Next Saturday is Judgment Day. We're about to go through the six most important days in the history of Purdue basketball. If they go well, we will win the 2011 National Championship. If they go poorly, We're looking at another year where a sweet 16 run is considered a great accomplishment.
I am not sure how, as fans, we are going to get through the next six days. This is the biggest dearth of news for the year, especially with finals this week and no sports really doing anything. Although, even this week has potential news if you read into the following Tweet from LewJack to JJ:
First of all, shouldn't LewJack be on campus for finals? Second, what can we speculate from what was said at Coach Painter's Crib? Third, doesn't "Coach Painter's Crib" invoke all kinds of images of Matt Painter rollin' with big screen TV's, blunts, 40's, and bitches?
Simply put, I can't take this lack of news over the next week. I need to know something. I need to know if our National Title run is over before it beings. I have even resigned myself to the fact that, if we're truly Purdue, we're going to crap the bed and lose as a very high seed in round two ala 1990 and 1996. At least then we would have a hell of a regular season run and not know it was over before it began.
So let's read some tea leaves from little news we can gather. I am sure many of you follow JJ on Twitter. Here was today's series of tweets:Note: I have removed the twitter exchange at the advice of several comments. Yes, the accounts are protected, but these guys have several followers. if you want to see the full exchange, join Twitter and follow them as a lot of people do.
Now, I grew up on the mean streets of the west side of Kokomo, so I am familiar with some of the vernacular here. I believe the "paper" that JJ is referring to could possibly be cash from the NBA if he gets the right call for a draft projection. I am not sure who "foo" is, however. I do know that it appears that JJ is going to take care of LewJack if he gets the paper.
Seriously, my exceeding whiteness aside, I think I can see that JJ may not have his mind totally made up yet. The most recent mock draft at NBADraft.net does not have him or E'Twaun listed as picks in either round. It does, however, have the Pacers following in their tradition of wasting a high pick on an unknown foreign player at a position they already have set. MyNBADraft.com has JJ as the #44 pick to Minnesota and no E'Twaun. DraftExpress.com has neither of them getting picked. The same is true for CollegeHoops.net. NBADraftPress.com has JJ as the #33 rated player, E'Twaun unrated, and Robbie at #93. They must think JJ is going to return, however, because he is not on their mock draft.
So what does all this mean? It means we know nothing definitively, of course. If I were to guess, I would say it is almost certain that E'Twaun will return. I just don't see him in any draft projections and it would not benefit him to stay in the draft with so many other underclassmen trying to get drafted. His safer bet is to stay in, dominate next year, and have a much higher projection with all of this year's underclassmen cleared out in front of him.
As for JJ, I don't know. I get the sense that he definitely wants to go and will go if he knows he can be a first round pick. Yes, he still has a lot to learn, but he can learn all that next year while getting paid a crapload of money if he is a first round pick. Even as a second round pick he can still make a roster and receive a nicer paycheck that most of us will ever receive. The question is, would he risk not making an NBA roster and settling for a European payday over coming back? Only JJ knows.
So here is what we can do as fans:
1. Follow JJ on Twitter. Offer encouragement that he does what he thinks is best. I know that as long as he does that, he'll be okay.
2. Send subliminal messages towards West Lafayette to get them both to stay.
3. Use the Save Robbie Time Machine to see what is really going to happen.