August is quickly approaching (where has July gone?), and with that the likelihood that Purdue has a new member of its coaching staff increases every day. Matt Painter has to find someone to fill the assistant coaching spot left by Michah Shrewsberry jumping at the chance to join Brad Stevens with the NBA's Boston Celtics (and the significant raise that came with it).
Honestly, I have no inside sources on this issue and there are much better places you could go for news on this topic, but it seems the general consensus is nobody has any real idea where Matt Painter is going to go with this hire. Reports have come out Painter would like to hire someone to work specifically with the big men on his roster - Painter's staff currently has only former guards on it. Another trait Painter has usually looked for in assistant coaches is familiarity, guys he has a connection to in some way and essentially knows he can trust.
That doesn't mean he can't deviate from past habits, however.
Here are some possibilities I've come up with for potential assistant coaches based on my own observations and scouring other sites for news:
Kenny Lowe: He's been considered for the last few Purdue assistant coach openings, dating back to when Rick Ray left and Mike Jackson was hired instead. He's been in West Lafayette training this summer, and you've got to think Lowe's international playing days are winding down, and you've got to think eventually he'll get a coaching job that he clearly is after. Will this be the one?
Brandon Brantley: Another name that has surfaced for the last few Purdue assistant coaching vacancies. Brantley played with Painter at Purdue and would fill the need of a former post player to work with big guys. He's coached high school ball in the region and AAU ball in Indianapolis, so he has experience, just not on the college level. His connections also would likely benefit the Boilers in recruiting.
Roger Powell: A hot name in coaching circles that is currently an assistant at Valparaiso. You might remember him from playing at Illinois, He was a forward who helped the Illini to No. 1 in the nation during his time in Champaign. After stints with the Chicago Bulls, Seattle Supersonics and various non-NBA teams, he's been coaching in Valpo for the last two seasons. The Valpo web site credits him with working "with both the post and perimeter players in skill development. He also is heavily involved with the Crusaders’ recruiting efforts."
Marlin Williamson: He's been an assistant coach at UMass for one season. Before that, he was head coach of Detroit's "The Family" AAU team, where he coached players such as Joe Crawford (Kentucky), Jordan Crawford (Indiana & Xavier), Chris Douglas-Roberts (Memphis), Draymond Green (Michigan State) and Malik Hairston (Oregon).
Kent Williams: He got his professional start at Purdue as the director of basketball operations for Matt Painter, after playing for Painter at Southern Illinois. As a Saluki, he led the team in scoring for four-straight seasons before spending some time in the D-League. He left his operations job at Purdue to follow Cuonzo Martin when he was hired by Missouri State, then left Mo. State to follow 'Zo to Tennessee three years later in 2011.
Brian Cardinal: I just don't see this one happening, but a lot of people have mentioned him so I put him on the list. Let's be honest, the man has made millions in his career and doesn't have to work if he doesn't want to. Why would he want to subject himself to the stresses (kids, recruiting, heavy travel, etc.) of being an assistant coach on the college level for, what, $100K a year? when he has his nice job with the John Purdue Club that he's by all accounts excelling at?