Despite ranking sixth, eighth and ninth on Purdue in minutes, the Boilermakers' three healthy scholarship freshmen rank 1-2-3 on the team in fouls.
Guard Kelsey Barlow has a team-high 22 in 95 minutes. Center Patrick Bade has 20 in 66, and forward D.J. Byrd has 18 in 72.
Matt Painter would like to see that change.
"That's what we have to improve on is trying to get our point across with Barlow, Byrd and Bade -- they've got to play this game with their feet," Painter said. "They can still be aggressive without fouling. Their aggression just leads to fouls. They have to make improvements in that for our team to make improvement and help us with our depth."
Freshmen typically take some time to adjust to officiating in college. Some of the fouls against that group have been iffy, but Painter said that's always going to be the case. Players are the ones who must change.
"It comes with habits," Painter said. "You have to have defensive habits of staying in a stance, of not reaching, of playing post defense with your feet, being up there early and ready to hedge, jumping to the basketball, being compact on help. There's a lot of little things that go with being a good defensive player, and you have to start with being in position and being in a stance and just being solid. Those three guys are a long way away from that."
Barlow said learning those nuances on the defensive end has been his toughest adjustment.
"It's been tough because they have a high expectation on the defensive end for not just me but everybody," Barlow said. "I definitely need to learn there real quick."
Painter said he expects after playing two consecutive home games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge that his team will be on the road likely for the next two seasons.
He wouldn't say whether he'd like to play North Carolina or Duke, but those would seem likely opponents based on the expected caliber of the teams.
Confirmed games already for next season include traveling to play West Virginia and Valparaiso and hosting Alabama. Painter said Purdue's exempt event will be playing in the Chicago Invitational Challenge, which includes two games at Mackey before playing two at Allstate Arena.