Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #5 Purdue Boilermakers – TechVerdant


One could think that Purdue Boilermakers fans really hate the month of March now. The Boilermakers spent the month two years ago losing to the 15-seed Saint Peter’s Peacocks. Then, this past March, they became just the second-ever first-seed to lose to a 16-seed at the hands of the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights. That was arguably the biggest upset in the history of college basketball. With most of that team returning, the Boilermakers will hope to rebound and go deep in March, perhaps following in the footsteps of the 2019 Virginia Cavaliers.

Previous teams in my rankings can be seen here.

Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #5 Purdue Boilermakers

The most important thing for this Boilermakers squad is that Zach Edey decided to come back to school. He won almost every major award that you can think of last season. AP Player of the Year, Wooden Award, Naismith Award, Consensus All-American, and nearly every Big Ten award. He scored 87 more points and grabbed 92 more points than any other player in the Big Ten, as well as being second in the conference. These are just insane numbers. Edey is the best player in college basketball until proven otherwise.

Caleb Furst started 21 games last season for Purdue. He played well in a support role in the post next to Edey. Trey Kaufman-Renn was, like Furst, a four-star recruit two years ago. But Kaufman-Renn had to redshirt as a freshman due to injury. Last year, he came off the bench and turned in some solid performances. Both of those power forwards have promise.

Fletcher Loyer was second on the team last year in scoring average with 11.0 points per game. If he can get his percentages up, then that number can significantly increase as he takes a lot of shots. Braden Smith is an excellent passer who was fifth in the Big Ten in assists last year. But, like Loyer, he will have to be more consistent on offense. Starting guard Ethan Morton returns. Mason Gillis returns, too. He is a versatile wing player who can fill a lot of different roles.

Lance Jones is an intriguing addition from the transfer portal. The Southern Illinois transfer averaged 13.8 points per game last year. The two-time All-MVC selection and two-time MVC All-Defense selection also led The Valley in steals last season.

Projected Lineup

C – Zach Edey (22.3 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.2 SPG, 2.1 BPG)

PF – Caleb Furst (5.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.3 BPG)

SF – Mason Gillis (6.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.1 BPG)

SG – Fletcher Loyer (11.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.1 BPG)

PG – Braden Smith (9.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG)


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