Matt Painter wasn't sure if freshman Travis Carroll would start this season — Painter said he doesn't listen to what other people may project his players to be — but he thinks Carroll has done a "good job" in his starting role so far.
It's likely Carroll will get another start today when No. 12 Purdue plays No. 16 Minnesota at 1 p.m. in Mackey Arena.
The Gophers play a big lineup with 6-foot-11 Ralph Sampson, 6-10 Colton Iverson and 6-8 Trevor Mbakwe.
Carroll, who is 6-9, could guard Iverson, leaving 6-10 JaJuan Johnson on Sampson. It'll be interesting to see if Painter tweaks his starting lineup and benches Ryne Smith in favor of either 6-5 D.J. Byrd or Kelsey Barlow so one of those players could guard Mbakwe.
Carroll has been able to emerge as an option over Sandi Marcius and Patrick Bade in part because of his work ethic and approach to the game, Painter said.
"He's learning every day in practice against JaJuan, and he's learning every game we play," Painter said. "As long as he keeps making strides, he's a good listener and sometimes the game gets going pretty fast for him, but he can always be a step ahead mentally. The position he's put himself in has come from listening, understanding and doing what the coaching staff has asked him to do."