The Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball team didn’t show any signs of jet lag Thursday night in a 112-51 home-opening rout over Earlham at Gates Sports Center. It’s the second-most points the Mastodons have scored in Division I.
The Mastodons re-entered the Eastern time zone Wednesday after falling 96-71 No. 21 UCLA on Tuesday.
Coach Jon Coffman expects a lot out of his team. The first nine days of the season see the Mastodons go from Los Angeles to play No. 21 UCLA, to Division III Earlham at home, to Ohio State and finally at Dayton.
Coffman wanted to create adversity, but he really wants them to have fun and enjoy the process – a process that features a variety of competition in the first few weeks.
“Forget all this stuff. Let’s look around: There’s (Kareem Abdul) Jabbar’s uniform. There’s Bill Walton’s (uniform),” Coffman told his team during shootaround at Pauley Pavilion. “We’re on John Wooden Court. Just enjoy the process, this is pretty cool.”
“I said ‘in another week we’ll be out at Ohio State in Big Ten country. Let’s just have fun; and those two words have really meant more to this group than anything.”
The Mastodons had plenty of fun Thursday in a game where every player saw minutes, attempted a shot and five scored in double figures.
“Just building off last game,” Marcus DeBerry said. “We did some things well, obviously did some things poorly, but we just wanted to come out and not worry about the name on the chest and just play basketball.”
It was a welcoming sign for Coffman to see Purdue Fort Wayne (1-1) get to the rim with ease in the win over Earlham – which played the Mastodons as an exhibition game.
Despite Earlham scoring the first bucket of the game, the Mastodons’ size and athleticism were no match for the Quakers as the game quickly turned into a highlight reel for Purdue Fort Wayne.
Freshmen guard Jarred Godfrey might have had the most fun in his home, as he lit up the stat sheet with 23 points, six rebounds and four steals for the Mastodons.
After going 0 of 9 from the field at UCLA, Godfrey showed he’s not afraid to pull the trigger after one bad outing.
“Today 9 for 10 and you can see he’s got that killer mindset and the scorer’s mentality,” Coffman said of Godfrey
The Mastodons shot a solid 56 percent from the field and were 50 percent from 3-point range, hitting 13 triples.
Coffman said the win was a huge step in the team’s offensive process.
“We weren’t aggressive enough over the last few weeks. What was even better to see was some of our newcomers, that I know are good players and they know they’re good players, but they haven’t played comfortably and they kind of came out of their shells,” Coffman said.