It has been an interesting last few days for our football program, so much so that it is worth breaking things down before I touch on some Boilermakings links.
1. Two new recruits - We didn't get Deon Bush yet and Gary Harris still has his visits, but the silver lining of Saturday night's debacle is that we picked up a pair of new commits. A safety named Dion did commit, but it was three-star safety Dion Witty. Can he play immediately? Three-star offensive line prospect Cameron Cermin also committed. One needs only look at the total number of stars to see that recruiting has improved greatly. In 2008 we had mostly two-star commits. We haven't gotten any four or five stars yet, but all but three of 19 commits are three-stars.
2. Robert Marve as the mad Tweeter - This was addressed yesterday, but it never good when the pseudo-starting quarterback takes a veiled shot at the head coach on Twitter. It is clear from his comment that Marve is frustrated with coach Hope, and I don't blame him. Marve was one of the few players that played with a sense of urgency. Playing outside the system is good because it makes us less predictable, thus it can become easier to score. Since other players came to his side it seems there could be some issues in the locker room. It is mine (and most people's) opinion that Marve gives us the best shot to win right now. Coach Hope seems committed to this two-quarterback crap that is not working, and it will only get worse.
3. Calvin Smith - I find this the most interesting, and it ties into the Ken Plue situation. Just as I was publishing the Minnesota preview yesterday the news broke that high-profile transfer Calvin Smith from New Mexico was leaving the program. At first there was no news as to why, then it broke that he was arrested Friday night on suspicion of theft. What's perplexing about this is that Hope stated he didn't want to go into detail, yet it was public record, published in the Exponent, that he was arrested. This is related to Ken Plue because we have never gotten an explanation as to exactly what he has done to merit being in Hope's doghouse. If you'll remember a year ago there were unsubstantiated rumors about him (that I published and later retracted because they were just that, rumors). I won't go into detail about those rumors, but I find it odd now that he was the only player named in those rumors by name, he was later suspended for last year's Michigan State game, and now he has yet to play despite being our best lineman. There has never been an explanation given, thus the triple-secret probation running gag. What does it say about Hope that he doesn't clearly address issues like this, especially when, in Smith's case, it is a matter of public record?
4. Tackling - The great fear of injury from last year has now swung the other way, as it was revealed we don't tackle much in practice. I wish I was making this up. No wonder we can't tackle in games.
5. More Twitter - Last night coach Hope address the growing Twitter issue from Marve and his answers were strange to say the least:
"Most of the time when I read these things or these things come to me, I'm trying to figure what the big deal was all about," Hope said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. "When I read it, I knew exactly what he was trying to say. The only negative response I have to it is everyone else's negative response. I wasn't offended by it one bit. He said exactly what we were saying - he's got to play within the system."
When asked before Sunday's practice to evaluate his quarterbacks, Hope mentioned that Caleb TerBush has been managing the offense better than Marve and that Marve has been ad-libbing some. He said that Marve has played some outside of the system. That can include checking to different plays at the line than were called or not staying in the pocket long enough to let a play develop - even if there's good protection - before scrambling.
So when Marve tweeted on Monday, it appeared that he was responding to Hope's statement. Marve later tweeted, "People r looking way to much into things. Reread what I first said. I'm all in and these players r very close together!!!"
Hope said he thought Marve's initial tweet was simply acknowledging that Marve does need to learn to play in the system.
Coaches are working with Marve during practice about being more disciplined within the system, but Hope knows that could be a challenge, calling Marve a "wild stallion."
"I don't want to take it all away - that's for sure - because he really brings some things to the table for our football team," Hope said. "His personality and just the way he is, I think, is important to our football team. ... He hasn't practiced a whole lot so he hasn't had a chance to get a whole lot of reps, and sometimes when things are changing in front of him, he can get outside the system some and do some thing that he thinks gives him and the football team a chance to be successful.
"Obviously, he doesn't understand how or why, and that's why we meet and show him on the film."
Okay, Hope thought Marve's first tweet acknowledged that Marve does need to play in the system more? How in God's name can you infer that when it clearly says that Marve didn't know how he wasn't playing in the system. Hope analysis make absolutely no sense! Hope here comes off like he would rather handcuff Marve instead of letting him read the defense and possibly call a better play, just for the sake of the system (which has no identity). Isn't that what quarterbacks are supposed to do, especially senior quarterbacks?
That's all I have to say right now. On to the Boilermakings:
Men's Basketball To Host Western Michigan As Part of Puerto Rico Tip-Off
The Purdue men's basketball team will host Western Michigan on Nov. 23 in a bonus game as part of the 2011 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, head coach Matt Painter announced on Friday. This is a new game added to the schedule.
Men's Basketball Walk-On Tryouts Set For Oct. 17
The Purdue men's basketball team will hold walk-on tryouts on Monday, Oct. 17. The tryout will begin at 6 a.m. on Keady Court at Mackey Arena.
The Hoops Report | Top 68 Team Previews: #25 Purdue Boilermakers
The Hoops Report has us a little higher at #25.
No. 37 Purdue at a glance - NCAA Basketball - Sporting News
The Sporting News rates us #37 in the preseason.
Hummel named in preseason Top 50 list | WLFI - West Lafayette, Indiana
Robbie Hummel was named to the preseason top 50 list for the Wooden Award.
2011-2012 Big Ten Preview | College
A quick preview of Big Ten basketball (which will not have a lockout)
Big Ten Power Poll, Post Week 5 Star Wars Edition - Off Tackle Empire
OTE staff ranks the Big Ten teams