On Tuesday, Purdue fans received some exciting news regarding one of the program’s most talented players. Big man Isaac Haas announced that he would be foregoing the 2017 NBA Draft and returning to the Purdue Boilermakers for another season. It’s massive news that should have a huge impact on Purdue’s chances next season.
As a recruit, Haas arrived on campus with his fair share of hype. He was rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and was projected by many as the latest in a great line of Purdue big men in recent years. He joined a Purdue recruiting class that was rated No. 31 nationally and No. 5 in the Big Ten by 247Sports.
And, generally, he and that recruiting class have lived up to the hype.
Since Haas arrived on campus, Purdue has achieved a great deal of success. The Boilermakers won 21 or more games in each of the last three seasons, culminating in a Big Ten regular season title and a trip to the Sweet 16 last season. Purdue also went 4-1 against Indiana during that stretch.
Haas has played an interesting role for Purdue over the last three seasons. He’s been extremely efficient, but he has yet to even play 50 percent of the team’s minutes in any given season. While part of this has been due to Purdue’s remarkable depth upfront, another factor has been some inconsistency from the big man. There’s little doubt that this is a big reason Haas will be returning to campus.
Of course, even though Haas hasn’t been perfect, this is massive news for Boilermaker fans. Not only because the program is welcoming back a really efficient player upfront, but also because he should see an increased role next season. At this point, most still expect Caleb Swanigan to remain in this year’s Draft, which means Haas should get even more possessions on the offensive end.
Haas doesn’t have the impact of Swanigan or the diverse play of Vincent Edwards (also an early 2017 NBA Draft entrant), but he’s a great option upfront. He should set the floor pretty high for Purdue next season and, if he continues to progress, might even have a chance of developing into an All-Big Ten player by season’s end.
Purdue fans still have two more decisions to wait out, but with the return of Haas, they should know that next year’s team should (once again) be able to do some damage.