I watched my first entire game this year with Boston College. I have an opinion that frankly I didn't think would occur to me after the dismal play up to that game. To be honest, I have a hard time watching Purdue games live because I get too angry, and I say bad words. That being the case, after remembering to check the Boston College score the next day, I watched the game on Big10 to go (Thank you Direct TV).
Anyway, I wanted to see, was there really that much of an improvement since the Florida debacles or was Boston College just terrible. I was pleasantly surprised and I am hereby proclaiming that if the Baby Boilers Part II stay together four years...they will be a Final Four team.
I made a similar prediction after watching the Baby Boilers Part I after watching their first preseason game in 2007. And I still contend had Robbie not been hurt at the end of the year...we would have been there (even without Martin).
I saw something in the BC game that I saw in that first Baby Boilers team...lack of fear. Moreover, I see as much talent (in different areas) that I saw then..in some cases, maybe more.
In no particular order:
Jay Simpson: This guy is a beast. I saw rebounds where he ripped the ball out the air...with authority. He has a fearlessness underneath that Purdue doesn't typically possess. Even JJ didn't have that. Perhaps the last rebounder that had that ability was Carl Landry. I think he has tremendous pro potential. Big 10 first team by the time hes'a senior. With his skills and attitude...could be a first rounder.
Basil Smotherman: Man, this dude is smooooooth. Long, lean, quick, goes to the hoop fearlessly, and can shoot. He sort of reminds me of Everett Stephens..but I think with better offensive skills. I think another potential pro...will be a beast with his skill as a senior. I'm worried about him leaving early though.
Kendall Stephens: Very Smooth also and Smotherman-like. I evaluate them very similarly. I think he's more developed at his age than his Dad was. Dad took a little time to develop offensive skills but Kendall has them out of the box. He and Smotherman are going to be very difficult to defend when they're on the court at the same time. The rest of the Big 10 are going to be saying a lot of "didn't these are guys graduate already???" Again, I think he has pro caliber skills.
Bryson Scott: Wow, a more developed LewJack at similar points in their short careers. He is a bowling ball with jets and a much better free throw shooter. That's a good thing because he's going to get a LOT of free throws in his career. He's quick, strong and again...fearless.
There's a look of confidence in the eyes of these guys as opposed to the players like Tacos. They're not trying to avoid mistakes when they're playing..they're in there to kick ass and attack. These players have the attitudes that are developed at winning programs playing against high quality competition. These are the types of players that Michigan State and Ohio State recruit. I'm thrilled to see the quality.
Of course, this grand prediction could fall apart with a problem seen before at torn ACL U but if they can keep it together, it's going to be very, very fun to watch.
I'm off the ledge after watching that game and I fully expect to see some bad losses this year. But, we're going to sneak up on some teams this year and next year, we're going to see the greatness start.
I'm very, very enthused and I can't wait to watch their development.
We'll see what happens over the next 4 years.