2011-12 ITH Season Preview: Purdue Boilermakers

  • 10/05/2011 8:37 am in

With the college basketball season inching closer, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next few weeks. Today, we continue our team previews with a look at the Purdue Boilermakers.

Goodbye, JuJuan Johnson.

Farewell, E’Twuan Moore.

The departed seniors — who both landed with the Boston Celtics in June’s NBA draft — were a big part of Matt Painter’s Boilermakers last season. Consider this: The two combined to use 54.3 percent of the team’s possessions and took 60 percent of its shots. This all from the nation’s 19th best offense based on adjusted efficiency.

But Moore and Johnson were also instrumental on the other side of the ball, where the Boilermakers fared even better — posting the 12th best mark in adjusted defensive efficiency.

While Purdue might not be destined to fall to the bottom half of the Big Ten in 2011-12, expecting the team to finish among the conference’s top two spots — which it’s done in each of the past four seasons — is likely a stretch at this juncture.

Just how Robbie Hummel will return from consecutive ACL injuries remains to be seen. But the senior — who has one year of eligibility left due to his second injury costing him the entire 2010-11 season — has played strong defense his entire career. So even if his offensive game takes a step back, he may be able to help bolster the loss of Johnson and Moore on defense. (We recently listed Hummel on our preseason All-Big Ten Team.)

Returning contributors from last season’s squad include senior guard Lewis Jackson (the team’s top facilitator last season with an assist rate of 28.4 percent); junior John Hart (the team’s third most-used offensive weapon outside of Johnson and Moore); junior Kelsey Barlow (who played the role of Jordan Hulls’ nemesis last season); junior wing D.J. Byrd and sophomores Terone Johnson and Travis Carroll. Ryne Smith, one of the team’s three seniors, should also find himself back in the starting lineup.

Painter also has two freshman power forwards (Donnie Hale and Jacob Lawson) coming in this season to a frontcourt that could use some depth.

Bottom line: With Hummel and Jackson leading the way, Purdue still figures to be a tough team, one capable of yet again advancing to the NCAA Tournament. But as noted above, being in contention for a conference championship may allude the Boilermakers this season.

Quotable: “I watched the Notre Dame-Michigan game, and just the intro with the atmosphere … when I was watching it, I said, ‘I can’t wait for basketball to start.’ I remembered what a rush it is to play in front of 14,000 or 15,000 people at really any Big Ten venue.” — Hummel to the Indianapolis Star last month

PreviouslyNebraska, MinnesotaPenn State, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois

All stats in this piece from KenPom.

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  • Anonymous

    It’s probably just because I went to North Central high school, but Terone Johnson is not a guy I look forward to playing against.  Just seemed like a mistake-less quiet killer in the little I saw him last year.  And I’m very curious to see how Hummell comes back.  Everyone seems to be positive about it, but I just find it hard to believe he’ll be anywhere near as effective after 2 knee surgeries and 18 months away from live action.  We’ll see.

  • Casey B.

    Fellow Panther right here. The school’s pretty much putting out at least one legit D1 player each year these days.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed.  I was a freshman the year they won state but other than that, we didn’t have a whole lot to be excited about back then.

  • Anonymous

    Of all the things I’ve missed over the past three seasons beating PU sits alone at the top.  I have a really hard time believing that Hummel will have the impact he did two years ago.  The guy is a fighter and will be healthy if at all possible but in the same way Creek has dealt with injuries it’s evident that this is a lot of damage for the body to recover from and continue to play at a high level.  Even with Hummel we finally once again, and hopefully forever going forward, have the better team and should see the power shift back in our favor starting this year. 

    10… days… left!!!

  • MillaRed

    All I know is they Purdon’t win championships in West Lafayette.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Purdue is another team that will be battling in the middle of the pack.  There are going to be 7 or 8 teams that are relatively equal right in the middle of the conference.  The difference (as it usually is) will come down to winning close games. 

    Purdue has a couple of legitimate scoring threats.  Terone Johnson and Robbie Hummel should both be able to provide points on a fairly consistent basis.  Lewis Jackson is a good point guard and a very adequate perimeter defender.  Now for the question marks.  Can Ryne Smith be consistently accurate from behind the three-point line?  Will anyone be able to give decent minutes in the post (I don’t think so)?  Can Kelsey Barlow keep his head on straight and be a contributor?  Purdue will defend and be tough to beat at home but I don’t see them finishing in the top half of the league.  7th place for me.   

  • eph521

    All I know is that Purdue Sucks.

  • eph521

    I truly wish Robbie Hummel the very best. My heart goes out to such a talented kid who has had to endure back-to-back season ending injuries. If any fanbase can relate at the moment, it’s IU fans and our boy Maurice Creek.

    But let’s not get too carried away… I hope we shut him down when we play this year and IU beats Purdon’t by 50 points each game.

  • Casey B.

    That was a hell of a year for Indy area basketball between Oden, Connelly and Gordon.

  • MillaRed

    Thanks for clarifying eph. Next time I will just say what I am really thinking…..

  • IUfanPurduePhD


  • IUfanPurduePhD

    (Not booing the article, Ryan, just the topic itself.)

  • I realize no one here likes Purdue, but the “Purdue sucks” and “this article smells” reminds me of an un-moderated message board. Stay on topic, folks.


  • We need to win at least one of the two games we play this yr….that would be progress and probably the last W PUke gets in this rivalry for a while.

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, I think PU will be better than most think they will be.  They will play tough, in-your-face D, and they won’t make a lot of mistakes while forcing their opponents into turnovers.  I think their biggest issue will be finding a complimentary scorer for Hummel (if he can still be counted upon to be a go to player after injury).

    I think we can, and should, split with them this year, though.  I think they end up anywhere from 4th to 6th.

  • Anonymous

    U know they will think defense first via Painter..IU needs the same mentality and Hoosiers should have better over all talent this year. Big emphasis on the “should”

  • InTheMtns

    I hope Hummel is healthy and has a great season. He deserves it. He and Johnson and Jackson should be tough and I’ll bet that Smith has improved his game. PU’s defense is always good (except in their final game last year in the NCAA’s). I think we can match the best they’ve got and we beat them for sure at IU. I look for PU to finish in the middle of the pack and maybe behind IU.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I like my degree(s), but I can’t stand PUke’s teams (any of them) and always always always root against them (unless they happened to play pUKe).  I don’t own any apparel that says “Purdue” on it (the little picture is actually a brown tie and a cream shirt). 🙂

    I spent six years at Purdue (including IU’s 8-win season), and I don’t wish harm to Robbie Hummell or any of the kids, but I desperately want the Hoosiers to finish ahead of PUke in the B1G standings … maybe not this year, but I think that should happen next year and keep happening for the next decade.

  • Anonymous

    + If Anthony Johnson, a redshirt freshman, plays enough defense to get on the court, I think he could help them score.  I don’t think Ryne Smith can create his own shot and I’m not convinced Hart can create his efficiently. 

    + I thought Carroll actually played ok for a freshman last year. He’s really their only option inside unless their freshman surprise .  If he doesn’t play well they’re in big trouble.

    + Not sure what the deal is with Terone Johnson.  For being the future “star”, I thought he had a poor season.  Their are guys who show you flashes of breakout potential despite limited roles (say, Jordan Crawford before transferring) but I didn’t see much from Johnson.  Considering that E’twuan and JaJuan drew so much attention from defenses, I’m surprised.