The Purdue Boilermakers only needed Isaac Haas for 15 minutes in the opening round win over the Cal State Fullerton Titans, 74-48. Haas produced 9 points and 10 rebounds in limited action. However, he would have played more minutes if he didn’t tussle for a rebound in the second. Haas fell back after snatching a rebound in traffic and hit his wrapped elbow directly on the court.
Head coach Matt Painter revealed that Haas would miss the rest of the NCAA Tournament due to fractured elbow. The announcement effectively ended Haas’ playing career with a potential Final Four run on the line. Now, the Boilermakers are going have to play without the biggest walking mismatch left in the Big Dance. Haas came into the tournament averaging 15 points and 5.6 rebounds. He was shooting 62 percent from the field, while averaging 1.4 blocks per game. Meaning, the Boilermakers will miss the big fella starting Sunday.
However, the Boilermakers are a deep team that may be able to offset the loss of Haas if a couple of players step into the forefront. The first and most obvious player that will replace Haas is Matt Haarms. The 7-foot-3 freshman averaged 4.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 16 minutes of action. Haarms is the best interior defender and blocked 2.1 shots per game. Due to his defensive capabilities on the floor, he may play upwards of 30 minutes. However, the Boilermakers have the opportunity to go small against the Butler Bulldogs in the Round of 32.
Therefore, Ryan Cline, Nojel Eastern or Grady Eifert may get the start to keep the regular rotation intact. All four bench players combine to score about 13 points per game. Yet, there’s no certainty how their roles will expand with the injury.
The Boilermakers met the Bulldogs in December and jumped out to a 16 point halftime lead. Haas scored 15 points in 16 minutes against the Bulldogs. However, Haas got in foul trouble and finished the game with four. That’s a great reason why Haarms may keep his same role on the bench. The bench accounted for eight points in the victory. They may be counted on to do much more if the Boilermakers win five more games.