While the World University Games are rarely an indicator of how good a team will be heading into the college basketball season, the time spent preparing and the extra playing time is a fantastic tool to get a team prepared for the start of the season.
Last year, the Kansas Jayhawks were chosen to go to the World University Games and ended up winning the whole thing. Kansas, which entered the 2016 NCAA tournament as the No. 1 overall seed but fell in the Final Four to the Villanova Wildcats, had massive success throughout the season and, while a trip to the WUG cannot be directly considered a factor in their success, it definitely helped with this team’s cohesiveness and focus early in the season.
This year, the Purdue Boilermakers have been chosen to represent the United States at the World University Games. Purdue heads into 2016-17 as one of the top teams in the Big 10 thanks to the return of big-men Caleb Swanigan and Vince Edwards, but they are far behind the overall talent that Kansas had heading into last year’s WUG. That being said, this likely means that participating in the WUG will have a far greater impact on this Boilermakers squad than it did for the Jayhawks.