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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 1

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 1 67 Swanigan, and made just under 65 percent of his shots. He was 9-of-16 from three-point range. Painter said that playing Edwards at the 2 should be "a great fit for him" in the short term, with the thought being that he still might transition into a point guard long-term. Purdue's coaching staff wants to keep the rookie in a role like the one he played in high school, one that gave him the leeway to focus on scor- ing and being aggressive on offense. Painter says that if Edwards comes off the bench this season — and he's calling it an if follow- ing his play in Spain — he might have "instant offense" potential as a reserve. "He just has a knack for scoring the basketball," Swanigan said, "and I think once he finds his spot, he's real- ly hard to stop, because he has speed and (strength) for a freshman." Numbers were warped in Spain by game conditions, so Albrecht's 2-of-12 shooting, 0-for-6 from three, might not be the best gauge of his potential this season, taking into account that he's rounding back into form after double hip surgery. But fellow point guard P.J. Thompson hopes his play is a sign of things to come. The junior incumbent made 11-of-16 threes in four games and averaged 10.8 points, with a team-high 17 assists. Collectively, Purdue shot 51 percent overall and nearly 39 percent from three-point range. These were different offensive conditions. In international play, it's a 24-second shot clock, so this was not what U.S. collegians are accustomed to. "The international game, they try to take the struc- ture away from it, to try to make it a more free-flowing game," Swanigan said. "You have to play faster." Also, traveling rules are very different in Europe, bloating Purdue's turnover numbers. It committed 75 in four games. Defensively — and this has to be considered encour- aging given Purdue's looming transition here — the Boilermakers limited opponents to 37-percent shooting and outrebounded them by roughly 16 per game. But again, this wasn't Villanova, Louisville, Michi- gan State and Indiana Purdue played overseas. The Boilermakers returned to the States under- standing that, but also recognizing the non-basketball value that came with the trip. "Basketball was probably the smallest part of the trip," Swanigan said. "The coming-together and chem- istry we built, I think, is probably what the trip was more about." j TAKEAWAYS Five thoughts on Purdue's four-game run in Spain • Purdue has to reconfigure some things defensively to accommodate its new-look personnel. Though it didn't roll out anything particularly new in Spain, it was encouraging from its perspective to see it have some success. This wasn't great competition being played, but for opponents to shoot less than 37 percent all told, that's a good thing. • The Boilermakers' strengths from a season ago would again seem to be their strengths now. Purdue outrebounded its four opponents by an average margin of 15-and-a-half per game, led by budding star Caleb Swanigan's 10.8 rebounds per outing, a number that could very well be in reach for him when the real games start. • This was not great competition, but that doesn't change the fact that Carsen Edwards has proven already that he can play. The Boilermakers' lone scholarship freshman was maybe the story of the trip, averaging 16-plus points on surprisingly efficient shooting. This was not real-life college basketball being played over there and far from the structure that'll be in place in a few weeks, but productivity is productivity and his productivity was outstanding. • Edwards may give Purdue some real flexibility in its backcourt. Though he was recruited as a point guard, he will primarily play the 2-guard spot, as he did in Spain, putting him in more positions to score free of the heavier decision-making burden at point guard. In effect, it could allow Purdue to have two point guard-type players on the floor without compromising shooting or scoring. — Brian Neubert

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