It is a special convenience store mailbag today. I haven't received many questions since the last one, but the inbox is always open at HammerAndRails@gmail.com.
@HammerAndRails what is your ideal use case for each freshman next year (Total minutes/game)?— Mike McFarland (@fnsman81) July 10, 2014
Out of necessity the freshmen are going to play a lot and I would bet that one might start the first game of the season. When you have no scholarship seniors and only five scholarship players we're going to have to go with the freshmen and hope they gel together like it is 2007.
I don't think we can expect many minutes from the walk-ons, as there isn't a Mark Wohlford, Bobby Riddell, or Dru Anthrop in the bunch and Neal Beshears, the lone seniors, has seen scant playing time. Only Stephen Toyra, who has seen first half minutes in Big Ten games, is a candidate in my mind for a walk-on that will get regular minutes. That leaves even more for the freshmen.
First off is Isaac Haas. Unless Coach Painter is going to go with a twin towers lineup Haas is only going to get the minutes where Hammons is off the floor. That could vary by night, but I think 8-10 each night is a healthy estimate. That is plenty of time to see what he can do, but if Hammons is truly a lottery pick he is going to play a lot.
Jacquil Taylor is probably the guy who will play the least because we haven't gone with a traditional four in some time, mostly because we haven't had a traditional four. I view him as a mystery man and likely 10th man for now, but I hope for more.
As for the other three, I think we'll probably get 10-15 per night from Dakota depending on how good of a shooter he proves to be, and 15-20 each from Edwards and P.J. Thompson. They are more interchangeable with the returning guys, so their PT depends on how much the others have improved.
@HammerAndRails realistically, where do you see both football and mbb in 5 years? Both coaches still here? Burke still here?— Mike McFarland (@fnsman81) July 10, 2014
This is an excellent question, especially given the attitude of sharpened pitchforks and lit torches around here. It seems as if no one is safe and who can blame them when Purdue is deep in the basement of the Big Ten.
The guy that probably has the longest leash is Hazell. As long as 2014shows any improvement we're going to feel like things are moving in the right direction, mostly because he is attempting a complete tear down and rebuild. As much as I am doing the math in my head for a bowl game in 2014 (Beat the Directionals, Illinois, Northwestern, and either Indiana or Minnesota) I know that 2015 is a much more reasonable likelihood. Something like 4-8 this year (realistic) and a lower bowl next year will show that Hazell has things going well, and I think he does, honestly.
As for Painter, I have loved what he has said this entire offseason. I have seen a fire in him that has been missing for awhile and I think he is ready to put some boots in asses. It feels like we're going to get a clean start with this group. Some attitudes are gone and what's left sounds motivated along with the freshmen. Only a five win improvement this year could get us to the NCAAs, and as long as Painter regularly has us in the tournament he will be in West Lafayette as long as he wants.
Then there is Burke. I keep going back and forth on him. The recent renovations of the South End zone have shown he is willing to try some different things, but I still think Purdue needs internal change at the top. We need some fresh air and I would be very disappointed if Burke is still here in five years.
@HammerAndRails will it be possible to obtain the special pass to enter Morgantown if you are not a season ticket holder?— AndrewJJ (@Bobbers_Down) July 10, 2014
I don't think so, but I am sure if you talk to some season ticket holders you can obtain one very easily. For example: I am a season ticket holder and I have a young child, so taking a kid into a bar is not the best idea. I am sure there will be plenty to be had if you ask around.
@HammerAndRails What are you looking forward to the most during the upcoming football and men's basketball seasons?— Grant Evans (@Evans_GW) July 10, 2014
Wins. Period. Football has lost 10 in a row and there are few if any Purdue fans alive that experienced such a streak (1909 was the last time). Basketball ended with a thud dropping the last seven in a row and 11 of 13. I just want to win a game to know it can happen. Period. It doesn't matter if the basketball team is playing five guys from the Co-rec or if the football team beats Harrison High School.
WHY COULDN'T MATT PAINTER RECRUIT LEBRON? RT @HammerAndRails: Working on the mailbag. Got a last minute question? Tweet it at me.— Kick Sewly (@KickSewly) July 11, 2014
Because we're Kentucky and care about getting sanctioned by the NCAA.