As we enter the fall season and college football gets underway, college basketball is right around the corner. As always, to prepare you for the season, Land-Grant Holy Land will be publishing Big Ten Team Previews and Ohio State Basketball Player Previews, starting now with the Team Previews.
Team: Purdue Boilermakers
Head coach: Matt Painter
2022-23 record: 29-6 (15-5)
All-time record against Ohio State: 60-70
Returners: Zach Edey, Caleb Furst, Trey Kaufman-Renn, Fletcher Loyer, Braden Smith, Mason Gillis, Ethan Morton, Brian Waddell, Camden Heide, William Berg
Departures: Brandon Newman, David Jenkins
Newcomers: Myles Colvin, Lance Jones
Purdue is returning most of its roster that went 29-6 last season and won the Big Ten, so the expectations are high. The Boilermakers will start the season as the No. 3 team in the AP poll, only behind Kansas and Duke.
Last season, Purdue snuck up on people with some big non-conference wins and started the season 14-1. The emergence of freshman guards Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer as solid starters for Purdue immediately was something no one really saw coming, and it helped Zach Edey to have one of the best seasons of any player over the last couple of seasons.
Edey averaged a double-double with 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game to win the 2022 National Player of the Year. Smith and Loyer were second and third on the team in scoring at 11.0 and 9.7 points per game, respectively.
Another key piece to this team will be top-75 freshman Myles Colvin. The 6-foot-5 wing is a versatile two-way player who can provide a spark with Smith and Loyer. If he can make an immediate impact, which he is expected to, that will be another playmaker that the Boilermakers have outside of Edey.
Trey Kaufman-Renn, Caleb Furst, Mason Gillis, and Ethan Morton are all role players who can give Matt Painter 20-30 minutes per night and help complement the starting guards and Edey.
There might not be a team in college basketball with more expectations than Purdue this season. They were the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Big Ten Champions, and are returning almost all of its production from last season.
However, with their loss to Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round, all eyes are on West Lafayette to see how they will respond to the disappointing end to the season. Only one other No. 1 seed has lost to a No. 16 seed in the first round, and that team won a national championship the next season. No pressure, Purdue.
Edey is back, and there is no reason to believe he won’t be the most dominant player in college basketball again this season. The main thing that will decide whether or not Purdue is a great regular season team that loses in the Elite Eight or is a legitimate national title contender will be the development of the two guards in Smith and Loyer.
Painter is one of the best coaches in the country, and the Boilermakers have the best player in the country. If Smith and Loyer are able to take a solid sophomore jump, the Boilermakers can compete with anyone in the country and could easily be the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament again.