ll update this list weekly, with players also needing to qualify to be ranked by the NCAA in each of the three percentage categories in order to be considered. In order to qualify to be ranked a player needs to have played in at least 75 percent of his team’s games and have averaged: 

  • five or more field goal attempts per game;
  • two or more three-point attempts per game;
  • 2.5 or more free throw attempts per game.

Note: Provisional Division I member Incarnate Word was not included, as four of their first five games have been played against non-Division I competition.  

After finishing the 2013-14 season with a 17-17 overall record, the hope for the Seton Hall Pirates entering this season was that a highly regarded recruiting class would help them take a step forward in the Big East. In this current era of college basketball the tendency is to focus on “who’s next” while a decent number of returnees are viewed as “yesterday’s news.” In regards to Seton Hall Isaiah Whitehead and company may have been the focus, but there is no doubt that the Pirates need their returnees as well if they’re a factor in the Big East conversation.

One of those returnees is junior guard Sterling Gibbs, and his play to start the season is a significant reason why the Pirates are currently 6-0. Gibbs is currently averaging a team-best 18.3 points per game, an increase of more than five points from a season ago (13.2 ppg). Part of that has to do with the loss of three of the team’s top five scorers from last season in Fuquan Edwin, Eugene Teague and Patrik Auda.

The bigger factor: Gibbs is not only taking better shots, but he’s also made them at a far greater clip through five games.

After shooting 41 percent from the field, 34.4% from three and 72.4% from the charity stripe in 2013-14, Gibbs has been a “50-40-90” player for Willard’s Pirates thus far. Gibbs is currently shooting 52.5% from the field (14th in the Big East), 58.3% from three (first) and 91.4% from the foul line (third). And a look at Gibbs’ percentages in certain areas of the floor reveal that he’s done a better job of converting around the rim than he did a season ago.

According to Gibbs attempted 53.5% of his shots at the rim in 2013-14, making 44.8% of those shots. Through six games in 2014-15 Gibbs has taken 47.5% of his shots in that area of the floor, shooting 55.2%. Gibbs has also made strides with regards to his effective field goal and true shooting percentages, going from 46.7% to 63.9% in the former and from 55.2% to 70.8% in the latter per

Those numbers may very well change when the Pirates begin conference play, thanks to opponents being more familiar with Gibbs and his skill set. Or they could remain where they are, with the junior building on the quality start his team needed. As Seton Hall’s underclassmen find their way in Willard’s system, the play of the “elder statesman” Gibbs is a big reason why the Pirates are currently on the edge of the Top 25.

“50-40-90 Club”

1. Sean Sellers (Ball State)
Percentages: 51.7 (FG), 63.2 (3PT), 90.0 (FT) = 210.3

Sellers (19.5 ppg) is one of two freshmen leading the way for the Cardinals, with guard Jeremie Tyler being the other.

2. Sterling Gibbs (Seton Hall)
Percentages: 52.5, 58.3, 91.4 = 202.2

3. Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga)
Percentages: 58.3, 46.2, 90.0 = 194.5

Pangos’ assist-to-turnover ratio has received a lot of attention thus far, but he remains one of the nation’s best shooters.

4. Tyler Haws (BYU)
Percentages: 50.5, 42.4, 91.1 = 184.0

Haws has picked up where he left off last season, averaging 22.1 points per game on a team that’s averaging nearly 96 points per contest.

Seven more “180” players 

1. Alec Peters (Valparaiso)
Percentages: 59.8, 55.0, 84.6 = 199.4

After averaging 12.7 points per game as a freshman, the 6-foot-9 Peters is up to 19.2 and is one of the top shooters in the Horizon League.

2. Marc Loving (Ohio State)
Percentages: 57.9, 57.9, 81.8 = 197.6

D’Angelo Russell is the headliner offensively, but keep an eye on the sophomore Loving as the season wears on as he gives the Buckeyes a solid pick-and-pop option.

3. Austin Richie (Western Michigan)
Percentages: 54.7, 58.3, 83.3 = 196.3

The senior guard has made improvements across the board, with his scoring (13.1 ppg) increasing by more than five points from last season (7.9 ppg).

4. Tim Douglas (Portland State)
Percentages: 55.9, 61.1, 78.6 = 195.6

Douglas (12.0 ppg) is one of five Vikings averaging double figures, with the balance being one reason why they’re currently 4-1.

5. Anthony Livingston (Arkansas State)
Percentages: 63.9, 62.5, 68.8 = 195.2

The 6-foot-8 sophomore is currently averaging 20.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest.

6. Wade Baldwin IV (Vanderbilt)
Percentages: 54.8, 58.3, 80.0 = 193.1

Baldwin’s part of a freshman class that’s being asked to hit the ground running at Vanderbilt, and he’s averaging 8.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest.

7. James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana)
Percentages: 51.2, 53.7, 87.5 = 192.4

Blackmon Jr.’s ability to score has taken some of the scoring load off of Yogi Ferrell’s shoulders.


Vince Edwards (Purdue): 63.5% FG, 47.6% 3PT, 80.0% FT
Trevon Bluiett (Xavier): 55.7% FG, 50.0% 3PT, 86.4% FT

2014 forward Vince Edwards commits to Purdue

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Matt Painter had been recruiting Vince Edwards, a 6-foot-6 forward from Franklin, OH, dating back to the fall of 2011. Finally, on Edwards’ official visit to Purdue over the weekend, he pledged a commitment to play for Painter at Purdue. Painter’s persistence paid off, especially considering that Big Ten rival Michigan recently came into the fold for Edwards.

One can only imagine how Painter felt this past May when, according to Edwards who spoke with, Michigan and John Beilein were on equal footing with Purdue:  “They’re both equal right now, honestly. They’re the same type of guys, the same people…It’s which school I’m most comfortable with, honestly. Both schools are a good fit for me.”

Rumors swirled in February of 2012 that Edwards, a sophomore in high school at the time, had committed to Purdue thanks to a bevy of tweets made by Edwards seemingly hinting that he was committing to Purdue — the dangers of social media and fans on message boards reading into things a bit too closely.

When he finally committed to Purdue yesterday, Edwards told Jeff Washburn of the Journal and Courier that he never had any doubts about Purdue and its program, but needed to weigh all of his options before committing: “Never in my mind have I had a doubt about Purdue. But of course, I wanted to be sure that I was making the right decision. I felt like it was the right decision to make, so I made it today.”

Edwards is ranked as the #80 recruit in the class of 2014, according to, and he joins fellow Ohioan Dakota Mathias as the Boilermakers’ second recruit for its 2014 class. Mathias’ commitment to Purdue certainly played a factor in Edwards’ decision: “Dakota played a big part at the end. We’ve played together in open gym, and just by doing that, I could tell he knows how to play the game. We connected right there on the court. I want to play with Dakota. He is a really good player.”

More than just a basketball player, Edwards has a good head on his shoulders as he clicked with the academic staff at Purdue, and seems to have already committed himself to studying kinesiology:

“The academic advisors really sold me on the fact that they really are here for the kids and to teach the kids. That was kind of different from other schools that I have been to…I kind of want to follow in the footsteps of my father, my brother and my mom, who all wanted to be coaches. If I can coach, that is what I will do, but I also want to look at being an athletic trainer.”

For now, Matt Painter will count on Edwards to be an impact player for his program; the coaching can hold off for a while.

Below is Edwards’ official mixtape: