It’s safe to say the Purdue Boilermakers wish they had put up a better fight against Kansas in the sweet sixteen from last seasons NCAA tournament. The past is the past however and the Boilermakers will look to replicate another great regular season. In order to do so both Purdue and Matt Painter have a roster to work on.
Going into the 2017/2018 season, the Boilermakers may be without their top three scorers from last season. Caleb “Biggie” Swanigan could be Purdue’s biggest loss. Swanigan who averaged a double-double on the season as well as leading the league in double-doubles has declared for the NBA draft along with Isaac Haas and Vincent Edwards. The loss of Edwards and Haas would be detrimental. Haas who improved his play down the stretch averaged 12.6 points per game in just 19.5 minutes per game. His length and dominant presence in the post would be a huge loss for Purdue. Edwards on the other hand was an all around player who could get it done on both sides of the ball.
So if Purdue were to lose these three players, where or who would they look to? Sasha Stefanovic is a player looking to make his mark at Purdue. The three star shooting guard out of Crown Point, Indiana recently committed to Purdue. Stefanovic is a 6’5″ guard who is a lot like Dakota Mathias, as said by coach Painter. Last season, Stefanovic averaged 19.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He is definitely a player who can make an impact, but if all three players are to return, playing time for Stefanovic could be minimal for his first year at Purdue.
It’s yet to be seen how Purdue’s lineup will shake out, only the NBA draft will tell. In all likely hood at least one of three entrants into the draft will return to Purdue. Swanigan, Haas, and Edwards have all entered the draft without hiring agents meaning they can choose to return to Purdue if they would like. Swanigan is the most likely out of the three to be drafted. I fully expect Haas to be back with the Boilermakers as he would be the sure candidate for a high workload in the upcoming season. I also expect Edwards to be back with the team as his play deteriorated towards the end of the season. For now, all we can do is wait and see how things play out.