Monday, April 15, 2013

Anthony Johnson Joins the Parade Out of Town

Following the lead of Marcius, then Lawson, Sophomore, Anthony Johnson is now set to transfer elsewhere...following nearly a half season in which it was rumored he'd be leaving at the season's end.

Johnson was a four-star recruit, according to Rivals, out of high school, but was pretty slight...Many thought this was the reason for his redshirt during the first year on campus. In hindsight, I believe Painter wanted him to morph a bit from his high school mentality- a shooter first, passer and defender second...But with LewJack and Barlow in front of him, it made sense at the time. Now, that redshirt year will put him in a position in which he'll have only one more season of eligibility following sitting out next season due to transfer rules.

AJ's high water mark was against Nebraska in the '12 B1G tourney in which he scored 17 points...his low water marks might have been when he got into it with both Hummel in '12 and Byrd in '13 while on the court.

Those incidents specifically made fans question his attitude behind closed doors...and rumors about his attitude were also rampant.  What we could see with our own eyes wasn't great though.

Johnson was a great shooter in high school, and showed flashes of that ability while wearing gold and black, but seemed to struggle when shooting over a defender.  That said, he was pretty effective on the drive, a solid free throw shooter and a decent passer.  The toughest thing for me to handle, as a fan, was  his body language when things weren't going according to plan.  I'm not sure what kind of teammate he was, but I know a few of his best friends are no longer on the team; who knows how that affected his outlook on the program.

So, three of the four guys who were rumored to be looking to leave are now gone from the program.  I believe all of the post-season interviews or conversations with the head coach are completed...and I don't think it's a coincidence that Johnson was ready to head out after his wrap-up with Painter; but like much of what surrounds transfers, that's conjecture.

The good news is Purdue Purdue suddenly has a ton of space for transfers or walk-ons right away, the bad news is, after seven players, Purdue will need to lean heavily on players who haven't played any college basketball, if another player isn't added soon. Whenever a team loses a Junior who had had started a few games, even if it wasn't the majority of the time, the rotation feels it.

I've said it before- Purdue needs players that want to play for Purdue...the last few days they've lost some that didn't...and this season, it looked like much of the team held a similar attitude, sadly.

Here's the way the scholarship situation looks as of now:

Terone Johnson Sr.
Travis Carroll Sr.
Donnie Hale RS So.
AJ Hammons So.
Ronnie Johnson So.
Rapheal Davis So.
Jay Simpson RS Fr.
Kendal Stephens Fr.
Bryson Scott Fr.
Basil Smotherman Fr.
(three open scholarship slots)

If Purdue doesn't have a traditional transfer, JuCo transfer or screwy Senior rule transfer, Beshears or Toyra will more than likely be the beneficiaries of the recent tumult within the program.

Purdue has now lost five players that played minutes during the conference season in '12/'13.

We'll be able to tell in a few years if this rash of transfers was a good or a bad thing for the program.  What we know for a fact was that what we saw on the court last year was unquestionably bad.  Was it an issue that stemmed from bad attitudes, youth, lack of coaching control or a combination of all of these factors?  We might not ever know the full truth.

22 comments:

Purdue Matt said...

AJ leaves without ever committing a foul.....according to him.

Also, will never understand how you can be a guard in the B1G for 3 years and not develop a reliable jump shot.

Andrew said...

How is nobody blaming Painter? All I hear is "these guys didn't want to play hard or play for Purdue". Painter recruited and offered all of these guys. If they don't work out some of the blame has to fall on the coach. The same coach that did not even offer a scholarship to Glen Robinson III.

conk said...

It's rare for players to truly develop a jump shot in college. It starts as a kid, and unless theres a newcomer who can light it up, we will be hurting for consistent perimeter offense again next year.

And yes, we need kids who first and foremost are proud of that name on the jersey, cause the fans sure as hell are. BTFU

BoilerBloodline said...

