Purdue basketball held an intrasquad scrimmage this past Saturday, their first major scrimmage of the season. The format of their scrimmage included the players participating in three 12-minute scrimmages, with players rotating sides between each scrimmage.
The scrimmage was hit or miss for the Boilers, though that is to be expected this early in the fall. While the team had plenty of positives on display this Saturday, there were a number of areas for improvement. The most notable was the team struggling with fouls early on, picking up nine alone in the first three minutes. Turnovers were also a big issue, as the team committed 37 total turnovers throughout the three 12-minute scrimmages, with center Isaac Haas leading the team with seven turnovers. For what it's worth, though, Purdue's point guard Johnny Hill and P.J. Thompson combined for only a single turnover, with Purdue's big three (Hammons, Swanigan and Haas) committing 14 of the 37 turnovers.
Another potential area of concern was the shooting performance by point guard Johnny Hill. Purdue will need shooting from their backcourt and while Hill converted on all 10 free throws, didn't commit a turnover and added six assists and five rebounds, he missed all five of his shots. P.J. Thompson, not known for his outside shot, actually ended up converting four of his five three pointers though, outshooting three point specialists Kendall Stephens (3 of 11) and Dakota Mathias (1 of 5).
On the positive side, Purdue shot the ball relatively well throughout the scrimmage. The team ended up shooting 44.8% from the field, while also converting on 40.9% of their 44 three point attempts. Even more notable was the team shot 81.8% on 44 free throws, an area Purdue has struggled with considerably over the years. Like last year, the team also distributed the ball much better, recording 34 assists on their 43 made field goals.
Highlighting the day was freshman Caleb Swanigan, who hit the ground running in his first scrimmage. The five-star forward ended up scoring 23 points on 7 of 12 shooting, while hitting 80% of his free throws and even nailing a three pointer. The forward also led the way with 12 rebounds, surpassing centers A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas. Besides Swanigan, Rapheal Davis looked impressive as he continued to shoot well from outside and added 14 points. It wasn't as surprising as Thompson, who looked great from outside, but it's nice to see Davis still rolling at a high level. Unfortunately if the scrimmage is any indicator, Purdue fans will probably see Stephens and Mathias continue to be streaky shooters from the perimeter, something that the pair will need to continue to work on this season.
Next up for the Boilers will be their Fan Day this upcoming weekend, topped off with another team scrimmage. There's also a "secret scrimmage" set up with Dayton in the near future before the team's exhibition games, though those are closed to the public/media so details will be sparse for the outing.