First of all, Happy New Year! 2013 is arguably the worst year in Purdue sports, so let's hope 2014 is a better one.
Right before the season I ran a little survey to gauge the sentiment of the season. Thanks to overwhelming responses we have 66 entries this year. Here was the fans' sentiment at the beginning of the season:
- On average, we expect 21.2 regular season wins (heading into the B1G Tourney). High is 26 (M18J), and low is 18 (JustAJ, Hoffdaddy83, and USF Boiler, who was actually our best forecaster last year).
- On average, we expect to be finished 5th in B1G (4.98 to be exact), with 7th being the lowest guess.
- All but one entry expects us to be in the NCAA. The lone NIT guess is, no surprise here, JustAJ. Outside JustAJ, only 6% expects a quick exit, while 45% expected us to win one game in the Tourney, and another 40% expected us to reach SS.
- The freshman ranking is a VERY tight race, with Kendall the consensus most productive frosh, followed closely by Simpson and then Bryson. Basil was a distant 4th.
- We generally rated Hammons the most productive sophomore, then RJ, then RD.
- We expected the top scorer to be TJ and then Hammons. At a very distant third is RJ and then RD.
- Hammons was the overwhelming favorite to be our top rebounder, then Peck, then TJ, and then Simpson 4th.
- For breakout player, Kendall got 17 votes, Davis 14, Bryson 10, Jay 8, Basil 5 and Ronnie 4.
- On average, we thought this team would shoot 70.4% in FTs, with high at 75% and low 61%. D1-avg is 69.3%, and we are actually shooting only 65.4%. Boilerbanker is the ONLY one to think we'll shoot below 65.4%. TMill even said anything less than 70% is ridiculous.
- About 20% thought Hammons would go pro, but most of those entry came before the scrimmage. As HotRod75 replied, "Heck no. (Did you watch the scrimmage???)"
- Speaking of HotRod75, he is currently in the lead to be our most accurate forecaster.
- At a quick glance, most feel that defense/team chemistry/FT% and long balls are the most important factor to success, and effort being the absolute minimum.At this mid-way point, our Top 3 scorers are Terone, Ronnie, and then Bryson (which might explain the frustration many of us have with JBJ). Our Top 3 rebounders are Hammons, Peck and Simpson (no surprise, but I think a lot would like to see Terone getting more REBs given the amount of time he has on the court).
- In terms of actual production, Hammons ties with Ronnie for the sophomores after the non-conf, and then Davis at a distant third. For freshmen, Scott is #1 by far, with Jay, Basil and Kendall (in that order) not far from each other all vying for #2.
- I think Scott and Basil each have a strong case to be the Breakout Player. I expect a very tight race but the field is still wide open.
- After the non-conf, we have a 10-3 record, so we need to go 11-7 to meet the 21-win average, so I'd say we are still a bit behind, but can certainly catch up. FWIW, Kenpom predicts us to go 6-12 in the conference to finish 16-15 overall. I certainly hope he's dead wrong.
What we want to see in 2014:
- A lot of wins, of course
- No injuries
- Good shot selection (basically someone other than JBJ leading, or among the leaders in, FGA)
- Solid defense that we have missed so badly since Kramer and JJ
- In short, BOFP (box out, feed post)