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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

September 6th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball


Purdue Boilermakers

Overall Rank: #68

Conference Rank: #7 Big Ten


2005-06: 9-19, 3-13, 11th

2005-06 postseason: none


Don’t let last years record be any indication of what happens at Purdue this season.  A plethora of injuries decimated the squad and, with a clean bill of health, second year coach Matt Painter is ready to take this squad back to its rightful place far away from the bottom of the Big Ten standings. 


Who’s Out: There are still quite a few departures from West Lafayette.  Every forward that didn’t get hurt, and even some who did, are gone.  Matt Kiefer averaged 12.0 points and 7.5 rebounds and Marcus White added on 10.1 points and 4.0 boards before succumbing to injuries.  Gary Ware started 13 contests and Matt Carroll was forced into action during 24 games.  That covers every forward who played in more than five games last year.  The backcourt losses are just as painful with the departure of Bryant Dillon and Korey Spates.  Dillon averaged 6.9 points and 3.0 assists during his senior campaign and Spates averaged 10.1 points in 15 games before leaving the program.    


Who’s In: Due to the injuries, there is quite an impressive list of player who didn’t see action last year.  In the backcourt David Teague and Tarrance Crump are expected to step into starting roles.  Teague averaged 14.0 points per game two years ago and will once again light up the Big Ten with his long range shooting.  Crump was expected to be the starting point guard last year after transferring from Shelton State Community College in Alabama, but did not play during the 2005-2006 campaign.  He’ll jump into that role this year though and shouldn’t have any problems taking over.   Walk-on Geno Parker missed last season with a hip injury and will provide some emergency depth.  A couple incoming freshmen also have the ability to make an impact.  Chris Kramer, a 6-3 combo guard, averaged 19.1 points and 4.0 assists last year at Huntington North High School in Indiana and is a solid backup for Crump.  Keaton Grant is a versatile wing who can fill up the stat sheet.  The backcourt depth may prevent him from seeing too many minutes immediately, but he is expected to develop into a big time player over his career.  The big guys are where Purdue needs some help.  Of course, having Carl Landry back after playing in five games before a knee injury ended his season will help.  Two years ago the 6-7 forward averaged 18.2 points and 7.2 rebounds and all-conference honors will await him for this campaign.  Gordon Watt, Dan Vandervieren and Jonathan Uchendu will provide some depth up front.  Watt, a transfer from Boston College, only saw action in six games for the Eagles, but is a very athletic player who isn’t afraid to take his 6-7 frame inside.  Vandervieren is a solid shot blocker, but it will take some time for the freshman to adjust to playing in the Big Ten.  Uchendu is a long and lean center with plenty of potential.  He won’t be a major force on the offensive end quite yet, but if he can become a consistent player it will help out the frontcourt problems that will plague the Boilermakers.


Who to Watch: The perimeter trio of Nate Minnoy, Chris Lutz and Marcus Green had quality freshmen campaigns and will be an important part of the team as sophomores.  Even though their playing time might be diminished with the return of Teague and Crump, this group has the potential to breakout.  Minnoy, who started 12 games before tearing an MCL in 2005-2006, averaged 10.2 points and 5.2 rebounds last year.  The 6-3, 270 pounder can use his big body to bang inside and may be asked to play up front if none of the newcomers are ready to fill that role.  Lutz averaged 9.2 points during his first season at Purdue and proved to be a big threat from long range.  With Teague returning, Lutz may use that three-point range off the bench.


Final Projection: All this team needs is to stay healthy and find some time to play together.  It may take a little while for the rotation to sort itself out, but there is plenty of talent here.  If you’re looking for a surprise team in the Big Ten, take the Boilermakers.


Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT


Projected Starting Five:

Tarrance Crump, Junior, Guard, DNP last season

Chris Lutz, Sophomore, Guard, 9.2 points per game

David Teague, Senior, Guard, DNP last season

Nate Minnoy, Sophomore, Forward, 10.2 points per game

Carl Landry, Senior, Forward, 15.2 points per game

69 St John's » Complete List » 67 Old Dominion

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