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Purdue's top defender to enter basketball transfer portal

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) First, Nojel Eastern entered his name in the NBA draft. Now the rising senior has put his name into the NCAA's transfer portal.

Either way, it sounds as if the Purdue guard could become the second veteran in a month to leave the Boilermakers program after coach Matt Painter made the announcement Tuesday. Center Matt Haarms announced in April that he would play his final season at Brigham Young.

Eastern played a key role for Purdue each of the past three seasons, initially off the bench as a freshman before starting each of the past two seasons. He developed a reputation as a defensive stopper, but his offensive game never quite materialized.

As a junior, Eastern averaged 4.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting just 42.0% from the field and 48.5% from the free-throw line.

He will have one year of eligibility remaining.

“Thank you Purdue," Eastern posted on Twitter, with heart-shaped emojis in the school's black-and-gold colors.

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Updated May 12, 2020

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