It will be a busy summer for the Purdue men’s basketball team, one that includes a trip to Italy in August.
The Boilermakers are getting ready with workouts.
“(The players) did a good job in May. Guys went and put some time into their game. They are in pretty good shape and have been working hard,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said during a teleconference Monday.
“It’s good to see those guys get into the flow and come back. It’s still early. You don’t get too excited about it. You just try to help guys get in shape, get into a routine and work on some things, especially from a skill-improvement standpoint that will help them come next year.”
There’s a balance with the workouts.
“You don’t want to overdo it. You want it to be a process where they get into the flow of things, but that being said our workouts are pretty competitive,” Painter said. “I think it’s good for guys to understand you need to work on things, and the No. 1 thing you can work on is understand how hard you have to play for long periods of time.”
Freshman forward Jay Simpson is recovering from a foot injury.
“He’s still in a boot,” Painter said. “They said everything has gone as planned in terms of his rehab to get back. I’d expect him in the middle of July to be working toward getting back. I don’t know if he’ll practice that first day in the middle of July with us, but he’ll slowly but surely get back into the fold.
“I’m not really concerned. As a coach, I’ve been through a lot in terms of these injuries. We play our games in the winter. … I don’t think there’s a rush, especially with a young guy and especially with a big guy. We want to make sure he’s healthy, first and foremost.”
Senior D.J. Byrd suffered a stress fracture in his leg.
“We were able to catch it a couple weeks ago and he’s been in a boot ever since,” Painter said. “He gets out of his boot (today), I think. We expect him to practice. We’re just really being cautious.”
Purdue will start practicing July 16 for its trip to Italy. The team will play an intrasquad scrimmage Aug. 4 at Mackey Arena. An alumni game precedes it.
The team leaves Aug. 7 for the 10-day Italian tour, which includes four games.
“We are going to learn a lot about each other,” Painter said. “Hopefully we can play high-level people and they can expose us a little bit so going into the fall we’ll know what to work on.”