Saturday, February 02, 2013

Heartless in Chicago


I thought Purdue might come out a bit flat v. Northwestern following the IU game, but day-um, that was painful.

The day started well as Hammons was late to catch the team Painter didn't start him.  Good for Matty...that was the right thing to do.  But, I'm not so sure he did anything else well as he prepared his team for the fighting purple cats.

A few weeks ago, I caught hell as I told Purdue fans that an NIT bid was still in doubt...and that Purdue needed to handle its business versus the lower part of the conference- do you who mocked me now see what I was talking about? Purdue stands at 11-11...deep into the hundreds in the RPI and is coming off of a shellacking at the hands of North-fricking-western.  The NIT is a dream, at this point.

We've been defending Painter under the guise that this year is a rebuilding year.  But let me ask myself a question- Hey Bdowd, if you had never seen a Painter team before this season, what would you think of him as a coach?
We're doing fine!
Well, I'm glad you asked, self.  Purdue starts two guys who are supposed to be solid...a Junior and a Freshman...they have plenty of size...but are short on experience.  Their point guard play is shaky at best, and it's tough to run a motion offense without solid PG play...BUT damn, that team is horrible on defense and they might be the one of the worst offenses I've seen in the B1G in the last three seasons.  He really doesn't look like he knows what he's doing this season.

Agreed...glad we had this talk.

Now no one is saying that going through a divorce isn't tough...but I'd guarantee you that Painter would just glare at a member of the media for bringing his personal life into the equation.  That said, it's kinda tough not to, right?  We've NEVER seen a Painter-coached team display this little effort and this little heart in consecutive games.  We're now in unchartered waters and our boat has gaping holes.

I actually understand how a young team can get the crap beaten out of it by one of the elite teams in the nation (maybe not by 37 at home).  But I don't understand how that same team can't even compete at Northwestern. Hell, Northwestern's students barely showed up...they don't like watching this Northwestern team play...but that didn't matter to Purdue; they just made one of the worst teams in the conference look like a world beater.

Whatever Painter has been doing isn't working with this team...and the only time we saw effort out of this club that was respectable today was when they extended and *gasp* played a trap.  Whatever it takes to get guys to work on defense and on the glass, Painter needs to do because the offense isn't going to get better at this point, so defense needs to create opportunities.

With little emotion or sign of effort, Hammons scored 19 points, had 13 rebounds and 3 assists. The sad thing is he is clearly the best player on the team, yet he's so green that this can't possibly be his team at this point...and it's kind of a good thing it's not since he can't do the little things like arrive on time.

AJohnson was my favorite player to watch today...because he actually tried.  He probably had friends and family at the game since he grew up near by; hopefully they come to every game from here out because it was refreshing to see him putting it all out there. He finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Byrd somehow scored 12, had  rebounds and 5 assists...BUT, he looked listless like most of his teammates and had at least two three pointers blocked. His fellow upper classman starter, TJohn had no stats worth mentioning...but looked put out to try to hard today in Evanston.

It's almost like the young guys followed the lead of Byrd and TJohn...and just went through the motions...hmmmmmm.

If those guys aren't going to try or care, they shouldn't play.  And if Painter can't find anyone other than Carroll, Marcius, AJohn, Hale and Anthrop to play hard, than so be it.  Could it get any worse than losing at home by 37 and getting crushed by Northwestern?  I doubt it.

I've been looking ahead in three game chunks to see if Purdue can improve its chances to make the NIT...this team needs to look ahead no further than the next practice because, at this point, they don't look like they belong in the B1G.

(oh yeah, the final score was 75-60)


COD said...

That was more painful to watch than the IU game. Even worse, I knew 2 minutes in we were going to lose, and I sat there at watched the train wreck anyway. For whatever reason, the Johnson brothers can't play together. It's like they are more worried about showing the other up than playing team basketball. If they can't get their shit together I won't be upset if Painter shows them the door. In the meantime, there is no way either should see significant PT at Penn State.

Mark said...

I think they've given up on Painter's system.

Anonymous said...

