We've missed you guys though...and you look good. Have you been working out? Running? Whatever it is, the summer suits you.
Turns out that the summer also suits Coach Haze. If you follow us on Twitter, you know that we touched on the importance of the verbal commitment of Gelen Robinson to the, currently-under-remodeling, program. Hazell wanted Big Dog's son to be a piece that he would build his defense around...and he got his guy.
Robinson knew a few days before he verballed that he wanted to be a Boiler...but made it official six days ago. By official, we mean unofficial, because verbal commitments aren't always in stone. That said, Robinson sounds a bit like some of the other key cogs to Hazell's first full class- they really want to be Boilers.
If you subscribe to GBI, you know how steadfast the commitment from Texas QB prospect, David Plough has been. He tore up the Elite 11 camp and finished as one of the top quarterbacks in the invite-only televised event/camp. During the camp, he wore a Purdue visor to show where he stood...afterward, he broadcasted to the college football world that he was going to be a Boilermaker regardless of who came at him.
Good for him...Good for Coach Haze...good for us as Purdue fans. If his commitment sticks, Purdue will be in an enviable position in the coming seasons as they'll have options...talented, smart options at the QB position. As for the immediate future, I've been asked a question a lot the last few months- "Who do you want the starter to be?"
Well, I still like Appleby, because I've met him and like him personally...plus he slings the ball and looks the part. But, between the three real candidates for the job...two really...I wouldn't mind seeing either starting versus Cincy. Both have parts of their game that are advantageous for the team. So I'll defer to the coaches to make the right decision. But regardless of whom they choose, I want to see Purdue in the position to win this year...not next. And really, I don't see a reason that either Etling nor Henry can't do it this fall. Let me clarify- it'll be equally challenging for both with the many underclassmen that will be playing significant roles...BUT, if the coaching staff thinks one gives the team a better chance to win right away, I'm good with that decision.
The honeymoon period is still on, afterall, around the Purdue football program...and the actions and behavior by the staff this summer have done nothing to shorten this semi-blissful time.
A few sources reassured Purdue fans last week that Micah Shrewsberry wouldn't be a candidate to join Stevens in Boston. But here at BS, we were concerned. We like Shrewsberry. I like him as a coach, like him as a man and like and know his family.
So when whispers started rising up about him heading to the league, I didn't like it...and of course, when the rumours went from hazy smoke to a blazing inferno, I was less-than-happy. To some of you, it's no big deal, but others might know what I know- Shrewsberry helped the Boilers get out of their funk last season because Painter trusted him enough to pick his brain and heed his advice.
Stevens trusted Shrews before his pal Matt asked if he could steal him from Butler- that's two pretty solid basketball minds that agree that Shrewsberry was important to their staff.
And now, he's gone and a spot is open on Painter's staff...so what's the next move for Painter?
I liked Cardinal as a coach more than a year ago when he expressed interest in being on the staff. But from what I have read and heard from John Purdue-ers, he's a natural at fund-raising and glad-handing...and he seems to really enjoy it.
So if you were in my age group (mid-to-late 30s), had made a great living for the last 15 years, had a position in which you didn't have to be part of the hectic schedule of your old job, and you were appreciated everywhere you went, would you leave it? I wouldn't.
That said, I think Cardinal was a candidate to take Shrewsberry's position on the staff...Before he removed himself from Matty's short list a few days ago, as Boiler Sports Report's (scout) Chris Emma reported a few days ago.
Kenneth Lowe, who also expressed interest in eventually coaching at his alma mater, and has played professionally in Europe, and currently coaches across the pond, has to be in the mix as well. Purdue fans also have talked about Brandon Brantley, who currently coaches AAU (I believe) as a candidate.
In my opinion, if it's not Lowe, it's someone we don't see coming. Painter is very respected in the coaching ranks and is known very well for teaching the motion offense to high school and small college coaches at camps and clinics. His memory with names and faces, ability to handle adversity with poise and his success makes him someone that many other coaches want to be near. Plus, the B1G, Mackey and Purdue's heritage still carry weight as a lure for a potential coach from the outside.
Regardless of whom is chosen, recruiting connections will matter. If Painter's close to a decision, he's done an excellent job keeping it quiet...we'll watch as it develops.
Here are a couple of names that I'd like to see get a look- Darnell Archey- former Butler assistant who followed Graves to South Alabama. Upside? Great Xs and Os training under Stevens...could help Boilers with FT shooting (I kid...or do I?). Jeremy Ballard of VCU- Shaka Smart assistant coach, young...driven. Downside? No connection to Purdue...but might inject additional life into program. Dane Fisher- from Bucknell is another outsider with a good resume. Fundamentals and playing within a system are a focus at Bucknell and Fisher has been mentioned as an HC candidate a few times in the last few years. Finally, Ryne Smith...Sure, this is a long shot, but it won't stop us from rooting for our pal to get a look from his old boss and coach.
More to come, assuredly...if it happens while I'm on the West Coast, stay tuned to our Twitter feed...