WEST LAFAYETTE IN - DECEMBER 21: Matt Painter the Head coach of the Purdue Boilermakers gives instructions to his team during the game against the IPFW Mastodons at Mackey Arena on December 21 2010 in West Lafayette Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
If there's anything you should know about the Boilermaker Heroes, it's that we consider it 100% okay to be fashionably late. It is Christmas Eve, Santa Claus is out and about, and yet here I sit, typing away at what I want that fat man to bring me to enrich the rest of my 2010-2011 basketball season. I have divided the list into three parts: The "Miraculous," the "Highly Implausible, But Still Possible," and the "Within Reason." This list is meant for humor the most part, but there are a few good basketball points to be made here, and I will do my best to make them glaringly obvious.
The list is after the jump.
- The first wish on this list is fairly obvious. What could be the one thing that is 99.99% unlikely, but all Purdue fans want? The Restoration of Robbie Hummel's Torn ACL. Even further, I think most fans would like to see it replaced with some kind of highly flexible material never seen before. It's likely some kind of aluminum covered in teflon. I mean, if it gets the job done, I frankly don't care what it is, what it looks like, as long as it feels pretty natural and allows the guy to play ball near 100% - and I think he would tend to agree.
- If we can't have Robbie back, we may as well make due with what we have. If DJ Byrd could grow 4 inches so that we don't have to be concerned come Big10 time, that would be great. The kid has some flashes of brilliance on the basketball court. His last game, I was commenting on hints of Kramer-like intensity on defense; reaches here, grabs there, and fearlessness. It was epic to watch and almost brought a tear to my eye. Then he started channeling his inner "Robbie vs. Ohio State 09/10" and drained nearly every look from the right 45 of the arc. I was astonished. However, for him to legitimately be able to play the 4 spot in the Big10, he will need to be bigger than he is. He is certainly starting to act like it, and that's a start.
- Jared Sullinger. That name conjures images and evokes fear in most people, similar to the way "The Terminator" gave people the willies in the highly successful movie series. That's why it would be ironic if it was discovered that Sully is actually a cyborg built to play in the paint. His eligibility to play would be immediately revoked, and any wins he contributed to would be evacuated. I'm not trying to say I'm afraid of this 6'9, 269lb BEHEMOTH, but it would be nice if we didn't have to deal with him. Luckily for us, we call upon our own hero to take care of problems like this.
"Highly Implausible, But Still Possible" Wishes
- I think Purdue could greatly benefit from another Tom Izzo One-Game-Suspension-Scandal. I mean Hell, look at the way they're playing: they literally can't beat another team in the top 25. Many people attribute it to a tough schedule out of the gate, and I honestly don't know how this Purdue team would handle a similar schedule, but I can say that it's hard to ignore what's going on over there. If Izzo could just host another camp that employs his teammates friends, families, and associates right around the time we play them at home or away, I can only imagine that we'd get a leg up on things.
- Duke losing out. What else is there to say? I'd like to see them lose the rest of their games this season. Period. Is that so much to ask? With Kyrie Irving (speedy recovery to you, young man!), without him, I don't care. Lose, lose, lose.
- Most people tend to want their team to get a favorable glance from the referees during games, and who can blame them? The men in stripes work in mysterious ways, but if they're on the side of your team come game time, it's almost harder to fall apart and lose than it is to win. For Christmas, I simply want to see more consistent and fair officiating. I'm not saying that everything has to go Purdue's way, on both sides of the court, uphill through the snow both ways. I'm simply saying that if it's a charge on their end, then it's a charge on our end. If grazing the shooter's forearm during a 3-point shot is 3 at the line for the team in blue (or whatever other irrelevant colors teams are using these days), please give E'Twaun 3 at the line when that guy is poking his eye out from downtown. Coach Painter is an exceptional instructor and motivator, and if calls are fair and equal, he can coach the players on what to expect.
"Within Reason" Wishes
- I've been attending Purdue Basketball games since the end of the Landry/Teague/Crump era. I have seen Purdue turn a lack of expectation into a motivator on countless occasions, as recently as tournament time last year. This team (and for that matter, I believe most teams) simply performs better when they don't have to worry about living up to expectations of national grandeur. That's why I'd like to see Purdue continue to receive negative press from guys like Andy Katz and Gary Parrish. Please continue to fuel the fire that is the Purdue Freight Train of glory. I'm sitting in the caboose just enjoying the ride, and one of the most gratifying feelings in the world is proving someone wrong.
- Most TV commentators have their storylines written about Purdue before they've ever even seen a game: Robbie Hummel, ACL, Final Four aspirations destroyed, etc. However, I enjoy listening to guys that talk about how underrated The Red Button is. For Christmas, I want to see E'Twaun Moore be on the Naismith finalist contender watchlist. This kid deserves his due. His stats, his style, his ice-cold blood all demand attention when you finally sit down to watch a game (which most people in the media don't care to... see the wish immediately preceding this one). I am going to glean pleasure out of seeing him take games over in our Big10 schedule for his final season at Purdue.
- This fall, we watched as a football team full of hope and promise was torn apart by injuries. It felt like every skill position was essentially wiped out. We then were left to root for Ryan Kerrigan and Ricardo Allen and a bunch of guys that weren't sure they'd see much playing time at all this season. I want Santa to bring the basketball team health for the rest of this season. I think that we've gone through enough with regards to ACL's, broken feet, dislocated fingers, etc. I understand that sports are intense and physical and things happen, but not this year. I want John Hart to return to form and decimate the opponent from range or on ESPN-Top-10-worthy drives in transition. From that point on, no injuries. At all. Not even players on the floor for long periods of time.