|Michael Conroy/AP Photo|
Getting spanked by a combined 65 points by your arch rival hurts, especially when it's your senior year, but what sucks even more is when you feel like your team has given up.
I was reading a story on the Journal and Courier website by Jeff Washburn today and this stuck out, and sticks out even more now:
Gene Keady’s typical February message was delivered in varying forms of, “It’s not who you play, but when you play them.” Keady’s theory was that by mid-February, those who aspired to make noise in the postseason or play for the Big Ten Conference championship were peaking. Teams looking at a sub-.500 record were beginning to go through the motions, hoping the end was near.For this team the season is drawing to an end and it's a disappointing one. Maybe the 2007 class gave us too much to hope for this year. Maybe their run and their development into special program players spoiled us beyond belief, but Robbie Hummel, E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson are gone, so is their talent, and so is there leadership. Through players like Hummel, Moore, Johnson, Grant, Green and Kramer, Purdue developed an edge, a certain toughness, that isn't on this team.
In my opinion there is some type of divide with this team currently, egos are getting in the way and that edge isn't there. Numerous times today IU got a turnover and no one hustled back on defense. I would say one guy played truly hard the entire time he was in there, Sandi. Sandi doesn't have half the talent of AJ Hammons, but if you look at the effort he gives, he's a better player right now.
The guys of BS have talked amongst ourselves about players leaving, and I have come to the conclusion that if they don't buy into Painter's system, let them go. There is no point in being here if you aren't willing to work hard. There needs to be a culture change at Purdue within this program, bringing back one of the greatest Boilermakers to ever step foot on Keady Court to the bench would help. Cardinal wouldn't take laziness.
The game today was a story of six minutes and the other 34. IU was the better team today, no one doubted that, but for six minutes, the Boilers played with emotion. Wrecking havoc on defense, scoring the basketball and just playing good ball, but that was just six minutes. The Boilermakers took a 19 point lead down to ten, then halftime killed the momentum. The better team won today, there is no doubt, but the lack of effort kills me and is painful to watch.
Maybe it's the coaching. I believe in Painter, I think he is a great coach who knows what he is doing, but I think he is lost with these guys. They just aren't buying it. On the pre-game interview done by the CLIZ, Painter said he just wanted effort, that wasn't there the entire game, which is disappointing.
Maybe it's time to forget about basketball season and just move one to the next, but as Boilermakers we just can't do that. This team is growing and is building into what could be something special.
If you came here for a recap, this is all that you're going to get, because honestly, there wasn't much to be excited about. Here is the game in one sentence: IU had their way with the Boilermakers.
To close out, one of my twitter followers, mentioned this team was like and old beat up car, it keeps quitting. As sad is it is to hear, it's the truth.
With no passion and no guts it seems, this team is done. All we can hope for now is a strong finish and the development of players. As much as I would love to say Dakich is wrong, he's right, Purdue needs to focus this offseason on getting better and put in the effort, or this could be a team that is a let down and Matty could be out the door.
Am I saying give up on this team and give up on coach? No, Boilers never quit, Boilers never falter. Ever Grateful Ever True, CHOO CHOO.