What Trey Kaufman-Renn Said After Purdue Basketball's First Summer Practice

With Zach Edey gone, Trey Kaufman-Renn has the chance to be Purdue's top interior post player in the 2024-25 season. Tuesday, the rising junior talked about the upcoming season and where he and the Boilers can improve.
Purdue Boilermakers forward Trey Kaufman-Renn
Purdue Boilermakers forward Trey Kaufman-Renn / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Trey Kaufman-Renn could be in store for a breakout season. With Zach Edey gone, the 6-foot-9 rising junior might be the best interior presence the Boilermakers have for the 2024-25 campaign.

Kaufman-Renn made big strides last season, earning a starting spot for a team that finished 34-5 and reached the National Championship Game. He averaged 6.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, but with more opportunities offensively, there's a good chance he has a major impact for the Boilers.

On Tuesday, Kaufman-Renn spoke with reporters about the upcoming season. Here's what he had to say.

On working with Will Berg and the possibility of an expanded role ...

Kaufman-Renn: "I had a camp that I put on for some college guys to not only work on basketball skill but also themselves mentally and spiritually. Obviously, we're lucky to have him be part of that and we worked hard. We worked hard. So, I'm proud of him putting in the work. Obviously, since he's my teammate we worked on some Purdue-specific things that we can look forward to this year."

On the importance of Kaufman-Renn being able to stretch the floor ...

Kaufman-Renn: "It's big. I mean, that's where the game is, right? I think we can — especially with my athletic ability to go around bigger guys — I think being able to hit the 3-ball to bring them out, it opens up the floor. I think that will be big time."

On the opportunity with Edey gone ...

Kaufman-Renn: "It's a huge opportunity for me. I'm not stupid, I feel like if I got double the amount of touches I got last year or triple the amount of touches, I'd be one of the leading scorers on the team. I mean, respectfully, honestly. But we had an incredible team. So, it's one of those things where I'm proud of the roles I've been given, but this year I've gotta step it up and take advantage of the greater bulk of shots I'm gonna get."

On playing drop coverage on defense ...

Kaufman-Renn: "Well, today we worked on drop because we were trying to get the new guys to work on veers. But for me, I think I'd be more of a switch guy, especially if we're trying that small-ball lineup. But, it obviously depends on who we have on the floor. I'm comfortable doing both."

On if Kaufman-Renn prepares to have more space to work offensively ...

Kaufman-Renn: "Yeah, absolutely. I feel like every time I got the ball on the block it was almost like a double team. If I beat my man, there was another guy that was waiting there. There's that, but it was also the combination of, again, Zach's so dominant that I may go a couple games without getting a post touch. So when you get the ball, you're not really in rhythm, you're not expecting it and so I missed a bunch of bunnies that I would normally hit last year. I'm just excited to be in rhythm, get consistent touches."

On the challenges of tweaking his jump shot and free throw shooting ...

Kaufman-Renn: "I've thought about that a lot. I'm of the opinion now that, it's one of those things where — I've actually done a lot of studies on it and what mentally you're thinking about when you're shooting, whether it's a form thing. I've put a lot of time into it. I think, right now mechanics wise, I'm fine. I just gotta make sure I'm mentally thinking of the right things when I'm shooting. I know it's a technical thing, but I know a lot of times when I was at the free throw line, I would think naturally of how the ball felt in my hands. The studies show that if you think more of making the shot instead of how the ball actually feels in your hands, your brain retains more of the information better."

On if there's a danger in overthinking ...

Kaufman-Renn: "Absolutely. It's a double-edged sword for me. It slows me down, but other times, especially when I have the ball in my hands, there's some plays that I'm able to make that other people aren't able to make. I'm processing. But yeah, it's a double-edged sword."

On how Kaufman-Renn embraces the leadership role ...

Kaufman-Renn: "Like I said, it was a situation where, in the role I was in last year, I didn't have to be that guy. So, I was more reserved, more to myself and we won a lot of games. But because of the different role I'm in, gonna have to step up. I've tried to do a better job of socializing with my teammates. Getting out more, hanging out with my teammates more. Just getting to know the new guys and getting them caught up. I think, especially with this team, we're gonna play faster, a lot more people are gonna get shots and so just getting everybody situated and understanding the system is my biggest goal."

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Dustin Schutte