It was reported soon after the season that Kendall Stephens was looking to possibly transfer from Purdue. At the time, the release said he still had a spot on the team if he decided he did not want to transfer. It seems that has changed as Coach Matt Painter said late last week Stephens was going to transfer and was not apart of the 2016-17 Purdue Boilermakers roster. That was confirmed by Sports Information Director Chris Forman:
— Chris Forman (@ChrisForman12) April 23, 2016
There were high expectations for Stephens coming into the past year. He had averaged 8.0 points/game his freshman year and 8.7 his sophomore year while shooting 37% and 38% from deep in those two years. He was a main player in the rotation and expecting him to average 10 ppg. and shoot 40% from three were not unreasonable expectations.
It was pretty apparent early on in the season that Dakota Mathias had overtaken Stephens on the depth chart. After the Pittsburgh game, Ryan Cline also started to eat into Stephens’ minutes. It didn’t help that Stephens was struggling offensively and you could tell it was affecting other parts of his game. Coach Painter started to use Mathias and Cline as his first and second shooting options off the bench.
On January 8th, Stephens had a close friend from high school die. It started to affect him to the point he asked to not make the trip to Iowa and subsequently he went on to miss three games before returning the week of the Maryland game played at Maryland on February 7th.
It makes sense why Stephens is transferring as it seems he is third on the depth chart behind both Mathias and Cline. It was very unfortunate what happened to his friend. For Kendall’s sake, I hope he got the necessary help he needed to deal with the loss. Stephens will have to sit out a year and will have one year of eligibility remaining.