Purdue returns three starters from a team that went to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament. The Boilermakers were a 4 seed and lost to national runner-up Louisville.
Seniors Courtney Moses, KK Houser and Dee Dee Williams bring back 28 points, 9.1 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game on the perimeter for Purdue. The Boilers lost their frontcourt, however, with Drey Mingo and Sam Ostarello graduating.
Purdue was voted No. 23 in the preseason USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. Coach Sharon Versyp’s team has been ranked in at least one of the national polls in 66 of its last 69 games.
The Boilermakers added two players from the 2013 recruiting class: 6-foot-2 guard Bridget Perry and 5-9 guard Ashley Morrissette.
Purdue will have seven matchups with preseason Top 25 teams, including two top-five nonconference opponents.
4 games of interest
Nov. 26 vs. Stanford at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: This will be the headline matchup of the 2013 Hardwood Tournament of Hope. The Cardinal is No. 3 in the coaches poll.
Dec. 5 at Duke: The Blue Devils will face their second top-five opponent in 10 days when they head to Durham, N.C., for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
Jan. 12 at Penn State: After opening Big Ten play with Indiana and Northwestern, the Boilermakers will face a stern road test against a Top-25 team.
March 2 vs. Nebraska: If the season plays out as expected, this game could have major Big Ten tournament and regular-season championship implications.
3 key players
Courtney Moses, Sr., G: The 5-6 Indiana native led Purdue in scoring last season with 13.3 points per game. She was the Boilermakers’ top three-point shooting option, hitting 63 and shooting 40.1 percent behind the arc.
KK Houser, RS Sr., G: The 5-6 guard averaged nearly five assists last year and was Purdue’s third-leading scorer with 11.3 points per game. She also led the team in steals with two per game.
Dee Dee Williams, Sr., G: The 6-foot Williams will need to play a bigger role creating mismatches on the perimeter for the Boilermakers. She started all but six games last season but averaged only 3.4 points and two rebounds in 24.6 minutes per game.
2 points of concern
Post production: Purdue loses two seniors who averaged 16 rebounds and 22.1 points combined last year. Figuring out how to replace those two will be key to success.
Turnovers: The Boilermakers return some good guard play, but the team averaged 17.5 turnovers last season and will likely rely on more perimeter play this season.
1 major issue
Tough tests: Purdue is a Top-25 team, and the Boilermakers have a schedule to match.
They have seven regular-season games against preseason Top-25 teams and face five more that either received votes in preseason polling or were ranked at the end of last year.