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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 5

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commodate its changing personnel dynamics. RYAN CLINE 14 6-5 • G • So. After a redshirt was strongly considered prior to the season, Cline wound up playing a key role most of the season for Purdue and made an impact. He might wind up as a great shooter before all is said and done, but his passing and de- cision-making as a rookie belied his age. He can probably stand to become more assertive and take more steps for- ward defensively after he improved considerably through the season, but he's well on schedule toward becoming a really important player. An interesting dynamic next sea- son will be the offensive bump the Boilermakers may get from playing Mathias and Cline together more often. CARSEN EDWARDS — 6-0 • G • Fr. Even if Purdue adds more backcourt help this spring, the freshman is going to have to play. From Day 1, he will be Purdue's quick- est and fastest player in the open floor, and should provide a scoring element at the point Purdue doesn't otherwise have with his ability to attack or pull up off the dribble. But he will have to acclimate well to structure and pace unlike anything he's been part of to this point, a common adjustment for freshmen at his position. In a perfect world, Purdue won't have to put too much on him too quickly, but if it has to, there's no reason, aside from inexperience, to think he wouldn't be able to handle it. JACQUIL TAYLOR 23 6-10 • F/C • So. Taylor's role depends almost entirely on the outcome of the NBA process. If Swanigan is back, then Swanigan is Purdue's starting 4, with Edwards sliding over in reserve, and backup 5. If Swanigan leaves, Taylor's opportunity is now, though he is still kind of between positions. To play center to any notable extent, he'd have to get much bigger and stronger. But he can shoot the ball and move his feet on defense, so he would give the Boilermakers a different sort of look. Whether that time is now, we don't know yet, but to this point, his effort has been excellent and he couldn't have possibly asked for better competition in practice than he's gotten from Swanigan, Haas and Hammons the past two years. BASIL SMOTHERMAN 5 6-6 • F • Jr. Opportunity is staring the upperclassman right in the face as he comes out of redshirt as Purdue's oldest returnee now. With Ra- pheal Davis gone, there's a need for an ath- letic wing and impact defender, both of which Smother- man is capable of being, as he well knows. It's up to him, again as he well knows. On paper, Purdue is not the most athletic team in college basketball, so bringing the explo- sive forward back into the mix will be a welcomed addition. But his effort and preparation will determine how much of an impact he can make. JON MCKEEMAN 2 6-1 • G • Sr. (5) Also coming out of redshirt after recover- ing from hip surgery, McKeeman would be Purdue's only senior this season if it doesn't add another. An intelligent presence with an almost un- reasonable work ethic, he's been everything teams would want their walk-ons to be. GRADY EIFERT 24 6-6 • F • So. Ditto for Eifert, whose practice-floor effort has been exemplary and come, by every ac- count, with checked expectations. The Boil- ermaker legacy is playing a role on the practice floor and happy to do it. Purdue would take another just like him if it can find one this summer, as it's probably going to add another walk-on this offseason. GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED OLUME 26, ISSUE 5 63

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