I'm not sure what everyone's expectations were coming in to the year, but I think the general consensus was that Purdue would win between 18 and 21 games, and land squarely on the bubble. Right now we are a little behind that pace, but not by much. The conference is pretty wild this year, and I could see us win 7 more games or I could see us win 3 more games. We are pretty inconsisent; which was a concern coming into the year. But why are we inconsistent?
The simple answer is we are YOUNG. I know a lot of people think that's an excuse, and it is. But that doesn't mean it's also not true. I don't know a ton about advanced stats and what not (maybe someone can add to this), but I do know we have some good freshman and sophomores. So I decided to look at minutes played, points, rebounds and assists to see what these underclassmen contribute to our team. Here is what I found (this includes Hammons since I would guess that he's back next year):
Minutes - Underclassmen 133.4, Seniors 66.6. Underclassmen play 66.7% of our minutes. Points - Underclassmen 51.5, Seniors 23.8. Underclassmen score 68% of our points. Rebounds - Underclassmen 24.9, Seniors 11.9. Underclassmen grab 63% of our rebounds. Assists - Underclassmen 9.1, Seniors 4.1. Underclassmen hand out 70% of our assists.
To me that shows that we have some talented underclassmen. Maybe not GREAT, since we are struggling a bit this year, but they will be very tough as UPPERclassmen. Add in some pretty good recruits next year, and I think the future looks bright. The issue; which has been discussed a few times was the recruiting between the '07 class and Painter's flirting with Mizzou (specifically '09 - '11). If we are in this position next year then it will be time to really sound the alarm. Until then sit back and enjoy watching the kids develop.
BTW, we will beat Wisconsin on Saturday and many of you will be back to smiles and rainbows, until we blow a game against Penn State and it's back to doom and gloom. My advice; try not to fluctuate between reactions with this young team. We all knew they would be inconsistent this year.