Scott & Stephens can shoot. I actually went to watch Kendall play here in Chicago last year. The kid is incredibly unselfish and has one of the smoother shots I've seen in some time. Will that translate into him lighting it up next year? I'm not sure. But he'll get a lot more PT in his freshman year than originally expected. I hope everyone on the team realizes the opportunity they now have and go all out. Choo Choo Mutha's.

Wilson06 said...

You can put blame on whoever you feel necessary, but the fact is there were a lot of issues this past season. Lack of effort, selfishness, inconsistency, and many many other things.

I can definitely agree with the fact that these players that left seemed to have potential when they came to Purdue. Hell Sandi and AJ were both 90+ grade athletes, and Lawson would've been if not for injury.

Watching the season come to an end I felt that Sandi, Lawson, and Hale would leave. I actually hoped AJ would leave. To me he has never bought into the team. He has shown selfishness and whining every season. He has also had run ins with some of the best leaders Purdue has had in some time. So I bid him farewell... I hope all of these young men have success wherever they go, but Purdue was obviously not going to work out.

Sitting at the CBI and listening to information from a relative of DJ (his aunt i believe). Stated that there were major attitudes on the team and other issues between the players all year.

Also, I think that those players saw the writing on the wall.

Starters next season for sure...

RJ, TJ, RayDay, Hammons....

next up Simpson, Hale, and any Freshmen coming (Stephens, Scott, Smotherman)

and... always Carroll....

I am still positive and if Hammons gets the lead out and plays hard we will be damn good regardless. That's a big IF though.

Stay positive! BTFU!

Brad said...

Of all these, about the only one that I'm sad to see is Marcius. He seemed like he wanted to be at Purdue, and towards the end of this year finally seemed like the "light turned on" in his game... I think he would have been a serious factor in the rotation next season.

Lawson and AJ never seemed to live up to their potential. Lawson never played to his athletic potential. AJ tried to be a slashing scorer and just couldn't do it in the Big Ten -- he couldn't hit from outside and couldn't drive the lane, which left him with only his little floater. Not enough of a repertoire to start, or even to survive, in this league.

WinamacBoiler said...

I love CMP, but it seems like the truly great coaches can accurately judge not only talent/potential, but also character and the ability of a kid to fit into a system psychologically. I think the staff has some growth to do in that area.

I don't think that's the case with Marcius - I think he just saw the writing on the wall from a talent perspective and figured he'd play more minutes elsewhere next year, but AJ and Lawson seem to be a different story.

Mommatried said...

Half empty, half full. Blame CMP? I say applaud him. His resume speaks for itself. If he recruits an athlete- it is up to the athlete to buy the system. To do the diligence. To put in the hard work. To sacrifice their extra time to better themselves there by bettering the team. 12 month players. He will find guys that will play his style of ball. Lets not all run around with our panties wadded just yet. Yes losing talent you counted on hurts- but probably not as bad as it would hurt to scholarship a guy who isn't all in or doesn't want to be at Purdue. With 1/2 of most rotations seemingly off to the league of no defense- I for one very much like the experience of our youth and the future ahead. Deep breathes everyone. In the end I believe this had to happen because the team effort much of the season was not Purdue basketball. This is a good thing. It won't help our graduation rating, sure but we will live.

Row Boilers said...

Two thoughts:

1. I was at Harry's Saturday with friends and Marcius was sitting at a table right next to us for 20 minutes. He was with a young lady and he did not crack a smile once, looked pretty unhappy.

2. The picture of AJ is a perfect depiction of how not to shoot a jump shot, no wonder he could not hit anything from outside. Ball is over his head, s/b in front of his head and out to the right side. Left hand ON TOP of the ball, yikes, s/b on the side of the ball. Right elbow s/b under the ball it looks out to the right.Assuming his face is towards the hoop, his shoulders are not square to the target. Neither are his hips or feet. Right forearm s/b perpendicular to the floor. Not much chance for that ball to go in.

CO Boiler said...

Amen Row Boilers!!! Terrible form...

Boilergal said...

