Dec. 6, 2021 marked history for the Purdue men's basketball program. The Boilermakers reached No. 1 in the AP poll for the first time, following their 8-0 start to the 2022 season. An electric sophomore guard named Jaden Ivey was a major reason why as he led the team in scoring and assists in a season in which Purdue finished with the second-most efficient offense in the country, according to kenpom.com.
Here's everything you need to know about Jaden Ivey's college career at Purdue.
The vitals for Jaden Ivey
Weight: 200 pounds
Years active: 2020-22
NCAA tournament record: 2-2
Career averages: 14.9 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 2.6 assists per game, 44.0% shooting
What kind of player was Ivey in high school?
At La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., Ivey was ranked as a four-star recruit and the No. 89 player in the 2020 recruiting class, according to his 247Sports recruiting profile. Then just 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds, Ivey was projected to be a future starter by 247Sports Director of Basketball Scouting Jerry Meyer.
Ivey, of course, turned out to be that and more.
What was Jaden Ivey's record in college?
In 59 career games at Purdue, Ivey and the Boilermakers went 43-16, with a fourth-place Big Ten finish in 2021 and third place in 2022.
What is Jaden Ivey's offensive game like?
At 6-foot-4, Ivey can play on or off the ball and he's especially dangerous when driving downhill or in transition. His elite athleticism allows him to hang in the air longer than other players, seemingly floating. He would often change the angles of the ball in his hands while contorting and double-clutching his way past defenders. He was comfortable keeping the ball in just one hand in traffic and, while playing for a Purdue team that shot 38.4 percent from 3-point range, he was able to draw help defenders, then kick the ball out to open teammates. Defenses, understandably, had trouble guarding him. His free-throw rate — a metric that measures free-throw attempts as a percent of overall field-goal attempts — was 46.9 percent, a really impressive number.
Ivey developed into a productive 3-point shooter, too, as his percentage climbed from 25.8 percent on 4.2 attempts per game as a freshman to 35.8 percent on five attempts per game as a sophomore.
What were some of Jaden Ivey's best games?
Here are some of Ivey's best performances in college.
Feb. 6, 2021 | Purdue 75, Northwestern 70
In his fourth game as a college starter, Ivey played what was then a career-high 36 minutes and he finished with the first 20-point game of his career in a five-point win. He made six of his 14 shots and all six of his free-throw attempts, to go along with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
March 12, 2021 | Ohio State 87, Purdue 78 (OT)
Playing in the first postseason game of his college career, Ivey played a career-high 43 minutes, committing just three turnovers and two fouls, while scoring 19 points on 4-for-8 3-point shooting, which was tied for the most 3-pointers he would make in any of his first 33 college games.
March 19, 2021 | North Texas 78, Purdue 69 (OT) (NCAA tournament)
While Purdue lost in the first round of the 2021 NCAA tournament, Ivey scored 26 points, the second-most by a Big Ten freshman in his NCAA tournament debut.
Nov. 12, 2021 | Purdue 92, Indiana State 67
It didn't take long for Ivey to make good on analysts' predictions that he would be one of the breakout stars of the 2021-22 season. In the second game of the season, he scored 27 points on an efficient 10-of-13 shooting performance — his ninth double-figure scoring game in a row, dating back to his freshman season. He made eight of his nine 2-point attempts, plus two of his four 3-pointers, plus he had eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Nov. 20, 2021 | Purdue 93, North Carolina 84
In his 27th college game, Ivey recorded his first double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds as Purdue scored 93 points, including 52 in the second half, against a North Carolina team that would eventually play for the national championship.
Dec. 18, 2021 | Purdue 77, Butler 48
In the last-ever Crossroads Classic, Purdue crushed in-state opponent Butler in Indianapolis behind Ivey's career-best 3-point shooting performance — six for six — and 22 points.
Feb. 20, 2022 | Purdue 84, Rutgers 72
Ivey scored 25 points on just 11 shots in a 12-point win over Rutgers. He went to the free-throw line for a career-high 18 attempts and he made 15, showing just how dangerous Ivey can be on a night in which he missed all five of his 3-pointers.
March 20, 2022 | Purdue 81, Texas 71 (NCAA tournament)After Purdue was upset in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, Ivey helped the Boilermakers reach the Sweet 16 in 2022. In the second round against Texas, Ivey scored 18 points on 4-of-7 shooting, thanks to his 8-of-9 free throw shooting performance.
