The Purdue Boilermakers suffered a major blow to their NCAA Tournament title hopes when Isaac Haas, the Boilermakers 7-foot-2, 290-pound senior and winner of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award as the Nation’s best center, took a hard foul midway through the second half and broke his elbow. Haas hurt the same elbow in a win over Louisville in November. Losing Haas is a massive blow to the Boilermakers as backup freshman Matt Haarms will have to replace the 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game that Haas produced.
Haarms is capable but star Carsen Edwards will have to put on his Superman cape for Purdue to live up to their seeding. Haarms is the last true big man on the team that plays meaningful minutes. Head coach Matt Painter will have to use plenty of small ball lineups to get the East Region two seed Boilermakers deep into the tournament. Now a matchup with in-state rival Butler just got a bit more challenging.
According to Larry Lage of the Chicago Tribune, Isaac Haas didn’t initially realize what happened at first.
“My whole body hit kind of awkward,” he said. “I just laid there for a second. When I rolled over, that’s when I felt my elbow.”
Not long after Haas and his teammates were making light of the injury during postgame interviews, Purdue released a statement from coach Matt Painter saying the big man will need surgery on his arm.
— Purdue Men’s Basketball (@BoilerBall) March 16, 2018