Perhaps no story has been bigger for the Purdue Boilermakers in this year’s NCAA Tournament than the status of Isaac Haas. After an injury in the opening round against Cal State Fullerton, fans have wondered if Haas could return.
Well, if Purdue’s engineering department has anything to say, he will play.
After being told that his elbow brace would not be approved by the NCAA to allow him to play, Purdue turned to its engineering department. Students and faculty have now made something that could allow Haas to play this weekend.
During this season, Haas has played in 35 games and averaged an impressive 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds. Notably, the big man had nine points and 10 rebounds in Purdue’s win over Cal State Fullerton before going down with injury. Given his numbers, there’s little denying his return would be substantial.
However, even if Haas is allowed to play, that doesn’t mean he will.
According to head coach Matt Painter, Haas still has to show that he can perform on the court. Obviously, Haas has to show that he can do basic things holding the ball, shooting, and passing to open teammates. We don’t yet know if he’s shown those things.
But even if Haas might not play, what a great story for Purdue’s engineering department and the entire school. When things looked down, the students and team came together.
Now, we’ll see if it ends up mattering this weekend.