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‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - No. 5 Jaden Ivey

BTPowerhouse’s staff counts down the best players in the Big Ten heading into the 2021-’22 season.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-North Texas at Purdue Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In the months leading up to the 2021-’22 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.

Today’s edition will take a brief look at Jaden Ivey of the Purdue Boilermakers, who came in at No. 5 in the rankings. Purdue made a second half surge last season and ended up going from the postseason bubble to a four seed in the NCAA Tournament. A key part of that run was Purdue’s reliance on an arsenal of freshmen that all hit the ground running in their first season on the court. Of those freshmen it’s safe to say shooting guard Jaden Ivey highlights the group, with plenty of people excited to see what he’ll do for an encore.

‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - No. 5 Jaden Ivey:

  • Eligibility: Sophomore
  • Career Totals: 23 games, 557 minutes, 256 points, 76 rebounds, 43 assists, 17 steals
  • 2020-’21 Averages: 24.2 MPG, 11.1 PPG, 1.9 APG, 3.3 RPG, 0.7 SPG
  • Positional Role: Shooting Guard

It wasn’t until after starter Sasha Stefanovic tested positive for COVID-19 that Jaden Ivey entered the starting lineup. He never give up the spot the rest of the way out, even when the upperclassmen returned. Purdue ended up going 7-3 in the regular seasons with Ivey starting, only losing to Michigan and a pair of close road defeats to Maryland and Minnesota. Ivey averaged 18.2 points in Purdue last six games (including the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament) and looks to be a potential game changer for Purdue heading forward.

Player Strengths

One issue Purdue has had at times is there hasn’t always been that guy that can produce and score on and off the ball. Last year they had Trevion Williams inside, but at times earlier in the season the offense was either let Williams post up or hope one of the guards can hit a jump shot. With Ivey coming on strong to close the season he proved to be the spark plug Purdue needed. A guy that could not only create his own shot on and off the ball, but a player that could get to the rim at will and score from all over. At times Purdue lived and died by the three, but Ivey thriving helps Purdue’s offense be not so one-sided. With Ivey attacking and being capable of taking over a game, the mix of Williams and Edey inside and a slew of guys that have shown flashes beyond the arc, if the sophomores continue to develop Purdue should have a well rounded and deep offense that can hang with anyone.

Areas for Improvement

While Ivey was pretty great last year as a freshman for Purdue there is one major area he will need to improve on and that is his three point shooting. He wasn’t shy shooting from deep last year, averaging 4.2 three pointers per game, but he still only hit 25.8% of his shots from beyond the arc. If opposing guards don’t think he can hit from three they can sag off of Ivey, making it harder for him to get inside. If he can improve his outside shooting it will make it even more difficult for opposing teams to guard Ivey and slow him down. Of course if the surrounding players can be efficient from the perimeter, that would allow Ivey to drive inside and kick it out to the perimeter to the open man. If Ivey can at least keep opposing guards honest around the perimeter it should help him have an even better sophomore season.

Player Projection

Purdue is an experienced and deep team this year and the emergence of Jaden Ivey brings an element to the offense that hasn’t been seen since Carsen Edwards was still on campus. While Ivey struggled shooting from outside, it should be mentioned that Edwards saw an improvement in both his shooting and three point percentage in his sophomore season and if Ivey can at least improve modestly from three he’s going to have a massive sophomore season.

I’m not sure if he’s going to be an “All-American” level player, like some fans are hoping for. But he should be All-Big Ten level and depending on how well he develops his jumpshot, could be on the verge of a special season for the Boilermakers.

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‘BTPowerhouse 25’ Rankings: