Local Writer Answers Men’s Basketball Questions


The Boiling Point: The Journal and Courier’s Jeff Washburn answered Purdue basketball questions today.

Jeff Washburn, longtime Purdue men’s basketball beat writer for the Lafayette Journal & Courier, answered several men’s basketball questions in the newspaper’s weekly Purdue sports chat today. Following are quotes from the chat, the entirety (including football) of which can be found here.

Following are some excerpts. Follow the jump for nearly all of Wash’s basketball-related answers.

Guest: Is LewJack practicing even though his foot is sore? How does he look?
JeffWashburn: Yes, he is practicing, but he isn’t going for the full three hours. He is in the weight room, etc., He should be OK. Plantar fasciitis requires proper footwear and orthotics, along with some rest from time to time. He is a tough kid.

Guest: Besides TJ’s knee, Lews foot, and Hummel, who else is hurting. Anyone besides Hart. I don’t think Hart is going to be in the rotation anyways…
JeffWashburn: Guest … You have named them all. I feel badly for Hart, but you are right. he is going to have trouble finding minutes with that bad foot, which prevents him from being a potential major player

Guest: Is the basketball team over the limit on scholarships with the recent addition of Hammons, or, would Harris put them over the top? Who do you think would be the odd man out for the Harris scholarhship…I was thinking that Marcius may transfer elsewhere, especially with a frontcourt which would include Carroll, Lawson, Hale, Simpson and Hammons, all of whom I believe would be more talented on the front line than Marcius. It seems that Marcius only ended up at PU, because Painter was hurting so bad for big guys after Calasan graduated a few years ago
JeffWashburn: Guest … Right now, Dru Anthrop — for one yeare — has the Bade scholarship. Then, Hummel, Jackson and Ryne Smith are seniors. So, there are four scholarships. I think what may happen if they get Harris is that John Hart — a really good student — may graduate in the spring. I don’t think he ever will be at 100 percent with the chronic foot woes he has endured. That gives you five scholarships if Harris comes on board.

RJ: Jeff, how does that work if Hart graduates. Does Painter have to essentially cut him or not renew his scholly? Would he be agreeable to that?
JeffWashburn: RJ … Lots of scenarios could come into play here. If marcius doesn’t perform in games, or one of the many guards feels like he isn’t getting enough PT. However, I think Hart could be told by the medical team that it’s just not going to happen with his foot, and he may move on with his life. Really sad for him. Good kid who saved their rear end two years ago at Illinois.

Guest: Have you been to any practices since the first one on Saturday? Are you allowed in?
JeffWashburn: I have not been to the last two, but yes, I am allowed in. With the exception of the media, almost all practices are closed.

Guest:: Jeff … Should we be upset if Harris goes to IU? What do they have to offer?
JeffWashburn: I will be surprised if he lands at IU. No. 1, while minor, the illegal contact violation from Crean hurts IU with a family that is by the book. Remember, mom played at a high level and coached at three Division ! schools. What IU has to offer is a tradition that Bob Knight built. But that tradition is more than 10 years old. I don’t think Harris ends up there. Purdue, Ky. and MSU are more likely choices.

Guest: Jeff, if you had to guess. Who starts at the “3”. I would love to see Barlow out there if we are going to start Smith, Hummel, and TC.
JeffWashburn: Guest … Maybe I am in the minority, but I prefer primarily at the point, especially with Jackson’s sore foot, which could be nagging throughout the season, or at least through non-conference play. My lineup — for now — is Hummel, Carroll or Marcius, Byrd, Smith and LewJack with Hale, Terone Johnson, Anthony Johnson and Barlow off the bench.

Guest: Why does Harris still play football? He’s an elite basketball play. Isn’t he afraid he’ll get hurt?
JeffWashburn: Guest … Have you ever seen Harris play football? He is outstanding. In fact, I think he may be a better football prospect than basketball, if you can believe that. We’re talking about a 6-4 receiver with speed, moves and great hands. 6-4 guards, well, there are thousands of them.

Guest: How has Terone Johnson looke the first few practices. Does he look good and 100% healthy?
JeffWashburn: Terone looks really good. Among those with injury woes, other than Hummel, Terone looks the best. Hummel has been lights out early on.

Guest: How has Marcius looked. Since you see him as a possible starter over Carroll, I assume pretty good. I expect a huge jump out of SM this year.
JeffWashburn: Marcius is just so big and strong. He has improved. Carroll is a more skilled offensive player, but what many fans don’t understand is that Matt painter loves defense. Marcius gives you a mean dude in the middle.

Mike: Wash….Do you think IU will get a full NCAA investigation for the Harris violations….It seems odd that they have been a door-mat for the last 5 seasons or so, yet, they are suddenly getting top recruits again, and now they suddenly slip up with a violation..is that just ironic????
JeffWashburn: Mike … Don’t make too much of this. Was it wrong? Sure. But in the big picture, it’s a minor thing, although it could push Harris in another direction. They are getting good players because it’s IU. No matter what you think, IU has a tradition, although that tradition has died in the last decade. I think IU is better this year, but it still has a long, long way to go.

Guest: How has Barlow’s and Lew Jack’s shooting been so far. Her Barlow has improved a lot..
JeffWashburn: LewJack is shooting the ball well. I would say that you want Barlow taking the ball at the goal rather than pulling up for a 3. That is not his strength. Together, I really like that point guard tandem.

Guest: Wash, I agree on that. Should be great driving lanes this year with Smith, Byrd, TJ, AJ, and Hummel at the 2,3,4 spots, the floor is going to be VERY spread out. Will be much different than the last few years when we have had 1 or 2 guys on the floor that the d could sag off of. I would not be surprised for us to be similar to when the Big 3 were freshmen and average 10 made threes a game.
JeffWashburn: Guest … Yes, I agree. Hummel and Ryne Smith are deadly 3-point shooters, and Terone Johnson and Anthony Johnson also shoot the 3 well. Even LewJack — from time to time — can knock down a trey. I do think, however, that either Carroll or Marcius has to be a presence if Purdue is to finish higher than fourth in the Big Ten. Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State should be really good. I like Purdue fourth, and Michigan fifth, followed by Minnesota at No. 6. Still not sold on IU.