We had someone try and be cute and have a ridiculous Brad Stevens post. Pretty childish, but it is what it is. Then there are other people that claim that people who don't like Painter only show up when it is convenient and therefore don't stand by their convictions. I am not one of those people. I still believe that Painter is overrated and overpaid.
Please don't misunderstand what I am saying. I am from Muncie. I have met Painter. I am not saying this wishing he will fail. I am saying this and praying that I am proven wrong because first and foremost I am a Purdue fan. I want to see our team do well, just like everyone else on this site. If that is with Painter at the helm: so be it. However, when you analyze a coach, I believe there are three things that go into it. 1) Recruiting. 2) In game coaching. 3) Player development. When using this criteria, I find Painter to be less than an elite coach despite being paid like an elite coach. Using this logic, I believe he is overrated.
We can argue until we are blue in the face about recruiting. It would go something like...
Pro-Painter people may say he didn't have the funds to compete and now he does so we should wait and see.
Pro-Painter people will point out the 2007 class. It was probably one of the best classes in recent B1G history.
Anti-Painter people will point out that was his only good class and Couzo Martin had more to do with landing them than Painter did. Also, Painter could recruit them more heavily because he was an assistant and head coach in waiting before being the head coach which allowed him more time to spend on it.
Pro-Painter people will point to how things appear to be turning around lately with a pretty good class this year and next.
Anti-Painter people will argue that Painter couldn't even recruit a member of the team to stay: John Hart.
...Regardless on your stance as anti or pro, there is enough evidence as of right now to suggest that at this area of coaching for CMP is just average. Recruiting therefore IMO gets a C grade.
2) In game coaching:
This is kind of tricky. How do you measure this? In just W's and L's? I personally believe this can be broken down as well: record, post season record, talent on the floor, wins you shouldn't have gotten, and losses you shouldn't have received.
Painter's record is good. It's not great, but it certainly is good. Post season record is good. A B1G tourney win is ok, and he has won every first round NCAA game (at Purdue. He lost a 8-9 matchup while at S. Illinois) he has coached. However, he has never been past the Sweet 16 once and only been to that round twice.
What irks me is the talent on the floor. When Purdue starts their normal lineup of Johnson, Johnson, Byrd, Davis, and Hammons that is 5 players who were top 100 players coming out of HS. Other players: A. Johnson, Carroll, and Marcius. Coming off the bench were top 100 players as well at some point (although A. Johnson may have fallen out due to injuries in HS). There is enough talent on the floor to win games. I get the inconsistency that freshman usually bring, but we haven't been inconsistent, we have been consistently bad for the most part. The 2007 class fortunately brought a lot of leadership, but once they were all gone I feel like in game coaching looked worse.
This also plays into wins we shouldn't have gotten and losses we shouldn't have suffered. It is great to be excited about stealing one from Wisconsin. That was a pretty great thing to accomplish so late in the season. However, does it offset the losses of E. Michigan, Oregon St., and Northwestern? This is only looking at this year which may be unfair, but coaches are judged in a "what have you done lately" world. I am just trying to keep the argument relative.
With all things considered, is coach Painter a bad coach? Not at all. To declare him so would be ridiculous. I wish he would make some changes such as playing zone every once in awhile or us running a set play every now and again (ok we get it Painter, you don't have to yell motion every time), but he is smarter than I am when it comes to basketball so while I may not understand the rigidness of his philosophies I accept them. However, after all the things I've seen I still cannot bring myself to declare him any better than a C-grade in game coach.
3) Player development
This one is an easy C+. For as awesome as it was that JJ went from a bench player to a All-American, there was also LewJack's inability to hit a jump shot. There was Barlow's lack of getting better and getting kicked off the team. There was Bade being so bad he switched to football. There is Keaton Grant getting worse his junior and senior years. Lawson doesn't look any better. Martin left the program. Hart didn't stay for his senior year. Who has gotten better besides JJ? Not in the natural progression that comes from experience. Players should be better their senior year than their freshman year if they weren't being coached at all. They have more strength and experience. What I want to see is what consistently seems to happen at MSU. They have someone who never plays and then all of a sudden is contributing a solid 8-10 ppg. Where are those leaps for our players? If there are some, do they outweigh the other players that didn't improve? I said C+ because an All-American is a BIG deal, but everything else has been average and I believe the grade should mostly come from the whole and not from the exception.
Total grade: C to C+
I am not saying he is terrible. Certain things such as an apparent lack of heart bother me more than anything. And who knows what is best for this program moving forward. We are on a MESSAGE BOARD. But do not sit there on your high horse people and call it ridiculous to make an argument that Painter is overrated. I just made one. You don't have to agree with it, but the points I have made are legitimate issues. So be on your side. Say everything is perfect. I do not agree. I think he is a solid but unspectacular coach, and for as much as we pay him I expect more. That's my opinion.