Center Isaac Haas’ fractured elbow will keep him out of Purdue’s 2018 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game on Friday night. Purdue coach Matt Painter told CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein the news on Friday afternoon.
Purdue's Isaac Haas (elbow) will not play today against Texas Tech, per Matt Painter.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 23, 2018
Haas fractured his elbow in Purdue’s first-round win over Cal State Fullerton and missed the Boilermakers’ second-round win over Butler. The NCAA ruled the first brace Purdue made for him ineligible, but Purdue engineering students fashioned another brace that was ultimately cleared on Friday after the NCAA amended its rules:
In order to get approval, NCAA Senior Vice President of basketball Dan Gavitt worked with Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski and the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) to get approval. In addition, NCAA basketball secretary-rules editor Art Hyland was involved in the process.
“With ample time this week to review the intent of the playing rule, the committee decided to provide a more contemporary interpretation, while keeping health and safety for all players the highest priority,” said Gavitt in the release. “Technology has improved materials used in braces, so now there will be more flexibility in applying the rule as long as the brace is fully covered and padded. Isaac and other players in similar circumstances should be able to play, as long as the brace is safe for all.”
The CSMAS determined that padding can be used in order to make braces made of fiberglass, metal, plaster or any other non-pliable substance safe. The releases also states that CSMAS emphasized that officials must continue to check on the brace throughout the game, making sure hard or sharp edges from the brace don’t become exposed.
When Haas first went down with the injury, Purdue engineering grad students began working on a brace that Haas could wear during a game.
“They used carbon fiber, rubber and some leather,’’ Bobinski said in the release. “There was some old-school material. The carbon fiber is high tech, light and pliable. They believe it gives him lots of protection.’’
But Matt Painter never wavered from his position that Haas was not likely to play
“I don’t see him playing,” Painter said at a Thursday news conference. “Until he can practice and show me he can shoot a right-handed free throw and get a rebound with two hands. In the last two days he hasn’t practiced. So I don’t see it.”
He echoed those comments earlier on Friday:
“Nothing would change [on Haas’ playing status] unless he shows me something different at shoot around,’’ he told NCAA.com.
With Isaac Haas out, it’ll be Matt Haarms time once again for Purdue
Matt Haarms is Purdue’s backup 7-foot center, and he got his first start in the second round against Butler. He had 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks against the Bulldogs in his most extended action so far this season. When Haarms isn’t in, Purdue is likely to go with a small lineup where junior Grady Eifert and Vince Edwards play down low.
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