The defensive philosophies surrounding Matt Painter’s program could be altered by new NCAA rules changes.
The new guidelines, which will cause hand contact by defenders to result in more fouls, might be detrimental to the aggressive man-to-man style of defense the Boilermakers play and could result in foul trouble.
“We’ll see how things get called,” Painter said. “The game is still the same game; I do know as time goes on they want to see players stay in the game. As officials, if there’s a major adjustment, they’re going to have to do their part and stay consistent with the call.”
Purdue typically guards opposing teams from full court and asserts pressure the moment the ball is in play.
Senior guard Terone Johnson said Painter emphasized that the team avoid foul trouble in practice, which could become more difficult with these hand check rules.
“(Coach Painter said) don’t have your hands on guys in open space because that’s something the refs call right off the bat,” Johnson said. “Don’t overdo it, even if you play a good offense, (because) you foul and we just bail them out and give them another chance to score.”
The new block/charge rule says defensive players are no longer allowed to get in the way of offensive players once they’ve started to move upward with the ball to shoot or pass. Taking charges has always been part of the physical brand of basketball that’s prevalent in the Big Ten.
Painter said that rule is likely to change calls that previously would have been seen as charges.
“It’s a difficult call to make and the most difficult call for the official to make,” Painter said. “You’ll see some guys that are going to be absolutely set when guys leave the ground on contact that’s going to look like a normal charge, and it’s going to be called a block.”
Sophomore point guard Ronnie Johnson talked about how hand check calls are going to make playing physical Big Ten defense an issue.
“There are certainly people who are as quick as me, maybe quicker,” Ronnie said. “(There are) stronger people who try to bang you up more. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to stay out of foul trouble and help your team win games.”
Purdue relied on its defense to carry it to success earlier in the Painter era. The program will have to be careful with this new blueprint in order to win.
“(Defense) is something we’ve hung our hat on for a while,” Terone said. “It’s going to be (about) us working on keeping our hands off and staying into that ball.”