Purdue picked up three victories – and a lot of experience – in its four-game, 10-day Italian trip.
The basketball part of it was really good, and just getting used to – especially the freshmen – competing, getting familiar with the drills and then being able to play against professional teams, Purdue coach Matt Painter said during a teleconference Tuesday.
I was pleased with our effort, and I was pleased with our younger players.
Fort Wayne native Rapheal Davis was one of the young players who excelled in the action Aug. 7 to 17.
Davis led the Boilermakers in scoring, averaging 14.3 points.
He did a good job of scoring and rebounding the basketball, Painter said. He got a couple of real impressive offensive rebounds.
Davis had 19 rebounds for a 4.8 average.
We need to get that from our guards, Painter said. We need to get our guards on the glass.
Davis shot 55.8 percent (24 of 43) from the floor on the trip, the best on the team among players with at least 25 field-goal attempts.
He was also sharp on the line, making 7 of 9 free throws in the four games.
Two things jumped out for me: He led us in scoring and he also led us in plus-minus. Sometimes that can be a deceiving stat, but after youve gathered data for four games, I think thats pretty impressive for a true freshman, Painter said.
Davis had a team-high 15 points in the opener Aug. 9, an 80-38 victory against All-Star Italy.
He scored 23 points in the third game, a 105-69 victory against Vicenza All-Star on Aug. 14.
He added five rebounds and three steals and was awarded a trophy for his performance after the game.
Davis finished the trip with a 16-point performance against Amici del Campetto on Aug. 16. Purdue won 108-72.
He has a knack for putting the ball in the basket, and thats what he simply did, Painter said.
There are areas for improvement.
Hes going to have to be a more aggressive perimeter shooter, and hes going to have to take care of the ball, Painter said. He had a poor turnover-to-assist ratio and thats unacceptable.
Now we have some data to show him the good and the bad. He had a lot of good. We have some clips of some film and well be able to put that together and sit down with him and show him some things. I think thats great, and I think its a good start for him and his career.
Painter also liked what he saw out of Ronnie Johnson, saying the freshman had emerged as a leading candidate at point guard.
He still has to continue to work and earn his spot, but nobody came remotely close to delivering the basketball, making the decisions and having the assist-to-turnover ratio that he had, Painter said. All three of those attributes make up that quintessential point guard.