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Latest Update on Haas: Could Play vs Texas Tech; Should It Impact Your Pick?

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in College Basketball

Updated Mar 23, 2018 · 2:13 PM PDT

Purdue center Isaac Haas defending Nebraska's James Palmer Jr.
Purdue center Isaac Haas (44) will attempt to play through an elbow injury in the Sweet 16 with a personalized brace. Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire.
  • The NCAA has approved of Isaac Haas (Purdue) wearing a protective brace on his fractured elbow. 
  • Coach Matt Painter is still hesitant that his center will be able to play.
  • How should bettors react to the latest news?

Despite suffering a fractured elbow in Purdue’s Round of 64 win over Cal State-Fullerton, 7’2 center Isaac Haas (14.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.3 BPG) may be in the Boilermaker lineup tonight thanks to some swift action by the NCAA, which amended its interpretation of a rule pertaining to players wearing “guards, braces or casts on the wrist, forearm and elbow.”

However, Purdue coach Matt Painter said on Thursday night that Haas wouldn’t see the court “unless he shows me something different at shoot around,” according to NCAA.com, meaning Haas will have to demonstrate to his coach that he can be more than a warm body.

Haas [won’t] see the court “unless he shows me something different at shoot around [on Friday]” — Purdue head coach Matt Painter

Purdue is currently a 1.5-point favorite over Texas Tech. Yesterday, our official pick for the game was Texas Tech +1.5. In our latest round-up of the national championship futures, Purdue’s average odds to win the title were +1200.

Should the latest news change anyone’s approach to wagering?


Purdue is drastically more effective when it has either Haas or 7’3 backup Matt Harms (17.0 MPG, 4.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG) on the court. When they are both healthy, Painter is able to split their minutes effectively and the Boilermakers rarely have to function without one of their interior leviathans.

with either Isaac Haas or Matt Harms on the court +27
without Isaac Haas or Matt Harms on the court -9

As Sam Vecenie said on NBC’s College Basketball Talk podcast, “Purdue has played 128 possessions this year without Matt Harms or Isaac Haas on the floor [and] they are a -9 per 100 possessions without both of those players on the floor. [Whereas] they are a +27 [per 100 possessions] when they have one of those guys on the floor.”

Vecenie added that, in the Round of 32 game against Butler, Purdue played 24 possessions without Harms/Haas and were -4 per 100 possessions. In 36 possessions with Harms, they were +17 per 100.

That’s a small sample size, but it’s a significant difference. So if you’re convinced that Haas is going to suit up and perform somewhere close to his usual standard, there could be value in taking Purdue -1.5. The predictive algorithms from KenPom and Sagarin — which assume that Purdue will be at full strength — both think that the Boilermakers will win by at least three points. The spread in Vegas and at online betting sites is smaller because of Haas’ injury.

If that’s a flawed premise, value exists.

Unless more optimistic news comes out of the Purdue camp … [it’s safer to assume the Boilermakers will have to play] a decent chunk of time without Haas or Harms.

However, today’s news isn’t enough to convince us that Purdue will be functioning at full strength. The potential for Haas to be in uniform increased. The potential for him to both (a) see the court and (b) play like his usual self did not.

Unless more optimistic news comes out of the Purdue camp before the game, it’s safer for bettors to assume that the Boilermaker team taking the floor against Texas Tech will be much the same as the one that faced Butler in the Round of 32, and that means playing a decent chunk of time without Haas or Harms.

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