Good day everyone. For the last four years I have had the honor of covering E`Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson at Hammer & Rails, Purdue's SBNation home. It is a great honor that I now entrust them to the Celtics. JJ and Smooge (as we call them) are two of the greatest players to ever wear gold and black. I am convinced that if not for two unfortunate ACL tears by Robbie Hummel (their long-time teammate who missed the 2010 NCAA Tournament and the entire 2010-11 season) they would have won at least one if not two NCAA championships.
With JJ I think you are getting a player that is a lot like Kevin Garnett, so what better player to learn from than Garnett himself. I think JJ can definitely develop into a solid player at the next level. He's incredibly athletic, has nice range on his jumper, and is a smart player. He had to stay out of foul trouble as our only consistent post threat this past season, and he still won the Big Ten's defensive Player of the Year Award without fouling out of a single game. He came back to Purdue this year not because he didn't like last year's draft status, but because he felt there was unfinished business (read, a championship). Even after Hummel went down again he still had us believing it was possible in February.
Smooge is a consistent scorer who finished as the #3 scorer in Purdue history. He is one of just five Purdue players to crack 2,000 career points and, if not for JJ's incredible year this year, would have been the first Purdue player to lead us in scoring all four years of his college career. His carer game was against #1 Ohio State this year, when he exploded for 38 points in an upset at Mackey Arena. E'Twaun can be an incredibly hot shooter, and could definitely develop into a Ray Allen-type.
My voters recently voted on the top 25 Purdue athletes of all-time and both of these guys were selected as top 25 guys. JJ was voted 14th, while E`Twaun was voted 22nd. I think going to Boston is the perfect situation for both because they can immediately be solid role players on a team that just needs one or two more pieces in order to win another championship. You guys excel on defense and hard work, and that is what we preach at Purdue. Both of these guys won a lot (107 career games) and excelled in a defense first philosophy.
Both of these young men have also represented Purdue with class and dignity for the past four years. Moore is an Academic All-American that valued his education as well as his incredible talent. Both of them were kind to fans and even my fellow bloggers, who have numerous pictures of them with their young children. I have spoken to both of them at media events and they are polite, well-spoken individuals that put the team before themselves.
Please take care of both. When the Celtics got both of them I can say that you gained a ton of new fans because we all love JJ and Smooge so much. They helped turn around our program after a long dry spell and, while we didn't make the promised land of the Final Four, it is a great honor to see them both be drafted. Rest assured, we will be following our Boston Boilermakers next season as they help you guys go for an 18th banner.