It’s been three years ago now that I was sitting in my mother’s dining room reading the Lafayette Journal and Courier sports section, and happened upon a story about Purdue’s 2007 recruiting class. In it, the author (whose name I do not remember) essentially made the assertion that, while Indiana’s ’07 class had the star power, (Eric Gordon) Purdue’s had the staying power, and was therefore better.
It was sort of laughable at the time, easily written off as hometown bias. But the more you thought about it — and the more you saw E’Twaun Moore, Robbie Hummel and JaJuan Johnson play — the less preposterous the claim seemed.
This season really is now or never for that same talented group that Matt Painter took to calling the “Big Three.” They’re now probably three of the top 5-7 players in the league, and E’Twaun Moore scores the most of any of them.
The lanky shooting guard from East Chicago has led Purdue in scoring each of his three years in college, and it doesn’t seem likely he’ll relinquish that role in his final college season.
Moore is a guard’s guard — he’s a wonderful spot-up shooter who can hit a nasty streak, and he’s strong off the dribble (though not quite so talented as when he’s catching and shooting). As a compliment to the wide, tall Johnson and the multi-faceted Hummel, he has developed into the perfect foil.
What will be interesting to watch in Moore’s game this year is how much develops into the match to his offense’s kindling. When Hummel was lost last year, Moore assumed a much more focal role in the offense — by design — pushing the Boilermakers into different sets and trying to initiate action on that end of the floor, with mixed results.
With Chris Kramer now gone and Lewis Jackson, frankly, still untested, it stands to reason that we could see more of Moore (my bad on the wordplay) in that sort of role.
It’s certainly one Purdue will need someone to fill, and if Moore can be that someone, then the Boilermakers will find themselves in even higher cotton. Moore alone stands as an All-Big Ten first-teamer purely on talent. If his role in this offense can be enhanced, Purdue is in incredibly good shape hitting the winter.
Filed to: ETwaun Moore