WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue basketball fans enjoyed the annual Gold and Black scrimmage at Mackey Arena Saturday afternoon, a chance to see what the defending Big Ten champions have without player of the year Caleb “Biggie” Swanigan.
The reviews were impressive.
Sophomore guard Carsen Edwards scored inside and out for 30 points, but maybe more importantly, zero turnovers.
He and senior P.J. Thompson should make for a productive back court. Pre-season all Big Ten forward Vince Edwards has also taken strides this off-season, expecting to lead this team. Edwards tallied 15 points, some coming at the rim.
Inside, Isaac Haas will finally get the spotlight with Swanigan gone a year after he also shared duties with A.J. Hammons. Both of them are NBA players now, but Haas looked solid, scoring 22 against the likes of redshirt freshman Matt Haarms.
Fans also enjoyed checking out the freshmen, including Nojel Eastern, who can jump out of the gym, and Haarms, who looks to have a patented jump shot. Clearly, the offense is ahead of the defense now, but the Boilers like the direction they’re headed.
“I like my team,” said Coach Painter after the scrimmage. “We have good shooters, defense is coming along, but I need to see how we will react when the shots aren’t falling and we’re on the road in the Big Ten.”
Carsen Edwards knows this team has a lot of potential, but is still a work in progress. “We gotta keep working. We have bigger goals,” said Edwards. “I feel like where we are now is not where we want to be, but it was a good day. I’m just ready to play somebody else.”
That opportunity comes next Saturday at Mackey Arena when the Boilers meet Indiana State in a scrimmage to raise money for south Texas hurricane relief.
Both Edwards, from suburban Houston Atascocita, and freshman Eden Ewing from Richmond, Texas wanted to do something for their home state.
Tipoff for the fundraiser is 3 p.m. Storm-ravaged Puerto Rico will also benefit from the charity game.