WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Purdue basketball began its official pre-season practice Tuesday inside the Mackey Arena, kicking off the team’s 2022-23 campaign.
The Boilermakers were 28-9 years old last season and out of the Sweet 16 game, which was their fourth in the past five years under coach Matt Pinter. After defeating Yale and Texas in the NCAA Championship, the team’s season ended with a 67-64 loss to St. Peter’s.
This year’s squad returns for only quarterback Zach Eddy and striker Mason Gillis, both of whom are rookies this season. Bordeaux’s 71st comeback started a year ago is the lowest since the 2018-19 team returned with just 41 starts.
“A lot of people dwell on what you’ve lost rather than the positives you have,” Pinter said. “You have to let it happen naturally. You’ll find who can guard, who can take care of basketball, who can play with whom – all those little things.”
Edey is one of only three players from the Big Ten to return, averaging 14 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.0 blocks per game last season. He’s the only returning player to do so in less than 28.0 minutes per game, averaging just 19.0 minutes per competition a year ago.
Following the departure of Travion Center Williams to the NBA, Eddie will be in line for the biggest role he has seen in his career with Boilermakers. The All-Big Ten second-team pick and All-America honorable mention is now the best player on a team that has lost three seniors and star goalkeeper Jaden Ivey.
However, he was sidelined in the team’s first official training due to a concussion and was unable to participate with the team for about a week. Purdue will return to practice on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
“You just go ahead,” Pinter said. “It’s like life, the next guy is up. If he’s not able to play or he’s in serious trouble, he gets hurt, or something happens to the next guys that should be able to play. We talk about it a lot. Obviously we hope he comes back to There, but it’s part of the competition.”
Boilermakers brought the recruiting class to 29th in the country, featuring ranger Fletcher Loyer of Homestead High School in Fort Wayne, Ind. , and striker Camden Heide of Wayzata High School in Minneapolis. Both were a four-star recruit, according to 247Sports Composite ratings.
Along with guard Braden Smith and the 7-foot-2 center Will Berg, the freshmen were having their formal training debuts in college.
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“The one thing I really like about the youngsters is their interest in the players, not just the coaches,” Gillis said. “It helps me talk to them more the more I know they are listening.”
Smith, the three-star goalkeeper from Westfield, Indiana, will be part of the team’s backcourt rotation with David Jenkins Jr., who moved from Utah this off-season.
Jenkins has 323 three-pointers, ranking third of all active players in college basketball behind Detroit Mercy Antoine Davis (429) and Liberty Darius McGee (366).
Entering his sixth college season, Jenkins also spent time at South Dakota State and UNLV. He averages 14.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game in his career.
“Obviously he was able to put the ball in the basket,” Pinter said. “He can really score.” “He has had a lot of different experiences. This is his fourth school in six years. He transferred to those other schools even though he followed his coach on his first step, but just happy to have him. I think he can really help us and give us a scoring punch.”
Purdue Basketball will have an exhibition game with Truman State in less than a week before kicking off the 2022-23 season on November 8 against Milwaukee inside Mackie Arena.
With the team settling into formal practice this fall, the main focus will be on the fundamentals in the coming weeks.
“Until you get into the drills and the really full stuff, the guys were kind of playing with the handball,” Pinter said. “And in the Big Ten, they don’t play two-touch. We have to be able to embrace the physicality of the game. That’s a mindset more than anything else, I think that’s a very important piece.”
“Just honing in on the details and trying to be as fundamentally sound as possible. I know it sounds huge, but teams that have a lot of discipline that is basically sound, they usually have a lot of fun.”
Bordeaux basketball related stories
- Game time announced for a game against Florida State: Purdue will play Florida State in the 2022 ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday, November 30 at 7:15 p.m. ET at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, Florida. The game will be streamed live on ESPN2 or ESPNU. click here
- 2022-23 Purdue Boilermakers men’s basketball schedule: The Big Ten has released TV and game time information for the Purdue Boilermakers’ 2022-2023 men’s basketball season. All games can be watched on BTN, BTN+, CBS, ESPN/ESPN2, FS1 and FOX. click here