The Mastodons will look to build on their wild finish in their first season in the Horizon League


Purdue Fort Wayne had a roller coaster of a season, finishing the year with an 8-15 record, and 6-14 in conference play. This was their opening season in the Horizon League after their move from the Summit League.

Head coach Jon Coffman, is the most decorated coach in program history, with the most wins in the Division I era for PFW at 118-102. He was the coach of the year in the Summit League in 2015-16, while the Mastodons won the regular season title in the same season.

There weren’t lofty expectations for the Mastodons in their opening season in the Horizon League, so their play in the conference tournament was encouraging moving forward.

In the opening round of the Horizon League tournament they pulled off the upset against Green Bay in double overtime, 89-84. The following game against the No. 1 seed Cleveland State was even more of a thriller. They came up short 108-104 in triple overtime, after they had multiple chances to finish off the Vikings.

Jarred Godfrey had an outstanding season and almost led the team to one of the biggest upsets of the season against Cleveland State. As a junior, he was able to secure a spot on the All-League third team, averaging 16.2 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game and 3.8 assists per game.

Godfrey played a whopping 102 minutes between their two conference tournament games, and looked exhausted towards the end of the Cleveland State game. Building around Godfrey so he doesn’t wear down will be crucial going forward for the Mastodons.

Due to last season being cut short because of the coronavirus, all players gained an extra year of eligibility, so the Mastodons may retain all of their seniors. Transfers have gone rampant the last couple seasons, so barring any transfers, the Mastodons will look similar to this past season.

Keeping Jalon Pipkins will be essential and the top priority going into the offseason. He just finished his senior season and his first with the Mastodons after transferring from Loyola Chicago. His role was much larger for PFW than it was at Loyola Chicago, so it is safe to assume Pipkins will finish his collegiate career with PFW.

Pipkins was an integral piece of this roster and really came into his own in the second half to the season. He finished the season averaging 14.3 points per game, and was extremely efficient with shooting splits of 52-44-81.

The Mastodons really struggled in the interior offensively and defensively. Dylan Carl, the starting center throughout the season, was not a great rebounder for the Mastodons. Once the Mastodons started going deeper on their bench and playing Ra Kpedi more, they had more of a presence down low. Kpedi is a physical rebounder and his ability to finish around the rim was the reason he started to play more down the stretch.

Freshman guard Jarvis Walker, was a bright spot on this team and the only freshman who played throughout the season. His development and maturity well help this team down the road as he becomes more involved.

Overall, the Mastodons were streaky but they were able to hang with some of the best teams in the conference. They now have some familiarity with their opponents in the Horizon League and have some building blocks in place to improve next season. Hopefully fans will be allowed at games next year, which will help the Mastodons at home, and will provide a much needed spark for them.

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