With the dust mostly settled on rosters for the 2023-24 season, we’re going team-by-team in the Big Ten to assess where everyone stands and how things could shake out next year.
We’ll start with Purdue, the reigning Big Ten champions. The Boilermakers were one of the top teams in the country last year, finishing 29-6. And they have most of that squad back for 2023-24.
- Brandon Newman (6.0 PPG)
- David Jenkins Jr. (3.9 PPG)
- Zach Edey, C, (22.3 PPG)
- Fletcher Loyer, G, (11.0 PPG),
- Braden Smith, G, (9.7 PPG),
- Mason Gillis, F, (6.8 PPG)
- Trey Kaufman-Renn, F, (4.5 PPG)
- Caleb Furst, F, (5.5 PPG)
- Ethan Morton, G, (3.8 PPG)
- Brian Waddell, F, (0.5 PPG)
- Will Berg, C
- Camden Heide, F
- Lance Jones, G, (13.8 PPG at Southern Illinois)
Freshmen (Rankings from 247Sports Composite)
- Myles Colvin, PF (No. 97)
RETURNING MINUTES: 83.8 percent (per barttorvik.com)
WHY IT WILL WORK
Because it’s worked before in the Big Ten. Purdue has nearly its entire team back from last season, the same group that won the Big Ten regular season title by three games and then won the conference tournament as well. The Boilermakers, of course, fell victim to one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history with their first-round lost to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson, which could serve as motivation this year. Reigning Big Ten and National Player of the Year Zach Edey is an imposing force inside, and steps forward from Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith would make Purdue even harder to stop.
WHY IT WON’T
It’s the same talking points as past years on the flip side. It’s unrealistic to take Edey out of the game. But if you can do that to Purdue’s secondary options and make it harder for them to get Edey the ball, the Boilermakers are more limited. Sophomore slumps for Loyer and Smith would cause some problems. Also, the Boilermakers had some luck last year in avoiding injuries. Their nine main rotation players combined to miss just five games last season. It’s hard to get through a season with such little attrition, and if that becomes a factor, Purdue will be tested.
Purdue is rightfully projected as the favorites in the Big Ten and one of the top teams in the country. The Boilermakers have the second-most returning minutes in the Big Ten, and bring back Edey after one of the more dominant seasons in recent college basketball history. It’s a separate discussion as to whether Purdue’s style can be successful in the NCAA Tournament, but Matt Painter has repeatedly proven that it works in the Big Ten. There’s no reason to think it won’t work again.
BIG TEN OUTLOOK: The Favorites
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