You can watch Ivey's highlights from the 2022 NCAA tournament below.
What awards did Jaden Ivey win in college?
Here are some of the awards and distinctions that Ivey earned at Purdue:
- 2022 consensus second-team All-American
- 2022 NABC first-team All-American
- 2022 first-team All-Big Ten
- One of three Big Ten players in the previous 30 years to record 600 points, 175 rebounds, 110 assists, 30 steals and 20 blocks in a season (along with Michigan State's Draymond Green and Ohio State's Evan Turner)
- 2021 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic All-Tournament Team
- 2021 Big Ten All-Freshman Team
- Two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week
Where do Jaden Ivey's averages rank among other recent players?
If you take some of Ivey's sophomore-season averages — 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 3-pointers per game — and search on Sports Reference for players who posted each of those per-game averages (or better), there are 126 results since the 1992-93 season. That's an average of 4.2 players per season who post Ivey-level averages. They include UConn guards Kemba Walker and Shabazz Napier in each of the respective seasons (2011 and 2014) in which those two players led the Huskies to a national championship as the team's leading scorer.
You'll see Denzel Valentine's senior year in which he was named the national player of the year by the AP and NABC, and Ray Allen's junior season at UConn, where he was named the UPI's national player of the year and the Big East Player of the Year. The freshman seasons of Duke's R.J. Barrett, Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, Washington's Markelle Fultz, Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham and North Carolina's Cole Anthony appear on the list too.
What did people say about Jaden Ivey?
Purdue coach Matt Painter in November 2020, courtesy of The Republic: "Today was his best day, not just his best scrimmage. He's good at sprinting and shooting. A lot of guys come in and can knock down shots when they're standing still, but he walked in the door and was able to shoot on the move."
The Lafayette Journal & Courier's Mike Carmin after Ivey returned from an injury in December 2020: "There's adrenaline but there was also the adrenaline rush Jaden Ivey brought to the Mackey Arena floor on Wednesday that only the Purdue freshman guard could conjure up. He had plenty of juice. He was jacked up. He was beyond excited to excited finally play again, missing the previous five games due to reaggravating a foot injury."
The Lafayette Journal & Courier's Mike Carmin after Ivey hit a step-back 3-pointer with five seconds left against No. 18 Ohio State: "Ivey was trying to keep his composure, but the tears started to flow during his postgame Zoom interview. The kid cares. A lot. His passion to play the sport fuels Ivey every minute of every day. He wants to win and doesn't want to be the reason when the Boilermakers lose. Ivey knows how much potential he has. He knows what he can do. That's why it bothers the son of Notre Dame women's basketball coach Niele Ivey when he's in a slump."
Painter, after Ivey's 3-pointer against Ohio State, courtesy of the Associated Press: "He's not made that shot for us this year, but he's made it in practice. That wasn't something that was new to us. It's new to our opponents."
The Indianapolis Star's Gregg Doyel in February 2021: "I'm telling you this, because you need to brace yourself. Purdue has the best crop of freshmen in the Big Ten, with four different players — two true freshmen, two redshirt freshmen — earning league Freshman of the Week honors this season. ... But Jaden Ivey? Oh my. We're looking at something truly, uniquely special here. Jaden Ivey knows it too, in the best of ways, the way great athletes understand where they rank on the field or court. He has that confidence, but he's a freshman."
Purdue forward Trevion Williams in February 2021, courtesy of the Lafayette Journal & Courier: "His future is bright, once he lets the game come to him. He's overthinking things, and he's still playing really good. I can only imagine what it will look like in a year or two."
Doyel, after Purdue beat Wisconsin in March 2021: "Jaden Ivey scored 18 points, continuing his recent surge — 13.7 ppg over the last seven games — that is looking less like a 'surge,' and more like the new normal for a freshman who is growing up before our eyes."
ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla in November 2021: "This Purdue team can win a national title because they're that deep."
Doyel in November 2021: "Nobody else in college basketball has this kind of depth. Or a player like Jaden Ivey."
Painter in November 2021, courtesy of the Indianapolis Star: "He's made some stride as (as a playmaker), but he has a ways to go. He can dominate a game through his passing sometimes. It's not always (got to be) his scoring."