Good comments here. I hate to say it, but I am glad that if there were to be players transferring this offseason, that lil AJ was one of them. He was horribly selfish on the court and had a major attitude problem. It seems pretty obvious that attitude was an issue with this past season's team. Based on observation and Painter's comments/actions, it seems that AJ and Lawson both seem to be contributors. I am a little sad to see Lawson go, because he seems to have great potential, but if he isn't able to pick up the system and doesn't put in the work, I think we can do better. Sad to see Sandi go, just because he seems like he did go 100% all the time, but he most likely would have been a little further down the bench with Simpson's return, so definitely understand he would want to seek more PT. Will be interesting to see how things pan out for the roster this offseason. Overall, I see the current subtractions as overall additions.

WinamacBoiler said...

Boilergal - I completely agree. You didn't address, but others did - for the record I'm not "blaming" Painter for these, nor do I think they're necessarily bad things for the overall health of the program. I just mean that it's obvious given these transfers that CMP needs to be a little better judge of overall character fit so we can try to minimize wasted scholarship years in the future. Never going to be perfect, but it's obviously something to work on going forward.

Boilergal said...

WB- I believe I just saw a quote today from Painter addressing just this issue. (at H&R, a fan post about Painter taking blame) It seems that he gets it and sees the issue with his past shortcomings in recruiting. The explanation and self-critique are enough for me to see how things progress from here on out.

QuadBoiler said...

"I'm really big on decision-making and taking care of the basketball and that irritated me on a lot of different fronts this year, that I didn't do a good enough job getting that across and didn't do a good enough job recruiting guys that were quite the decision-maker we need. I'll take the blame for that."

-From part of his speech at the Senior banquet I believe

He is definitely not trying to pass the blame off (not that you said that). I'm glad he came out and said this bluntly. It was becoming tiresome to read the posts everywhere saying he refused to put any blame on himself.

WinamacBoiler said...

I think CMP would agree with my overall mentality on taking the blame, which is that I don't care that you take the blame or don't take the blame; I care that you improve in that area so that there IS NO blame...

QuadBoiler said...

You mentioned that Painter needed to be a better judge of character fit to minimize wasted scholarships. It's obvious by those statements that he realizes he messed up in that area and needs to get better which speaks directly to your point. I wasn't trying to say you cared about who takes the blame. However, the thing is, a lot of people do. Obviously everyone wants to have terrific seasons every year where there isn't much, if any, blame to be shared, but I think you would be hard pressed to find any program that doesn't have bad years once in a while. Thus blame is going to happen. The fact that he is taking it is what people like to see from a leader (because it shows that he knows he has areas to improve) and because of this I hope people stop complaining about it.

Boilergal said...

There was also this quote, which to me was telling...

"We have to get a more skilled guy, in my opinion, instead of continually talking about guys getting in the gym and working on this or that," Painter said. "We have to recruit a better free throw shooter and we have to recruit a better three-point shooter. We have to recruit a better decision-maker."

Kodiak33 said...

Those were from his G&B interview I believe.

The banquet speech was really good, I found one thing he said quite telling. He said something like "You should see this as a privilege to play here, not that Purdue is lucky to have you."

I think that also ties into some comments made by Terone when he said "people took playing in the Big Ten for granted".

Boilergal said...

I find it interesting that these statements would come up at the banquet. I would guess that things would be pretty PC there.

QuadBoiler said...

Yep, I got the GBI interview and the banquet speech mixed up. Either way, there were some great quotes in both.

Boilergal, it's been a few days since I watched it, but I believe that statement about it being a privilege to play here was mostly Painter expanding on something Jesse Jackson said to all of them while they were in a restaurant eating in NY. He happened to be there and he took some time to come over and talk to the team and that was one of the things he said.

Row Boilers said...

That quote is the first I've heard from Painter that this issue is more than work ethic, or attitude. Those are real problems but we also 100% have a talent issue (or skill in his words). We do not have good shooters, we are not athletic enough (do we have anyone under 6'8" who has dunked in a game?), we need solid, strong bigs who block out AND go get the rebound. Up until now Painter has maintained we have enough talent.

Kodiak33 said...

Yeah Quad, it was in reference to Jesse Jackson. I think he (Jackson) was talking about the Purdue, the school, as well.