Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Put Hope in the Rearview: Hoops Season is Near!

Big Ten Basketball is going to be special this season. With a lot of talent returning to the conference, the Big Ten has three teams in the top five alone. Sadly for the Boilermakers, they retain just role players and young guys, with the big loss being Robbie Hummel. It may not be the greatest season for the Boilermakers when it comes to success, but don’t count out this reincarnation of the “Baby Boilers” just yet, although I'm sure Hutch already has. 

Throughout his career at Purdue, Matt Painter has a tradition of success. He has been able to recruit well, coach well, and get these guys to the tournament year in and year out (Danny Hope, take notes).  He has led the Boilermakers to six straight 20-win seasons and no first round losses in the NCAA tournament. 

The question now is can Purdue maintain that impressive streak under Matt Painter with fresh talent and a few veterans on the squad?

So here it is, the first vague prediction of what this squad is going to do in the non-conference portion of the season 

Non-Conference: Optimistic about victory

These teams are all lackluster squads. It’s not good to sleep on opponents in college basketball, but if the Boilers come into these games prepared and with the right mindset, all should be well in Boilermaker nation.

North Carolina - Wilmington
Eastern Michigan
Ball State
William & Mary

Too Close to Call

Bucknell could be the Boilers first loss in an opening game under Matt Painter. This team talented bringing back four of their five leading scorers from last season.  They could very well be this season’s NCAA Cinderella if they click and can get over that big game hump this season.  
Villanova isn’t very good in terms of returning talent this season but their style of play is usually challenging for the Boilermakers. This should be a tone setter for the season.
Alabama or Oregon State. With the talent that Oregon State has returning and the great games Purdue and Alabama have played in the past, either of these teams is going to present a challenge to Purdue.
Clemson is a team that Purdue should beat, but being a young team, the road can cause lots of problems.
Xavier is a team that always seems to be competitive; they have lost a lot of talent, yet they are likely to put on a fight for Purdue.  The players on last season’s squad should remember the loss at Xavier last season and be motivated.
West Virginia is going to be a test amid the conference season. Huggy bear usually puts together a talented squad and this has turned into quite the rivalry in the past few seasons.

Boilers Likely to be Underdogs

Notre Dame could be a team that makes a run, but it could also be a team that flops, either way, their fans will still be wearing cream and crimson.  This could be a big game for the Boilers, but on a floor they never seem to play well on, it seems unlikely to see a win here.

So if you say that Purdue is going to only win three of the close games, and lose to Notre Dame, then the Boilers should be around 10-3 throughout the nonconference schedule

Conference Play
This is where the Boilermakers are going to really start growing up.  Going on the road in the Big Ten is not something for boys or the weak hearted.  Besides the Bryce Jordan Center, there really isn’t a place that you don’t fear going to in the conference.  With the conference being so good this season, it’s going to make those arenas even more of a ruckus.

Look for our conference preview later to come. 


Headphones_on said...

Given the amount of talent that Painter has proven he can recruit, and how his teams typically improve as the year goes on, I would say 20+ wins and a win in the first round of the tournament should be expected every year

BoilerBloodline said...

This year should indeed be an exciting one. If Byrd can be the catalyst on the floor and in the locker room for the young fellas, I see a very successful season in store. How great it would be to go deep into the tournament this year, knowing the class of 2013 brings in 3 more studs...including Bryson Scott, who is literally a game changer....OOOOOOOWEEEE, I'm ready for some Boiler Basketball!! Look for Rapheal Davis to lead the team is scoring this year...the kid has great size and can stroke it from anywhere.