WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Tuesday was the first official training session for Purdue basketball. Afterward, coach Matt Painter met with the local media to talk about the Boilermakers, training, and the upcoming college basketball season.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
Newman, Ivey in dealing with injuries
Purdue sophomore guards Brandon Newman and Jaden Ivey both treat early-stage lower leg injuries. Newman was unable to attend training Tuesday, and Painter said he had received further exams to determine the severity of the injury.
“It bothered him in the spring,” said Painter. “Of course I have a lot of peace and quiet, but it sounds like it has only gotten worse.”
Ivey, on the other hand, started training after rolling his ankle on Monday, but the injury worsened again on Tuesday. After an evaluation, he was able to return, but later left the floor again to remain a spectator for the team’s final training sessions.
Painter will learn more about the team’s injury status over the next few days. The boiler makers do not practice on Wednesday.
Challenges of having Edey and Williams on the pitch together
In practice, the Purdue centers Zach Edey and Trevion Williams play on opposing teams and fight for position on the post. But the two teammates can still share the floor at the beginning of the season.
“It hasn’t been great so far, to be honest,” Painter said. “But we will continue to play around with it to a certain extent.”
Playing Williams as a striker while Edey takes responsibility for anchoring it under the rim is a work in progress for the Boilermakers.
And when you bring freshman strikers Caleb Furst and Trey Kaufman-Renn into play with Williams, you have three players who aren’t exactly used to being the second biggest player on the field.
“It just doesn’t come overnight,” said Painter. “All of these guys have spent most of their careers guarding the tallest man on the pitch, and rightly so. This is the biggest adjustment with Zach, you have to have good spacing.
“But what we do has to have a purpose. When the ball goes in, you have to dive down quickly and be ready to move because you’re already slower. ”
Freshmen class is making progress
Before he could even enter campus, Kaufman-Renn injured his hand during the Indiana All-Stars series, which sidelined him. Now that he’s healthy, he’s been working to return to what made him a highly touted four-star recruit to the Boilermakers.
However, according to Painter, it hasn’t been the smoothest adaptation to college yet.
“Well, he wasn’t in very good shape after he got well,” he said. “He spent a month doing nothing and it probably took him a month to really get used to it. He stayed here between summer school and fall. He lost about 12 or 13 pounds, got in better shape and he is done some good things.
“He did a really good job of hitting the basketball and being aggressive for us. But he just has to keep working and watching a lot of movies and trying to figure out what’s going on.”
Another newcomer, Furst has continued to adapt for Purdue as a young striker. He showed his ability to play outside the basket early on, but the coaches want to see more of him offensively.
“He did a good job, you know he can stretch the defense and shoot the basketball. He’s trying to make him a more aggressive post just because sometimes you don’t have guys your size as the four.”
The third member of Purdue’s freshman class, Brian Waddell, is a player the program believes has a lot of talent for the future. The plan is for him to wear a red shirt this season.