3/7/20 Rutgers, Trevion Williams

Sophomore forward Trevion Williams floats a jump shot over the arms of a Rutgers defender. Williams finished with 8 points and six rebounds as Purdue fell by 3 in overtime. 

The Purdue Boilermakers are on the road for their first game of the season.

They will take on the Liberty Flames in this year’s Space Coast Challenge. In what has been a challenging year for most, many questioned whether or not there would even be a college basketball season.

“I don’t think anybody thought we would reach this point, but we’re here now,” junior forward Trevion Williams said, “and throughout all this time, we’ve been working”

The Boilers return just three starters from last year's season and have five newcomers itching to prove they belong. The Boilers will be without this year's presumed starting point guard Eric Hunter Jr. He suffered a leg injury weeks ago in practice, and will be out for this year's season opener.

Purdue will instead look toward freshman guard Jaden Ivey and sophomore guard Isaiah Thompson to fill the void left by Hunter Jr. Ivey and Thompson have been locked in on fully learning the point guard position since Hunter Jr’s injury.

“Injuries are part of the game,” head coach Matt Painter said. “The next guys got to step up, play well and be productive.”

One player who the Boilermakers are hoping steps up is junior forward Aaron Wheeler. After a promising year as a redshirt freshman, the Boilers were expecting big things out of Wheeler. Unfortunately, he entered into a nearly season-long shooting slump last year that he just couldn’t shake.

“He’s shot the ball well in this last week of practice,” said Painter. “Now coming back and fighting that adversity, we’re expecting big things from him.”

Purdue will take on Liberty November 25th at 6:00 p.m. on CBS sports network.

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