The three Purdue men’s basketball point guards each bring a different set of skills that can help the team win in 2013-14.
Sophomore Ronnie Johnson, freshman Bryson Scott and fifth-year senior Sterling Carter make up a deep and talented trio.
Big Ten Network senior writer Tom Dienhart said Johnson has the potential to be an elite player, not only in the Big Ten, but on a national level.
“I’m not sure if Johnson can get to (Ohio State point guard) Aaron Craft’s level this year,” Dienhart said. “He has a chance to keep pace with a guy like (Indiana point guard) Yogi Ferrell. By the time Johnson’s a senior, he could be one of the better point guards in the nation.”
Johnson, who averaged 10.3 points, 4.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds as a freshman, has an ability to use quickness as a weapon. His ability to either drive to the rim and score or kick out to an open shooter gives him an advantage.
Adding a jump shot in the offseason to an already skilled arsenal can make the sophomore even better. Johnson shot 8 of 18 from the field and scored 22 points, including four assists, in Purdue’s Oct. 20 scrimmage.
Carter brings a different ability, as his shooting is something that can provide a spark for Purdue. He shot 2 of 4 three-pointers and had 12 points in Purdue’s Oct. 20 scrimmage. Carter shot 39 percent from beyond the arc in 2012-13 at Seattle and made eight 3-pointers in one game his senior year.
“He can come off screens and shoot shots with people on him and make them,” head coach Matt Painter said. “Sometimes he’ll overdribble and get in trouble, so (we’re) just trying to get him into scoring position and knock down shots.”
Bryson Scott had a reputation as a scrappy, hard-nosed type of player in high school. His tenacious playing style may remind Purdue fans of former Boilermaker Chris Kramer, who won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors after the 2009-10 season.
He brings a presence offensively as well, as he physically attacked the basket to score 18 points and distribute a team-high eight assists in the Oct. 20 scrimmage.
“Bryson is a guy that plays very hard and competes,” Painter said. “He brings some quickness and strength at that position you don’t always see. He’s a tough match-up for a lot of people, especially from a physical standpoint.”
The depth Purdue has at point guard can make a difference on the defensive end of the floor when the team exerts the full-court pressure Matt Painter-coached teams are known for.
“It allows us to put a fresh body on the court after someone gets tired and not skip a beat,” Carter said. “If Ronnie starts the game pressuring somebody man-to-man and Coach Painter subs me or Bryson in, it will be the same intensity and same pressure.”