Byrd mighta looked a bit lethargic but he did have a good stat line. 5-9 from floor (44%), 4-7 from three (57%), 5 rebounds (2 offensive), 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and 1 TO. Thats a pretty damn good stat line. I'd take that from him every day. One of his most improved qualities that I've recently noticed is his passing. His post passing is quite excellent. I think the Johnsons could learn quite a bit from him. I think I'll give Byrd a pass on this game. Yes I understand the young guys feed on the vets emotion but as far as numbers go Byrd succeeded.

At this point I don't know what to say though. But ya blaming Painter is the easy route. I agree with assessment on judging Painter off this season alone is not good but why would you ever do that kind of analysis. That be like saying Calipari or Roy Williams are average coaches or that Crean is a fantastic coach based on looking at this year alone. Even the all time greats have outlier seasons. I find it very hard to believe a young coach who is a 3 time BT COY in 7 years, who took a team who lost arguably their best player and molded them from the awful team they were (without Hummel) to a team posed to make a tourney run and he did it in a very short time period, and who has won many other honors as a coach (finalist for Henry Iba Award (NCOY award) and was selected to coach the 2009 U19 USA team (which he coached to a 9-0 record)), has just suddenly just forgotten how to coach. Dude is a good coach. Period. End of story.

Worst Case Scenario for Painter: Clearly a very good coach but has just lost touch with the players (see Bruce Weber). Worst case because we'd have a talented coach who has lost control of a historic program.

Best Case Scenario: He is dealing with personal issues and this is an outlier to his Purdue career. Divorce is incredibly difficult and even more so for guys with money (more for woman to claim). For all we know he could be fighting these issues along with trying to put a brand new team together. Can't be easy. I for one am willing to cut him so short term slack.

The Money Question: I'm also sick and tired of people bringing up Painters salary. It's not that difficult. He had this pay bump 2 years ago-ish. That means (if your assuming the salary was not a reward for being a good coach but rather an incentive to do better) then we should be expecting a better team now right? WRONG. Everything in big time sports is long term. Just because Painter got a $$ boost and has better recruiting resources does not mean we should be seeing results now. The 2012 and 2013 classes which he recruited (somewhat) with these increased resources are both (or were at some point) top 20 classes. Point for Painter. Now if the 2014,15,16 classes are poor then we need to grab the pitch forks. But with the way recruiting is these days (hit 'em early) you can't truly expect a resource increase to show immediately. Rather we should be asking could he have had a better chance at landing Dawson, Harris, identifying RGIII if he would've had this increase when he arrived at Purdue instead of just recently.

MOST IMPORTANTLY the resource increase will not effect the players he has on his team now (2009,10,11). You can't say this team should be better because he has more resources. He has 3 classes of poor resources on his team, compared to one class of improved resources. Again long-term. Give it 2-3 years and then judge. But it's just ignorant to say that he is not earning his pay. LONG TERM BABY!

Disclaimer: Long time reader first time poster. Love the work you guys do. I know you've backed Painter alot and think he is the man for the job. Also I know many of these rants points have nothing to do with your article. I'm just tired of twitter and HR boards and GB boards. Needed to vent. Sorry that I ended up doing it here.

boilerdowd said...

Santa- We're not saying he should be run out of town or that he's forgotten how to do his job...Plus, we really like this coaching staff. BUT, what we've seen this season should be sugar coated any longer. We stayed positive, especially early, hoping for signs of progress, but after a few good efforts, this team is playing the worst it has all season.

You're always welcome to vent here and I think you'll get a wide range of opinions...and I've read what other message boards and Twitter are saying.

On one hand, you have people pretty much saying it's sacrilege to verbalize that you think this isn't good basketball...on the other, you have people saying Painter's lost his touch.

We stated a few weeks ago in the comment section that (as you stated) even the best coaches have had bad seasons...I'm not going to revisit it any further other than to say we agree. Now, if next season resembles this one, it's going to get nasty around these parts.

Purdue basketball should never be what we've seen the last two games. I don't think the average Purdue fan demands a top-15 team every season...But we do think Purdue should be ranked most years and competing all the time. They're not competing right now and the effort is deplorable. Painter needs to use the bench as a deterrent more regularly.