Hope we have some time to cool down from the East Lansing disaster. Based on the comments on our thread, here are some of my observations. (Might get me crucified here but I always speak my mind) My goal is not to whine and complain, but ask ourselves, outside the game itself (which we'll have LOTS to talk about), how can we respond better? One motto I live by is that you can lose a game, but never lose the lesson. So what can we learn from today?
1. Izzo scored a lot of image points today. There are so many praises from even our fans! Meanwhile, I don't think Painter's bickering with Dawson helps a bit. Dawson may be a punk, but the way Matty reacted to him seemed more from frustration. Matty P is an adult, why get into these petty verbal fights with a punk kid? If a recruit is looking at it, fair or not, he may be thinking, "Damn, this coach shows his real color the moment a player commits elsewhere. I better stay away from him."
2. The Izzone may be classless in their Hummel chant, but I don't see how it helps to demand an apology. What does it really do to us if we can get insincere apology? I always believe that apology can never be demanded. It has to come from the heart. Truthfully, will we make a big deal out of that had we beaten MSU?
3. Meanwhile, Dawson may be a punk, but why give him a damn? Why do we care whether Izzo punishes him (or why he doesn't/hasn't)? If Dawson continues to be a jerk, I am sure he will get his own downfall from poor relationship. Let him be the jerk he wants to be. And just like #2 above, will we make such a big deal had we beaten MSU? After some point, all these complaints about Izzone and Dawson becomes whiny and just sounds like sore loser. Do you think we'll attract recruits by being so whiny to those who didn't come? (Again, I am not saying we should just accept Dawson's behavior, but had we won, I think most of us would just shrug our shoulders and just said, "What an idiot. We don't need him at Purdue" and won't make such a big deal out of it)
4. Now it is undeniable that Dawson is a very gifted player with great athleticism. My question is, for those who always want 5* players at all cost, will you cheer for him if he is on your team? Will you just brush it off as "He's just a kid" or "He should have kept his mouth shut but that's not really a big deal"? Would you still want to pursue guys with questionable characters, or do you think 5* trumps everything and that it's a minor thing to deal with?
5. Meanwhile, Matty P getting involved with Izzone folks just seem poor EQ for a head coach. I know, I know, it is so distasteful to wish ACL injuries on anyone (
although some of us did say that too in reaction), and Matty is just "standing up for his players." But come on, you are going to the fans level now - what, are you Ron Artest and can be so easily provoked? Even Artest is Metta World Peace now. As a head coach, you are supposed to maintain calm and poised and set the example for your player. We can't have double standard that says "If coach gets out of control it means he is passionate, but if a player gets out of control he needs to be benched." By getting engaged with the fans, you are playing right into their hands. They want to distract you and get in your head so that you are not focusing on the game! Essentially all the bad taste folks will now know they can get into Painter's head when he comes visit. How is that an example for the players?
6. And speaking of players, pls at least fight for your coach. I remember in the women's game against the defending champ Texas A&M, Coach V got T'ed and the team responded like crazy and playing insane defense and turned around the game right there. We see no fire at all from our own players. They sat like a defeated dog ready to roll over and get out. If it's this bad with 3 seniors playing heavy minutes, I can't imagine what leadership will look with only Byrd and Barlow as seniors next year. I mean, we are talking about leading by GDB!
Look, I love Matty P and I've learned so much from him that I have always been very proud to have him as our coach even after defeats like Xavier and PSU. I like how he said that in adversity we show our true character, but unfortunately, I'm disappointed with Coach today because it all seems frustration on his part and nothing he did makes Purdue a more attractive place for recruits, and I thought he was better than that. What else can we learn from today's disaster?