Boilermakers Open Basketball Season Against North Carolina A&T


In a matter of days, the Purdue Boilermakers men’s basketball team will open their regular season, at home, against the North Carolina A&T Aggies.

That’s right, only a few more days before we can forget all about that Purdue Boilermakers sucktastic football squad and put all of our cheering energy into the men’s basketball team.


North Carolina A&T gets the first crack at the No. 23 team in the nation. Coming off a 9-23 season, the Aggies are not considered to be a threat to the Boilermakers, but then again neither was Wofford back in 2007

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The Aggies’ 2014-2015 leading scorer, Bruce Beckford, returns for his senior season and will be the No. 1 focus of the Boilermakers’ defense. He averaged 15.2 points per game; the only Aggie to average double-digit points. At 6-foot-7, Beckford is one of the taller members of the team. This won’t help them much if he’s tasked with guarding one of the four Boilermakers over 6-foot-9.

Outside of Beckford, the Aggies don’t provide much of a threat. Purdue’s starting lineup might not be officially set yet, but we can make an educated guess, right? Until head coach Matt Painter says otherwise, it’s fathomable Purdue starts the same lineup they did against exhibition opponent Northwestern Ohio University: Johnny Hill at point guard, Rapheal Davis at shooting guard, Vince Edwards at small forward, Caleb Swanigan at power forward, and Isaac Haas at center.

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It’s still unknown what senior A.J. Hammons has done to cause him to get benched – he didn’t play against Northwestern Ohio – and Painter hasn’t said whether Hammons will see playing time Friday night or not. But if he does, you can expect him to come off the bench.

This Boilermakers squad, minus Hammons, looked pretty good in their exhibition win. Swanigan continued to impress, putting up a double-double – 12 points and 11 rebounds – in 25 minutes.

The five-star power forward is viewed as the final piece of Painter’s four-year puzzle. Adding a legitimate power forward to play next to 7-foot-2 Haas and 7-foot Hammons was a much-needed move for Painter, even though the Boilermakers were getting 6-foot-9 Jacquil Taylor back from injury, and Swanigan is showing signs that he is the real deal.

Edwards is Purdue’s secret weapon. OK, it’s not much of a secret thanks to the national hype he’s receiving, but he has a real chance of becoming Purdue’s most important player this season. After averaging 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists last year, Edwards has emerged as a potential star and will be a key piece in the Boilermakers living up to their billing.

The nice thing about this game being a “cupcake” game is fans will also get a chance to see new and intriguing players like Ryan Cline, who might not get a lot of playing time this season.

If the Boilermakers can replicate their effort against Northwestern Ohio, then Purdue fans can expect to see what the football team failed to do against their “cupcake” opponents; boiler up and blow them out.

Prediction: Purdue 90, North Carolina A&T 52

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