I don't think you can go far enough back in Purdue's basketball history to find a recruiting class as highly touted as the group of players that are coming into West Lafayette this season...and it's a good thing. With the losses of David Teague & Carl Landry and more recently, Gordon Watt, Purdue lost almost all of it's core from last year's 22-win team. But, if the exhibition game versus The University of Indianapolis is any indicator, this group of newcomers is ready and willing to fill in the gap left by the group of veterans that just left.
While this incoming class is filled with top-75 talent, none of them (with maybe the exception of Moore) seem to be flashy...and I like that. A few articles I've read seem to echo that sentiment as all of this class has lent itself to coaching and instruction during pre-season workouts and practices. So how did the first contest go? Pretty well- 69 of 89 of Purdue's points came from this Freshman class...Martin finished with 19, and Hummel with 17. All four Freshman finished with double-digit points and they all shot right-around 50%. Chris Kramer seemed to step aside for the evening, offensively and let the young guys (like he's a crusty old veteran) get their nerves straight. Hummel was one of the first to play down the performance and its importance saying, "All we did was beat Indianapolis...That's it." He's right on, but it's promising.
Calasan was not available due to the NCAA not yet clearing his amateur status. Painter said this issue would be quickly settled and didn't sound worried...I'm not feeling so great about it since Purdue's record with the NCAA clearinghouse is less-than-stellar. Grant also did not play due to his three-game suspension for alcohol-related off-court problems.
I'm excited about this team, but think they're a year-or-so away from a record that is better than last-season's 22-win campaign. My gut says they'll have 19-21 wins and get into the dance as an 8 or 9 seed...I hope I'm underestimating them, but it's hard to win while relying on this much youth...especially if Calasan isn't cleared in the very-near future.