Boilermakers bring back Lusk; Williams to test NBA waters

NCAA Men's Basketball

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP)Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter is bringing back one familiar face and could be losing another.

Just hours after announcing he rehired Paul Lusk as an assistant coach, all-conference forward Trevion Williams announced Monday he would enter the NBA draft but would not hire an agent. Williams’ decision means he could still return to school for his final season if he withdraws from the draft by July 19.

The draft is scheduled for July 29, and he would be eligible to participate in June’s NFL draft combine.

Williams averaged 15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists while posting six 20-point games and 11 double-doubles, the third most by a power-conference player, last season. Big Ten voters also made the 6-foot-10 Williams a first-team all-conference selection.

Lusk fills one of two voids remaining after assistant coaches Micah Shrewsberry and Steve Lutz each accepted head coaching jobs.

Lusk could help provide some consistency on a staff in transition.

”Purdue is a place of consistency and with consistency comes success,” Lusk said in a statement. ”There have been two coaches here in the last 40 years and I have been fortunate enough to work with and learn from both of them.”

Lusk served as an assistant/associate coach with Painter from 2005-11. He spent the next seven seasons as head coach at Missouri State, where he went 106-121. After he was fired in March 2018, Lusk landed at Creighton, where he worked for the past three seasons under coach Greg McDermott.

He is expected to help replace Shrewsberry, the new Penn State head coach and former Butler assistant who helped run the Boilermakers’ defense for the past two seasons.

Painter also is trying to plug the hole left by Lutz, who was in charge of Purdue’s offense. Lutz is now the head coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

”He obviously has experience in our program and was very instrumental in our success during his previous stint,” Painter said. ”Paul is very detail-oriented and has excellent knowledge about the game both as a player and coach and will be a very beneficial addition to our staff.”

Lusk spent one season on Painter’s staff at Southern Illinois before moving to Purdue. He started his college playing career at Iowa and finished it with the Salukis.

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