As expected, the relative inexperience of his Purdue team was the main topic of discussion for Matt Painter at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago. The Boilers have been in this position before in 2007-08, but now D.J. Byrd is in the role of Chris Kramer as the gritty elder statesman shepherding four true freshman on the court.
That was addressed right from the beginning:
As always, that is not an excuse for Coach Painter:
Painter doesn't seem to buy the idea of this "not being his year". "It's always your year".— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) October 25, 2012
I love this attitude. it is the type of attitude that is going to have this team ahead of the curve. We were not supposed to be successful during the 2007-08 season and we damn near won a Big Ten title because of that attitude. They keep score the same way every year and they roll the ball out the same way. If you say you can't compete you might as well forfeit the games because there is little point in playing. The freshman generated a lot of discussion:
#Purdue coach Matt Painter on youth: 'When you have this much inexperience, people want to frame your success. You can't let that happen.'— GoldandBlack.com (@GoldandBlackcom) October 25, 2012
First, point guard Ronnie Johnson:
Painter on comparing Ronnie Johnson to Lewis Jackson.He thinks RJ is a better shooter, has better vision.— The Black Hammer (@The_BlackHammer) October 25, 2012
Next, Center A.J. Hammons:
Painter on Hammons: "He's ahead defensively right now.Offensively he can make an open shot."— The Black Hammer (@The_BlackHammer) October 25, 2012
Coach Painter did not have time to talk about Rapheal Davis, Jay Simpson, or Donnie Hale as our other freshman, but he has been high on Simpson this week. Personally, I hope Simpson does not redshirt. We're already two scholarships below the limit (though former walk-on Dru Anthrop is likely on scholarship again as one of them), so I think having Simpson available will be important.
This is a team that can compete, however:
Painter: "I do like our talent level, I don't like our inexperience."— IndyStar Sports (@IndyStarSports) October 25, 2012
We've been here before, it was called the 2007-08 season and we came within a couple of possessions at Michigan State (with a sick Robbie Hummel) of winning the entire Big Ten. Let's go do it again. Why not?