Doyel after Purdue beat Notre Dame in December 2021: "Here it comes. Hide the children. Because Ivey is burying a 3-pointer and running back for defense and heading toward the crowd opposite the Purdue bench, screaming something at a handful of gentlemen sitting there. Some of them are in Notre Dame green. No idea why Ivey's shouting in their direction, but they're raising their eyebrows and smiling."
Doyel after Purdue beat Notre Dame in December 2021: "Here's the thing with Jaden Ivey: He's the nicest basketball killer in the world. He doesn't like talking about himself in interviews, but when he gets on the court, something happens. After that dunk, Ivey's screaming something about being 'locked in,' but he's not using that precise language. Might be a colorful adjective in there, or an adverb."
Doyel, in January 2022: "First of all, Jaden Ivey. At least once a game he'll do something that makes no sense to me. You spend decades watching elite athletes, and you think you've seen it all. But once a game Jaden Ivey will do something I've never seen, so I'll find a replay screen at the arena or rewind the play myself and watch it again. And again. And again."
Indiana coach Mike Woodson, courtesy of the Indianapolis Star: "He's a handful, man. I can't help but think if he continues to grow and learn, he's going to be really, really, really good. I mean, he's a good player now and he does a lot of wonderful things on the floor. His speed up and down the floor really changes the game and he's able to do his thing and get shots on his own."
Doyel after Purdue beat Michigan State in the 2022 Big Ten Tournament: "We saw the best athlete on the floor, the fastest car in the field, occasionally tapping the brakes. When he does that, he can drive Purdue a long, long way. Perhaps all the way to New Orleans."
Jaden Ivey quotes
After Ivey scored 11 points in a win over Maryland in December 2020, courtesy of the Lafayette Journal & Courier: "When you get into those situations, it's easy. You feel confident you've put in so much work. Your shots are going to fall because of the work you've put in."
After Ivey hit a step-back 3-pointer with five seconds left against No. 18 Ohio State, courtesy of the Lafayette Journal & Courier: "Honestly, I'm still gathering myself a little bit ... I'm emotional because I care. I care about the game. I've been in a slump. I'm just trying to gather myself because I've been struggling mentally. I know I want to win. I want to win so bad."
After Ivey ended a 3-point drought in January 2021, courtesy of the Indianapolis Star: "I'm just trying to stay confident. I know I've been in a slump, but I'm going to just keep shooting it. I've been in my head, but I've just kept the positive mindset. I say this all the time — just keep going. That's all you can do is just keep going and bettering yourself. I'm just glad I could contribute offensively."
On his mother, Notre Dame women's basketball coach Niele Ivey, courtesy of the Lafayette Journal & Courier: "Having my mother by my side all the time...it's amazing knowing you have someone like that in your life."
On his mother, courtesy of the Lafayette Journal & Courier: "She was always in the gym and so I was, too."
In early March 2021, after Purdue had won 10 of its last 13 games, courtesy of the Indianapolis Star: "I feel like when we play as a team, no one can beat us."
On Matt Painter, in December 2021, courtesy of the Field of 68 podcast: "He's given me a lot of tips on how to stay patient. Last year, I was up and down. He kept saying, 'Your time is coming. Continue to stay in the gym.' At the end of the year last year, I improved. He helped me in all aspects."
On Purdue chasing its first-ever No. 1 ranking in the AP poll, courtesy of the Field of 68 podcast: "I watched the game (between Duke and Ohio State) last night and I texted my teammates and said, 'We've got to lock in even more.' We put in a lot of work. Any given night, everyone's going to give Purdue their best shot. We know what's at stake. Hopefully we'll be No. 1, but we've got to maintain that throughout the whole season and in March."
On who he styles his game after, courtesy of the Field of 68 podcast: "Ja Morant for sure. I went to games sometimes and I took note of his game. I see a lot of similarities in my game. I love watching his pace, his change of speed, getting to the basket, his dunks and his craftiness. I try to take some of his stuff and implement it into my game."
After Purdue won a game at Indianapolis' Gainbridge Fieldhouse, courtesy of The Herald: "This is for-real home. Obviously my mom, she's been here, played with the (WNBA's Indiana) Fever, and as a young boy, I can remember coming here. It's just a great atmosphere to be in."