On Wednesday, I was down at Purdue for the first time this summer to clean out my old apartment and get moved out, but I made sure to leave time to see the basketball players play their daily pickup games that evening. All of the players were in Mackey, except for freshman Adam Lidell. Lowe was obviously only watching from the bench.
McKnight, Parkinson, Carroll, Buscher, and Booker played on a team and won the 5 or so games that I was able to watch. Ije subbed in for Carroll after he landed the wrong way on his ankle in the 3rd or 4th game, but it did not look serious. Carroll and McKnight carried the team most of the games. Here are my reports on each player, I am looking forward to returning to Purdue in a few weeks.
Chris Booker: He was pretty quiet, although the few times he had the ball in the post he made decent moves and he seemed to be rebounding well. There was not much to say about him from what he did in the pickup games.
Brett Buscher: Ran the court well and got some easy layups/dunks, was able to make his outside shot as well. If he can play consistently well, like he did in about half the games last year and stay out of foul trouble, he can be a good role player for the team.
Kevin Garrity: Just like in most of our games, he was quiet and did not shoot many times, not much to say on him since he did not doing anything special.
Ivan Kartelo: Looks like he lost a few pounds and is a bit quicker this summer. He was making shots close to the basket 5-8 feet and was rebounding well during the game.
Kenny Lowe: Watched from the bench and sometimes yelled something out to teammates.
Austin Parkinson: Played along side McKnight in the pickup games, made some good passes, but did not hit his 3 point attempts. Looks better slashing to the basket to score though.
Andrew Ford: Came to the bench after about 3 games had been played. He only played in one of the games I watched and did not do anything that stood out in my mind.
Brandon McKnight: Looked similar to the way he played against Texas in the NCAA Tournament last season. He always brought the ball up quickly and many times quickly took the basket to the hole (whenever there were less than 3 defenders), and usually was able to score, draw a foul, or get an assist. He is at his best in transition or when running down the court, made some good passes on the fast break as well.
Melvin Buckley: Played solid hit some 3 pointers and was driving to the basket more often like he did against LSU last season.
Matt Carroll: He was clearly the best shooter on the floor as he hit all of his 3 point attempts 3-4, and was making jump shots all over the court. He has improved a lot during his redshirt year and should push Buckley for the starting SF position.
Matt Kiefer: I had heard that he was bigger and much improved in the pickup games so far this summer, but unfortunately he did not touch the ball often on offense. I did not get to see whether or not he has improved or not.
David Teague: He guarded McKnight most of the time in the pickup games and really gave him a hard time, sometimes knocking the ball away and forcing Brandon to restart the offense. I don't remember much from him on offense, because it was his defense that really stuck out to me.
Chris Hartley: He made a couple 3 point shots, but other than that did not see him doing anything good or bad, but he is a great 3 point shooter and could give us a few minutes off the bench when needed.
Adam Lidell: He was not at Mackey.
Ije Nwankwo: He is as big as advertised, looks to be about the same height as Buscher (6'7). He was usually guarding one of the bigger post player like Kiefer, which he did well against, but he had some trouble when he had to guard Buckley. Always fouled his shot and got the rebound when he missed. He looks like a very good rebounder who can block out. Could give us 5-10 minutes off the bench if we get into foul trouble in the frontcourt.