A good night sleep and nearly 24 straight hours of reflection has not helped me adequately digest the manner in which Branden Dawson's commitment ended.
I guess what stings the most was the way Dawson's commitment to MSU went down. But at the end of day I can only blame myself for my mismanaged expectations.
What stings the most?
Maybe it's the "wide-open" comment he made a mere two days prior.
Maybe it is the fact that he announced his commitment on Facebook prior to contacting any of the affected coaches. (#KingJamesStyle)
Maybe it's the fact he called Purdue his "dream school," and has subsequently been considered his favorite up until last night.
All of these factors make it difficult to swallow, but what stings the most is the fact that I allowed myself become completely disillusioned by the hype. I convinced myself (early on) that he was Purdue's to lose and I never gave it a second thought.
But who could have argued against it? Every national pundit "in the know" sang the same tune..
Looking back at it, I should have read the writing on the wall. Unfortunately, I'm an expert rationalizer and I can trivialized just about anything.
His ever-changing timetable should have been the first indicator that there was trouble in paradise.
The fact that he skipped out on a scheduled unofficial visit as well as LW pulling out of the Purdue Team Camps should have been a huge red flag as well.
Dawson gave the Purdue beat writers the same lip service has gave for every other school that interviewed him. He buttered up every school. Unfortunately, I thought he only meant it when he talked up Purdue. The fact is, Dawson always claimed to be ‘wide-open.' I just conveniently translated 'Wide-Open' to "I LOVE PURDUE!"
While I wasn't wrong about ‘wide-open' not actually meaning ‘wide-open,' I was way off in thinking that Dawson's commitment to Purdue was a foregone conclusion.
You have to wonder if Matt Painter sensed something was up. Considering the amount of time Painter invested in Dawson's recruitment the past few years, I find it very interesting that he backed off during the July Evaluation period and opted to court the 2013 targets and Chasson Randle instead. Painter attended nearly every Lew Wallace basketball game this season, and even joined the Gary Lew Wallace PTO. (okay, I made the last part up.) Anways, do you think he would allow himself to be out recruited on the home stretch if he really thought he was going to land Dawson?
It appears that Painter knew something, and probably made the better long term decision considering the possibilities for the 2013 class. Painter has shown time and time again that he knows when to fold, and (in my opinion) that's exactly what he did in July. Maybe a bit too late, but alternatively, this saga could have been strung out till the spring as Dawson had communicated.
Beyond the way that the recruitment transpired, you can't blame Dawson on his decision. MSU has the program and resume that Purdue needs if we want to start landing big-time talent. This is the last year to ride on the coat-tails of the 2007 class, and Purdue needs to make the most of it.
Until we are hoisting a banner towards the rafters of Mackey Arena, we need to stop expecting to beat out the elite programs for the elite talent.
But fear not, all is not lost. We are still on solid ground with Chasson Randle (knock on wood), and who knows who else Painter has in his back pocket. I wouldn't put it past him to bank a scholarship in 2012 and go after a DeJuan Marrero or possibly Mitch McGary. Painter's actions these next few months should be very telling.
And as we've discussed, the class of 2013 has the potential to match, if not surpass, the class of 2007. So don't hit the panic button just yet..
Ahhh, Nothing like hinging your emotions on the fickle decisions of teenagers...never a dull moment...