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 bus...so 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!|
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)