Tuesday, December 20, 2011
We received an e-mail from Indiana Recruiting Guide telling us they were about to post a look at the younger Johnson, so we wanted to pass it on to you.
Johnson's court vision, quickness, ability to find the open man and keep the defense honest with his three-point shot all make him a player that will be tough to keep off the court next season. The void LewJack will leave will be sizable and tough to fill...but Johnson like Jackson seems to have the tools that will allow his game to translate to the next level in spite of being shorter than many high recruits at the PG position.
Click HERE for videos and info about Ronnie Johnson.
All News is Bad News
As Purdue gets ready for the bowl game on the 27th more bad news than good seems to be coming out of West La La. First we heard about OJ Ross being suspended for academic concerns...two days ago, we heard what we thought we'd be hearing- Ross will not be playing in the bowl due to missing too much practice.
Gary Bush will be picking up the slack that Ross' suspension leaves. I've been a fan of Bush all season as he's been very consistent, runs crisp routes and doesn't take plays off. There's no doubt that Ross is a gifted guy, but talent alone only takes you so far...and Bush's ability to do the little things made the offense better when he played this season.
Atop of Ross' academic woes, starting linebacker and leading tackler Dwayne Beckford was arrested for DWI this weekend. Purdue had kept it pretty quiet, but Beckford had been arrested back in July for possession of drug paraphernalia...and in June was arrested for leaving the scene in which he had hit a parked car.
The most-recent charge is made more serious because Beckford was already on probation due to the previous arrests.
One of the aspects of Hope's time at Purdue has been this type of stuff has been less prevalent than it was in the latter seasons of Tiller's tenure at Purdue. I didn't have any time for repeat offenders then, and really don't now. Making one mistake isn't the same as getting arrested three times in a six month period...And while I really like Hope's focus on academics, there is no comparison to the severity of not going to class or doing poorly on tests and drinking while driving.
Seems to me that Beckford should be suspended right away- not because he's automatically guilty, but because he's already had a history of poor behavior...so I'd think he'd not only be on probation with the police, but also with the coaches.
Prior to Beckford's arrest, the coaches had already announced they'd be playing more nickel defense to counter Western Michigan's pass-happy offense...so Beckford not playing shouldn't be the end of the world. Harris was going to see the field more and on running downs, I'd think Carlino will play. Carlino of course has been a starter and plays with a ton of intensity, which is never bad for a defense.
Losing a RB like Ralph Bolden with only weeks to prepare a back-up would have been catastrophic in previous seasons...but as we've talked about ad nauseaum, this year's Purdue backfield is just different. Shavers was Bolden's 1A when healthy, and the guys behind him proved themselves to be talented time and again.
The other Akeem that'll be getting more carries, Hunt, gives up about 25 pounds in the stead of Bolden/Shavers...but is a shiftier runner and has better break-away speed.
All this said, the way Nord called the offense this season, the loss of an RB really doesn't affect Purdue's game plan at all. Edison, Pegram, Crank and even Mostert will probably all get chances to carry the ball in Detroit.
Hope says there are a few guys that are still not out of the woods academically and there might be more that can't play in Detroit. The coaches will know in the next week.
Regardless of academic attrition, injuries or problems with the law, I don't think these issues should matter. Heck, even if Purdue were to lose a QB, would we really see a quantitative difference in offensive output?
Purdue would be hurt with the loss of Allen and/or Johnson...or if Short and/or Gaston couldn't play v. WMU. And if Kelly couldn't play, that'd be costly...and obviously, there's a tipping point when you lose 3, 4, 5...starters, but I've heard nothing to make me think any of these guys are in danger.
So let's just enjoy the 10th-best B1G bowl for 2011/12, regardless of which Boilers can suit up, shall we?