|Excited to be here|
By Ryne Smith
Special to Boiled Sports
First of all, I want to send a huge thanks to all the fans for the past four years of my life. Being a Boilermaker is something that I am unbelievably proud of, and I know its cliché but black and gold will run through my veins forever.
I’m glad to join the chumps of Boiled Sports. I was fortunate enough to get to know these guys through Keith Rhoades (BoilermkrHero on Twitter), who is also a chump. But I love ‘em. As for this post, I just wanted to give y’all a follow up of our season, and give some perspective that most people may not get.
The majority of people may already believe this, and you can call me biased but I could care less. Matt Painter belongs in the category of the top tier coaches in college basketball. He is simply the best. I’ve been around the game since I was an infant and he has forgotten more about coaching/basketball than I know. I can say this now that I don’t ever have to participate in one of his practices again, and I’m sure he knows this, but on certain days, I couldn’t stand him. But that was all part of my immaturity. I didn’t see the bigger picture at times. He is a tremendous motivator and looking back on the bad days all can say to myself is, “Ok, I gotcha Coach. You were right.”
Although there were days where I thought it wouldn’t work out for me, that was never an option. I can say now that I would run through a brick wall for that man if he asked me to, which is true for every guy who was on the roster at the end of the season. After four years deeply involved in the Purdue Basketball program, I can guarantee this: there is not a sniff of illegal activity going on. Purdue just does things the right way. Win or lose. With everything that goes on in major college basketball these days that is seriously something that the Boilers can hang their hat on. Coach has created a system of rules on and off the court that not only creates improvement on the court, but turns boys into men. Coach Paint doesn’t use players for his own good; he helps players use the game of basketball for their own good.
Spending four years under Painter, and fully buying into his system, regardless of how many points you score, or how many W’s you get, you will exit the program a winner. You will be prepared for the real world, which is ultimately the main goal, correct?
As for the athletic department as a whole, Purdue is first class. Absolutely a first class institution. I get the sense that people criticize Morgan Burke sometimes which is beyond me. [Uhhhh...-J] I didn’t hear anybody criticizing the 100 million dollar renovation to Mackey Arena. I was fortunate enough to get one year in the new palace. I’m jealous of the guys remaining on the team and recruits who get to enjoy that. Also, the work being put on the new baseball stadium, and renovations to the soccer complex is ridiculously nice. I fully believe that when it is all said and done Morgan Burke and his staff will be remembered as the masterminds behind the incredible improvements to Purdue sports. Not to mention the people who hired coaches like Matt Painter, Sharon Versyp, and Dave Shondell, whose résumés speak for themselves.
Although the improvements to the facilities are remarkable, what’s truly remarkable is where the Athletic Administration has kept the student-athlete GPA. Again, as cliché as it sounds, being a student comes first at Purdue.
This season was a roller coaster ride. Fortunately, even though the end of the Kansas game was the most heartbroken I have ever been, the last portion of the season was the most fun I had ever had with a team. We came together, won some big games, and had a blast doing it. The bond I’ve created with my teammates is something that can’t be explained.
Lewis and Rob were unbelievable for Purdue’s program. I am so privileged to call them not only my teammates, but my friends. If Robbie Hummel’s story doesn’t inspire you, then you probably just don’t have a soul, let’s just leave it at that. Unfortunately for my future kids, they will have to hear about overcoming adversity like that every time they complain.
I’m trading in my basketball sneakers for a laptop computer to give y’all another perspective with the boys from Boiled. Joining the ranks of non-athletic chumps, but hey, ya #CantKnockTheHustle. Last words of wisdom: Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
Then you will be a mile away, and you will have their freakin’ shoes.
Boiler Up, Hail Purdue.