2024-25 Big Ten offseason at a glance: Purdue Boilermakers

  • 06/11/2024 7:43 am in

Welcome to “Big Ten offseason at a glance,” a team-by-team look at the conference at the start of the summer. We’ll examine roster movement for each Big Ten roster and give an early outlook for each Big Ten program for the 2024-25 season.

Previously: Penn State, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Oregon, Washington, Maryland, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Rutgers, Northwestern, Michigan, USC, Michigan State, UCLA

Today: Purdue (34-5 overall in 2023-24, 17-3 in Big Ten play)

Purdue and Matt Painter finally broke through in the 2024 NCAA tournament, reaching the Final Four for the first time since 1980. The Boilermakers reached the NCAA championship game and fell to UConn, a repeat national champion.

Purdue roster movement

Players returning with eligibility remaining: Braden Smith, Fletcher Loyer, Myles Colvin, Cam Heide, Trey Kaufman-Renn, Caleb Furst, Brian Waddell, Will Berg

Players departing due to exhausted eligibility: Lance Jones

Players who left early for the NBA draft: Zach Edey

Players who departed via the transfer portal: Mason Gillis (to Duke), Ethan Morton (to Colorado State)

Players arriving via the transfer portal: None

Players arriving via high school: Gicarri Harris (247Composite top 75), Raleigh Burgess, Daniel Jacobsen, Jack Benter, CJ Cox

Purdue returns eight scholarship players and welcomes six high school recruits. Currently, the Boilermakers have one more scholarship player than allowed by NCAA rules. Purdue was the only Big Ten program not to add a player from the transfer portal.

What to like about Purdue

The Boilermakers return three starters from last season’s national runner-up roster, including a first-team All-Big Ten selection in Smith.

Smith took his game to another level last season and was one of the best point guards in the nation. He’ll be expected to take another leap forward as a junior. Loyer is also back, as is Kaufman-Renn, one of the most improved players in the conference last season.

Beyond that, Purdue has a nice assortment of wings, including Colvin and Heide. Harris could be an impact piece in the backcourt from day one. And up front, there’s plenty of size with Berg, Jacobsen, Furst and Burgess.

What to question with Purdue

How much of a step back will the Boilermakers take without Edey? The two-time national player of the year is gone and there’s no replacing his ridiculous production.

Purdue still has plenty of size with with four players 6-foot-10 or taller and two guys at 7-foot-2 or taller, but won’t have a force as dominant as Edey.

And how will Edey’s absence impact the players who surrounded him last season? Will Smith and Loyer be as good without Edey’s gravitational pull on defenses?

Purdue’s outlook for the 2024-25 season

Here is Purdue’s Big Ten schedule for next season:

Home: Maryland, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, UCLA, USC, Wisconsin
Away: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Oregon, Penn State, Washington
Home/Away: Indiana, Michigan, Rutgers

The early projections for next season show Purdue taking a step back, but the Boilermakers remain the favorite in the Big Ten. Bart Torvik has Purdue at No. 11, the highest-rated Big Ten team in his current projections for the 2024-25 season.

Joe Lunardi has Purdue as a No. 3 seed in his bracketology projection, the highest seeded of any Big Ten team. Painter is as good as any coach in the country at maximizing his talent. There will be an adjustment period without Edey, but installing Purdue as the preseason favorite to win the league isn’t far-fetched.

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