I was at the game today. If the loss to No. 3 Indiana by 37-points was bad, today was close to surpassing that. Giving up 75 points to one of the most inept offensive teams in the country in Northwestern is pretty bad, and it shows that Purdue has a long ways to go. A long way. During Matt Painters press conference following the game, you could just tell that he was exhausted. Exhausted with this extremely young team that just isn’t improving. Not just on the court but off it — having discipline, playing hard and being prepared are things that this team struggles with. Little things like A.J. Hammons showing up late to the team bus may seem small, but it speaks volumes to the maturity of this team.
I stopped reading the “Hammer and Rails” Blog because I thought it lacked credibility. I read the article today and while I don’t agree that this team is actually quitting, there was some interesting takes on what is going on. Or at least more than I could find compared to other articles.
This is a blurb from the article today:
Someone needs to step forward and have the gumption to become a leader on the floor, but too many players have backed away from it.
That’s really what this teams lacks. If you think about it, Purdue has had a leader on the floor form Kramer to Hummel since Painter’s second year, but that type of leader is gone, and I don’t know who it could be short of Bryson Scott, who is currently playing in high school.
He is exactly right on this. Purdue doesn’t have a true team leader and that is part of the reason for this season’s struggles. It has too many non-vocal players like Ronnie Johnson, Terone Johnson and A.J. Hammons to name a few. It needs vocal leaders to motivate the otherwise lazy-looking freshman. Matt Painter needs to do a better job at preparing this team, and in the press conference today he did say that fell on him as a coach.
Painter got paid the big bucks last year. He needs to prove that he earned that money with turning around this team because it’s in a fast free-fall right now. I think he can do it, but it’s going to be tough.