The college basketball season officially tipped off last night with 13 of the 14 Big Ten teams in action. The one team that did not play last night was Purdue, who open their season this evening at home against Milwaukee.
Game of the Night
Milwaukee Panthers at Purdue Boilermakers
- Time/TV: 6:30 PM ET BTN
- Line: Purdue -27.0
Purdue spent the entire season in the top ten last year and made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Now the Boilermakers will look considerably different after a mass exodus of talent from a heavily experienced team. They’ll begin the new season at home against the Panthers.
Their opening opponent is coming off of a relatively disastrous 2021-22 season that was expected to go in an entirely different direction. The Horizon League school managed to land five-star top ten recruit Patrick Baldwin Jr., as he was the coaches son, but the heavily recruited guard got hurt in his senior season of high school basketball and only played in eleven games during his freshman season. Milwaukee went 10-22, Patrick Baldwin Sr. was fired and his son left for the NBA where he was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the first round.
Now first year head coach Bart Lundy inherits a team with four returning players and plenty of question marks. Heading into the season one of the few notable players on the roster is Vin Baker Jr., son of the former NBA player, though he has yet to impress during his time at Milwaukee and Boston College. The Panthers won their season opener last night 102-46, though that game was played against the Milwaukee School of Engineering so take it with a grain of salt.
As for Purdue, they’re heavily favorited and should win without much of a challenge. There’s still reasons to watch tonight, though, mainly to see how Purdue’s fresh face backcourt fares. If the Boilermakers are going to contend in the Big Ten they’ll need their backcourt to hit the ground running and with Purdue set to rely heavily on a pair of true freshmen and a grad transfer, it’s worth keeping an eye on. Today also marks the debut for Trey Kaufman-Renn as the freshman redshirted last year.
Trey Kaufman-Renn. Buy Stock Now.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 3, 2022
There’s a few other storylines to watch for early this season for Purdue, one being how guys like Mason Gillis, Caleb Furst, and Ethan Morton will develop and if they can make the jump to the next level. And of course there should be plenty of Zach Edey dunks scattered throughout the night. Purdue should win big, even if they don’t quite have everything pieced together just yet.