Keaton Grant was the Boilermakers' team MVP as a sophomore, struggled to find his shooting form as a junior, and played poorly enough this season that Painter benched him after three straight Purdue losses.
However, Grant is finally starting to click from the perimeter again (just in time!) and has posted double-figure scoring games off the bench his last three times out (at Ohio State, vs. Illinois, at Minnesota).
Against the Gophers Wednesday, Grant hit two huge jumpers in the final two minutes to propel Purdue to the win.
He and fellow reserve John Hart combined to hit three second-half three-pointers—one of the key elements that allowed the Boilers to escape Minneapolis with a win.
Although I think the Jackson-Moore-Kramer-Barlow-Johnson starting five helps Purdue matchup size-wise and should provide energy to start the game, I'm also convinced the Boilermakers need to find more minutes for sharpshooters Grant and Hart.
Because Jackson, Barlow, and Kramer will never be mistaken for deep threats, opposing coaches are able to zone Purdue and collapse on Johnson inside. That's because they only have to worry about getting a hand in Moore's face outside the three-point line.
One of the (many) reasons Hummel was so valuable to the Boilermakers was his shooting to complement Moore.
For Purdue's offense to click and spread the floor (giving Johnson room to maneuver and operate on the block), Painter will have to devise a rotation that involves Grant or Hart playing the role of "second shooter" on a consistent basis.