Tourney preview: Purdue
All day, we'll break down each team's chances at the Big Ten tournament at the United Center:
No 7 seed: Purdue
Their coach ... is happy for Bruce Weber. Matt Painter once worked for the Big 12 Coach of the Year — and probably would love to trade rosters with him today.
Their MVP ... is named Johnson. We’ll go with Terone, a junior guard who averaged 16.4 points on 49.0 percent shooting in his last eight games. He combined with younger brother Ronnie to account for 34.6 percent of Purdue’s scoring and 49.6 percent of the team’s assists.
Their Chicago connection ... is another Johnson. Reserve guard Anthony — no relation to Terone and Ronnie — led Whitney Young to a Class 4A state title as a junior and a runner-up finish as a senior.
They’ll cut down the nets if ... A.J. Hammons is the best big man to play in the arena this season (NBA included). That’s not likely to happen, the talented freshman spending good chunks of time in A) Painter’s doghouse and B) foul trouble.
They’ll be bummed if ... they don’t make the NIT. To qualify, Purdue Pete has to win at least two in a row, something the Boilermakers haven’t done since mid-January.
We see the Boilermakers ... canceling their NIT selection show party. A second-round loss to Ohio State caps Purdue’s worst season (16-17) since Painter’s first (9-19) in 2005-06.