Boiler Ball Hammers Down

Maggie O'Connor, Staff Reporter

If you know anything about college basketball, you’re no stranger to the 2019 NCAA Champs, the Virginia Cavaliers. Well, looks like the Boilers are the only ones to take them down so far in the 2019-2020 season. With a wild 69-40 win for the Boilermakers on Wednesday, the attention has once again been drawn to their coming season. Last year, Purdue men’s basketball took down the 2018-2019 defending champs Villanova 87-61. 

This year, Purdue lost one of its most well known players to the NBA, Carsen Edwards. Edwards was known for his deep three-pointers and his consistent rebounding skills. He now plays for the Boston Celtics, leaving his college career behind as a Junior. Wednesday night the Boilers proved they don’t need Edwards to succeed. 

Purdue grabbed their “revenge” against Virginia for their previous loss to the Cavaliers in their 2019 March Madness run. Leading the night was sophomore Sasha Stefanovic, who stepped up with a career high of 20 points, making 6/10 three-point attempts. Senior Jahaad Proctor scored 16 points, with two out of five threes. Leader for the Cavaliers was Jay Huff, scoring 11 points.

Another shocker of the night was Virginia’s inability to hold onto the ball. The Boilermakers forced 16 turnovers on the Cavaliers. Virginia’s largest lead of the game was only three points, while Purdue’s was 31. All in all, the Boilers played their best game of the season so far Wednesday night. 

This year, players to watch on the Purdue roster include Senior Jahaad Proctor, who has shown his ability to fire three pointers like a machine. Junior Nojel Eastern is also very likely to show out this year, since he has been building and learning with the team for two years now. Finally, Sasha Stefanovic proved that he has serious talent, and can come through when necessary. If it’s an underdog you’re looking for, rooting for Stefanovic this season is not a bad call. 

Whether it’s an outstanding season, another trip to the Elite Eight, or a possible Final Four run, Purdue has big things coming in this 2019-2020 season. The hopes are high and the stage is set. Now all us fans get to do is watch and wait, and maybe take a trip to Mackey Arena and experience the Boilermaker magic for ourselves.

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