WEST LAFAYETTE -- As an exciting year continues to develop throughout the preseason, the Boilermakers have been focusing more on high-energy practices and leadership within the locker room. This year, the themes of urgency and competitiveness are evident by the teams' hard-working demeanor on the court.
The results of last season were disappointing, all around. Purdue finished with a record of 16-18 and went out with a whimper in the CBI tournament. The failures of the past have served as motivators for this campaign.
“Everybody has a chip on their shoulders,” said sophomore point guard Ronnie Johnson “I think that’s going to help us out going into this season.”
High expectations and competitiveness continually rise for Seattle University transfer Sterling Carter, freshman Bryson Scott, and sophomore Ronnie Johnson. With each Purdue player holding individual strengths to improve different attributes of the point guard position, they will be on the floor in offensive scenarios that directly correlate to their specific skills.
"We're really competitive," said Carter. "We push each other every day in practice. We get into it a little bit, get a little feisty with each other on the court."
The overall mindset of the team has definitely been more "feisty" this preseason in part by the team calling upon themselves to be a more aggressive squad.
"That’s just how this team is now, everybody is just so competitive in the locker room," said sophomore guard Rapheal Davis. "Guys are just going at it with each other fighting for minutes and that just makes practice even better."
Last year, senior guard Terone Johnson began to rise as a clear leader of the team. This year, the leadership role has been fully embraced by Johnson, a role of which is highly regarded by his teammates, and has been another definitive factor to the high intensity mindset the team has adopted.
"It's more fun when everybody's working harder," said Johnson. "A lot of competition comes from us. Coach (Painter) hasn't had to reiterate that to us, he's been able to focus more on teaching us the offense."
As the season nears, the Boilermakers are progressively buying into a hard-working mentality. This is product of which they believe will promote them back to the winning tradition of Purdue basketball, and propel them to a rewarding season.
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