Perennial Performers for Painter’s Purdue
Sophomore guard Jaden Ivey became the ninth player during Matt Painter’s 17 seasons at Purdue to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors when his unanimous selection was announced by league officials on Tuesday.
It was the second honor of the week for Ivey, who was selected a second-team All-American by The Sporting News. Ivey averaged 17.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists in Big Ten play.
But where does Ivey rank among the best to play for Painter? Let’s rate the 17 best Boilermakers in the Painter era.
17. Lewis Jackson: Just think what this year’s Purdue team would be like with a true point guard like Jackson was from 2008-12. It’s no coincidence that the Boilermakers looked to be on their way to an NCAA Final Four berth in 2010 when he returned to the lineup after missing 19 games following foot surgery. Jackson finished his career ranked second in Purdue history in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.15) and seventh in assists (456).
16. Chris Kramer: To put it simply, the Huntington native did what it took to win. Kramer was also Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2010 and made the league’s All-Defensive Team in each of his four seasons (2007-10).
15. David Teague: One of the very few times in Purdue history when a torn ACL turned out to be a positive. Teague had to miss what would have been his senior season in 2005-06 after suffering the injury in practice. With him, and fellow ACL victim Carl Landry in the lineup for 2006-07, Purdue ended up making its first NCAA tournament in the Painter era.
14. Rapheal Davis: There’s a reason why Matt Painter gave Davis a Big Ten Conference championship ring one season AFTER his graduation in 2016. Davis was arguably the catalyst for reversing the course of Purdue basketball after a last-place finish. He was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and a member of the All-Defensive Team in 2016.
13. Dakota Mathias: Owner of Purdue’s career 3-pointers made record (250), Mathias averaged 12 points a game for the first 30-win team in school history in 2017. He also was a member of the Big Ten All-Defensive Team.
12. Isaac Haas: The 7-2 center averaged 14.5 points and nearly six rebounds a game as a senior and earned third-team All-Big Ten honors. His broken elbow suffered in the 2018 NCAA tournament opener against Cal State Fullerton derailed Purdue’s shot at an Elite Eight or Final Four berth.
11. Vincent Edwards: One of the best all-around Boilermakers in the 21st century, the 6-8 forward averaged 14.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists as a senior in 2018 to earn second-team All-Big Ten honors. He finished his Purdue career with 1,638 points, 779 rebounds and 403 assists.
10. Zach Edey: The 7-4 sophomore center’s rapid development was recognized with a second-team All-Big Ten berth this season. He leads the nation in field goal percentage (.667) and is averaging 14.1 points and 7.7 rebounds in just 20 minutes per game.
9. A.J. Hammons: The 7-foot center earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as well as winning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year thanks to averaging 15 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots per game in 2016. The only other Big Ten player to surpass 1,500 career points, 900 rebounds and 340 blocked shots? Purdue All-American center Joe Barry Carroll.
8. Trevion Williams: Went up one spot in my pecking order for his selfless decision this season to accept demotion after an All-American junior season to make way for Edey in the starting lineup. Williams was rewarded this week by being Purdue’s second recipient of the Big Ten’s Sixth Man of the Year award (the first being DJ Byrd in 2012). Only three others besides Williams in Purdue history (Walter Jordan, Robbie Hummel, Brad Miller) have had 1,300 points, 850 rebounds and 200 assists.
7. Carl Landry: The first in league history to earn three consecutive Big Ten Player of the Week honors, Landry averaged 18.9 points per game as a fifth-year senior in 2006-07. The 6-9 forward averaged 18.4 points and 7.1 rebounds for his career.
6. Robbie Hummel: The first Boilermaker since Rick Mount (1968-70) to be selected first-team All-Big Ten three times. Hummel also won the Lowe’s Senior Class Award in 2012. When he graduated, Hummel ranked in Purdue’s top 10 for points (1,772) and rebounds (862).
5. Carsen Edwards: Purdue’s first winner of the Jerry West Award as the nation’s top shooting guard in 2018, Edwards will be remembered for his performance in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. During the run to the Elite Eight, Edwards put up a career-high 42 points against Villanova and 29 in the Sweet 16 against Tennessee. Edwards then was 10 of 19 from 3-point range to finish with 42 points in the heartbreaking loss to Virginia in overtime. He broke the NCAA tournament record for 3-pointers with 28.
4. Jaden Ivey: Terry Dischinger. Dave Schellhase. Rick Mount. Glenn Robinson. JaJuan Johnson. Caleb Swanigan. Carsen Edwards. Like them, Ivey was selected first-team All-Big Ten as either a freshman or sophomore (Dischinger, Schellhase and Mount played when freshmen were ineligible). He is likely to become the highest drafted Purdue player by an NBA team since Robinson was taken No. 1 overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1994. The only first-round draft picks since then to have come from Purdue are JaJuan Johnson (27th) and Caleb Swanigan (26th). This ranking also could improve with a strong NCAA Tournament performance.
3. Caleb Swanigan: The 6-8 forward lived up to his billing as Indiana Mr. Basketball and a McDonald’s All-American coming into Purdue. His sophomore year was one of the greatest in Boilermaker history: Big Ten Player of the Year, unanimous first-team All-American and finalist for the Karl Malone Award. Swanigan broke Joe Barry Carroll’s single-season rebound record while also setting the Purdue standard with 19 double-doubles.
2. E’Twaun Moore: Only Mount and Carroll scored more points at Purdue than Moore’s 2,136. The 6-4 guard was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a junior and a senior. He led Purdue in scoring each of his first three seasons. Upon his graduation in 2011, Moore held Purdue records for minutes played (4,517), 3-pointers made (243), games won (107), games played (140) and starts (137).
1. JaJuan Johnson: Purdue’s first consensus All-American (2011) since Glenn Robinson in 1994. The 6-11 Johnson also was Purdue’s first winner of the Pete Newell National Big Man Award as well as Big Ten Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for averaging a Big Ten-leading 20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game.
On the bubble
If Indiana’s name is not mentioned on Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament, here’s eight reasons why.
Eastern Michigan. Northern Illinois. Louisiana. Jackson State. Marshall. Merrimack. Northern Kentucky. UNC Asheville.
The only non-conference games away from Assembly Hall were a 112-110 double overtime loss at a very mediocre Syracuse and a victory over Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic at Indianapolis.
Need more reasons?
Indiana’s lone Big Ten victories away from Bloomington were to the 10th, (Maryland), 13th (Minnesota) and 14th (Nebraska) place teams. Only two victories against certain NCAA tournament teams (Ohio State, Purdue).
Playing non-conference cupcakes can be a sound bowl-eligible strategy for Indiana football most seasons but can be the difference between being among the last teams in and the first four out of the NCAA tournament.
– Kenny Thompson is the former sports editor for the Lafayette Journal & Courier and an award-winning journalist. He has covered Purdue athletics for many years.