Record: 27-8 (14-4 conf)
Key Returners: Carson Edwards, Matt Haarms
Key Loss: Isaac Haas, Vincent Edwards
Key Additions: Trevion Williams, Kyle King
Coach: Matt Painter
Key Games: vs. Wichita State/Davidson (Charleston Classic – 11/16), @ #17 Florida State (11/28), @ #19 Michigan (12/1), @ Texas (12/9), vs. Notre Dame (Crossroads Classic – 12/15), vs. Iowa (1/3), @ #10 Michigan State (1/8), @ Wisconsin (1/11), vs. Indiana (1/19), vs. #10 Michigan State (1/27), @ Indiana (2/19)
Before we even get into it, I would like to point out that these are key games for them TO ME. I do think Nebraska and Ohio State are both going to be good, but not better than Purdue. And while I would LOVE to list Robert Morris as a tough game, they only are to a certain team in Kentucky.
Now, moving on. Time for the hot take: Purdue won’t be good this year. There is one simple reason for this: they lost every one of their Senior leadership, and they are moving Carson Edwards (a shooting guard to me, but basketball is essentially position less now) to point guard. In the sets where he was last year, he did not seem to display the natural playmaking that is necessary. He can score yes, but so can the rest of this Purdue team.
On that note, this shooting is going to be lights out for this team this year. They are going to struggle mightily this year without 9th-year senior Isaac Haas to still lumber around the paint, but Haarms is a decent enough replacement.
Prediction: Expect Purdue to pick up where things left off, but only finish second this year behind a loaded Michigan State. The can easily handle the rest of the Big Ten, but I don’t think it will be that easy. Expect a 28-7 record, but that comes down mostly to a weaker non-conference schedule. They will lose to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship, and (depending on draw) could be a team to make it to the Sweet 16. After that, all bets are off.