Even if the NCAA approves a brace that would allow starting Purdue center Isaac Haas to play in the NCAA Tournament later this week, his coach may keep him on the bench.
The 7-foot-2 center fractured his right elbow in the No. 2-seed Boilermakers' opening-round victory against Cal State Fullerton on Friday. He did not play in Purdue's 76-73 victory against Butler on Sunday, but he did practice with his teammates on Saturday and take part in pregame warmups.
The brace he wore on the court, however, was reportedly deemed unsafe when inspected by the NCAA and he was not allowed to play wearing it.
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"I don't think so," Purdue coach Matt Painter told reporters Monday if he thought Haas would play. More specifically, he added:
"I don't think the key is him getting some other apparatus that gets approved by the NCAA. He's still got to be able to shoot a right-handed free throw. You gotta be able to rebound with two hands. You gotta be able to catch the ball."
The Boilermakers face 3-seed Texas Tech on Friday night in an East Regional semifinal in Boston. The East is by far the most difficult remaining region with respect to seeding, as top-seeded Villanova plays 5-seed West Virginia in the other semifinal.
Haas is second on the team in scoring (14.7 points per game) and rebounding (5.7). He started each of Purdue's first 35 games this season.
--Field Level Media