Thursday, March 21, 2013

CBI Dream Scenario or Nightmare?

When the 16 team CBI field was named, I liked that a historically-strong Texas team was invited.  Like Purdue though, they had a down season and weren't very motivated for their opening game of the third tier tournament.  But if you think the Purdue season didn't meet expectations, look to the Longhorns to be reminded that it could be worse.

First off, Kabongo's season started poorly as he was suspended in December...but the former McD's AA and 5-star recruit didn't give the talented Longhorns enough of a boost to get them to .500 overall.  Texas' rotation is pretty much all 4-star players along with the 5-star Kabongo...but Texas reminds us, as did Kentucky, that stars matter little when a team doesn't gel.

With Texas bowing out early, the CBI is now Wyoming (65), Richmond (79), Santa Clara (92), Wright State (127), Purdue (121), Western Michigan (122), GMU (144) and Houston (195).

If you're like most of America, the CBI wasn't available to you or you didn't care it was going if Purdue falls in a tournament and no one is there to see it, does it count? Yes it does...and this is why this tournament is such a tough proposition for the Boilers.

I said it yesterday in my post, Purdue truly is the underdog now; they're the only sub-.500 team remaining and are in the bottom half of the rankings of those still playing...the truth is tough to swallow.

But in spite of Purdue being the team with the worst record left in the event, those that are still watching probably think Purdue is the favorite...and since the strongest conference represented, after the B1G, is the A-10, why wouldn't they think that way?

This tournament is a two-fold exercise; continue to get the young guys experience...the more basketball, the better...but also, Purdue needs to win to save some face.  Since Painter is a basketball junkie, he probably enjoys the chance to have his guys playing, regardless of the competition.  But clearly, many of the players didn't share his perspective yesterday; perhaps that's the main problem with the state of the program right now?


Purdue Matt said...

KenPom rankings:

Purdue 64
Wyoming 107
Richmond 82
Santa Clara 87
Wright St 110
Western Michigan 147
George Mason 140
Houston 179

Purdue is no underdog.

boilerdowd said...

I hope they're not reading KenPom right now...they need to think like an underdog or they'll lose the next game. When complacent, they are a very bad basketball team.

Plang said...

Bdowd, though you and J have talked about it many times during the season, I think it needs to be repeated: Painter has guys on this team that aren't greatful for where they are at. And I'm not talking about the CBI, I'm talking about being a member of the Purdue basketball team. It may hurt, but I think Painter should do a little house cleaning come May.

boilerdowd said...

Paul, I think it's going to happen...they'll lose 1-3 guys; seasons like this always are followed by attrition.

I read what "The Butler Way" really is a few weeks ago; one of its tenets is exactly what you're talking about.

Plang said...

I saw it work here with Utah. Granted, the team was still sub-.500, but the players hustled and played much, much better defense this year. They were usually in games until the last few minutes. But one can really see a difference in the product on the floor when everyone buys into what the coach is selling. All it takes is one or two guys who don't care and it can throw everything off.

BoilerBloodline said...

Agreed on the house cleaning. It sounds like A.John is gone (hallelujah) and Lawson will transfer as well. I really hate to lose Lawson, although his play mirrored his minutes, with a little confidence (which would be next year) his upside is phenomenal. Any other rumors out there? I really, really hope Simpson stays put. But for some reason I feel a Nate Minnoy coming. I really hope not. The kid is super talented. Again though...Painter and his pre-conceived notion that the players he recruits "fit the program" doesn't always seem to pan out.

The Accidental Expat said...

Glad I waited one day to reply. I was going to say that a majority of Santa Clara's 11-losses were sneaky quality-good ones: OT to Utah State (No idea as to why the Aggies are not in any postseason tournaments), and 2 each in-conference to Gonzaga, St. Mary's and NCAA bubble/current NIT 2nd round BYU, and to Duke. In the light of all the NCAA tournament near-misses and escapes, those losses all of a sudden are not as much quality as I originally thought. Still, Santa Clara is a scrappy team not to take lightly-- another slow start like they did to the Leathernecks would not be advised. For what it's worth, the Texas Longhorns Rivals site pegged Purdue to go all the way to the CBI Finals-- something they did not predict for Longhorn hoops.

I'm loath to sing the praises of my cable service, but I must say I was forced to get DirecTV due to my building's location (no "standard" cable comes out here), and it's been a pleasant surprise: not a lot of folks here in the Pacific Northwest get the BTN even at the highest tiers of sports packages, and AXS (the former HDNet) availability is pretty hit-or-miss with other cable providers. Both of these networks come with my basic DirecTV subscription.