Much talk has been made about Robbie Hummel's absence and how it will affect Purdue's scoring, rebounding, defensive help and decision-making.
But Hummel also was the Boilermakers' best free throw shooter, making 90 percent of his shots from the line last season.
So who are the players on the floor at the end of close games when opponents are looking to foul?
"That will be determined on their production," coach Matt Painter said Thursday at the Big Ten media day.
Painter knows for sure that two of those players will be E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson – and they're good free throw shooters. Moore shot 73 percent and Johnson shot 72 last season.
Painter said his biggest concern is that his two point guards, Lewis Jackson and Kelsey Barlow, are some of the team's worst free throw shooters. Jackson only took nine free throws and made 44 percent. Barlow made only 47 percent of his 58 tries.
"You can't tell your point guard to be serviceable from the line. He's got to shoot 75 percent from the line," Painter said. "If they don't, you have a dilemma. As a coach, you're going to take a great ballhandler (out) to put in a better free throw shooter. You might make that free throw, but you might turn the ball over."
- Painter said he doesn't assume his team will be good defensively. That's why he spends so much time on it during practices.
"Once we slip, we go back to it," he said. "It's like being in Algebra. If you miss something in the first, second or third week, you can't be bad there and all of a sudden weeks eight and nine when it comes back up and say, 'Well, I don't know that.' You're done. If you don't have it after six, eight weeks defensively, you'll probably never have it as a team. This time of year is very, very important. Once we have any slippage in practice, we just stop. We don't get to our times tables. We just keep adding and subtracting and until we can get that down, we'll move onto our times tables."
- The team's biggest weakness at this point may be a bit surprising: Painter said it's listening.
"I don't think it's intentional," he said. "But I think you just go four, five months, you work on your game, you do what you're supposed to, taking information while you're fatigued and going out there and doing it is just something you haven't done in awhile. Giving different rules and giving different responsibilities and playing competitive games with different point systems in practice, those guys listening to it and being able to carry it out, they've really struggled at it. I think it comes from a concentration level or lack thereof."