I'm taking a long vacation from H&R but I wanted to get my thoughts out on the Purdue program before I left.
I want to preface all of this talk about next year with the tip of the cap to CMP for recognizing that next year is the do or die year for not only him but also the Purdue program. Because of this recognition, Painter has played younger players through their defensive lapses(Kendall), Offensive lapses(Basil), and both(Bryson). He is getting even more valueable minutes logged for our sophomores (Ronnie, Ray Day, Hammons) because he knows we will lean heavily on those 3 players next year.
I would still like to see us get a NIT berth and make some noise (ala Iowa last year) to help continue building our young players confidence for next year
Here is our projected lineup for next season:
Ronnie Johnson GOAT (great player bad defensively)
Dakota Mathias (great shooter probably bad defensively)
Kendall Stephens (great shooter bad defensively)
Vince Edwards / Ray Davis (do it all) [imagine if Ray Davis develops that 3 in the offseason? Ronnie Johnson and Hammons flanked by 3 great shooters. We will be unstoppable offensively]
Hammons (besides the 3-4 blocked shots, awful PnR defense that is continually exploited)
Bryson will backup both the guard slots
Basil will log minutes as a wing and at the 4
Jay Simp will get some 4/5 minutes.
Haas will eat up the Travis Carroll(LOL) minutes.
Jacquil will probably log some minutes as a defensive presence who can block shots while leaping out of the gym.
THIS IS THE DO OR DIE YEAR. This is more than enough talent and roster versatility for Painter to work with.
Here is what Painter needs to accomplish next year or he will likely lose his job:
- 1st of all - NCAA tournament is a must with this much talent. End of story. At minimum a NCAA tournament berth
- Top 6 B1G finish
- Strong out of conference record
- Better team defense that isnt a laughing stock
- Wins on the ROAD
I strongly feel like all of these are not only possible, but they should be EXPECTED or Painter will need to be shown the door. The great thing about this is I'm confident Painter will make it happen and not only propel the program forward as he has now learned we need top 25 classes EVERY year so he will continue recruiting instead of backing off like he did after Baby Boiler for a couple of years.
We will be an exciting offensive team. Our defense will probably continue to be awful as our best players are just not very good defensively, but we will put up points on the board and outscore most teams with a couple of losses sprinkled in.
Ronnie looks to be developing a jump shot and all around offensive game.
Dakota and Kendall will prevent teams from doubling Hammons. They will also prevent teams from sagging off and clogging the lane when Ronnie drives. If they do clog the lane, Ronnie will have an incredible amount of assists.
Jay Simpson / Vince Edwards/ Jacquil Taylor / Ray Davis should do enough to hold the 4 spot down and give us quality production
Hammons / Haas will help solidify the center position and be a huge mismatch in our favor every night.
The only real question is this:
Can Bryson develop enough PG skills to give us quality PG mins backing up the GOAT? Remains to be seen. If not, get PJ Thompson already and let Bryson do his thing as a combo guard at the 2.