Painter still doesn't expect Haas to play in tourney

Purdue star center Isaac Haas fractured his elbow during Friday's win over Cal State Fullerton.

The game was built up with intrigue surrounding Haas, who broke his right elbow on a fall in Friday's first round. He stayed in the game for several minutes and said he thought he would be healthy enough to play shortly after the game ended. "When I watch, they don't win", James Olsen said. But this meeting was much closer-and much more important.

Painter said Saturday that Haas will still need surgery at some point, and if he were to play, he'd need to have a brace approved.

Isaac Haas tried to push through it, but an elbow injury will keep the Purdue Boilermakers center out of a second-round matchup against the Butler Bulldogs on Sunday.

Freshman Matt Haarms in particular saw his role expand, as he got his first career start in place of Haas and scored seven points in 29 minutes.

Haas averages 14.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. "When Vince Edwards went out, and we had to play two conference games, we won those games. I think defensively it's really helped us just to have a little more length on the court". I'm a little faster out there, running the floor a little more. Now it's time to see if the Retrievers can put all those post-victory texts and congratulatory calls when they play No. 9 seed Kansas State on Sunday with a Sweet 16 berth at stake. But I've been able to look at it and see - he just went through things today and just getting loose and everything. As he drew charges, swatted away Butler shots and threw fist pumps, he always found time to fix his hair, too. Still, it is insane to think that he could conceivably play.

In the locker room after Purdue's win over Butler, Haas removed a black sleeve.

"I didn't think it was possible". "I was sitting there trying to figure out Butler".

But regardless of how much pain he would be playing through, or whether he'd be effective with one working arm, the decision wasn't left up to Haas or his coach. "I said, 'What do you want me to do?' He said, 'I don't care what you do, no more fouls.' So, I was like, 'Should I play high school D?' He said, 'Yeah, play high school D.' We laughed and joked about that". Even if he manages to talk his way into a few minutes of playing time, a fractured elbow will make it hard for him to battle with the big, physical defense of Texas Tech.

  • Steve Townsend