With the New Year fast approaching I’m sure many of us are looking ahead to how we can be better people in 2021. Maybe that means you’re going to try and be more patient with your loved ones. Maybe it means you’re going to get back to the gym (or whatever is open around you) so that you just feel better physically. Perhaps you’ll go after that dream job or dream degree you’ve always wanted for yourself. Whatever that is I hope you do it. In that vein Purdue athletics has some things they should resolve to work on in 2021. In the first of a three part series we will see what Purdue Men’s Basketball should resolve to work on in 2021.
- The biggest issue this team faces is being able to handle a press. With that in mind the Purdue men’s basketball is resolving to work on breaking presses and full court pressure defense. Gotta keep those turnovers down and not wilt in the face of a man in your space just because he’s on the other side of half court with you.
- In 2021 the Purdue basketball team has set a goal of continuing to share. It’s something they’ve always been good at, currently doling out 17.3 assists per game, but it’s very important to them and their identity so they want to maintain and even improve upon that.
- There was once a young man by the name of The Rock, perhaps you’ve heard of him, who famously said “Know your role and shut your mouth!” Every player on the Purdue team should take this advice and hold it close to their hearts. This doesn’t mean there can’t be stars on the team but it just means they need to understand this is a team game. For instance, Aaron Wheeler is in the game for hustle, rebounds, and possibly defense depending on the matchup. We don’t need Wheeler shooting 4-5 threes a game. That’s likely not going to help the team win. Same for Trevion Williams. I don’t need him shooting threes. I just don’t. So, let’s all take advice from The Rock and know our roles and hopefully we can be happy with them.
- For head coach Matt Painter he’s resolved to maintain this new relaxed wardrobe through the 2020-2021 season. I don’t know about you but I much prefer not wearing a suit and due to the pandemic most college coaches have ditched the suit and dress shoes look for the far more comfortable athleisure look. I prefer it. Coaches clothes always seemed a bit strange to me. Plus, with sports it’s all over the map, in baseball the manager wears the uniform, in the NFL they just wear sweatshirts or team gear, yet somehow we’ve decided that basketball coaches need to wear suits. Why? Because it’s always indoors? It’s just a waste and has never made sense to me. I hope Painter keeps the causal look beyond this season.
- In any good relationship communication is key. The only way you can truly grow is by being honest and open with one another. You and I don’t know what goes on in the locker room or behind the scenes short of innuendo and bits and pieces in interviews. Based on what happened in the offseason with Purdue it seems apparent that the team had (has?) a leadership void. That’s why Sasha Stefanovic and Trevion Williams have resolved to continue stepping up in both games and practice to show the large group of freshman what Purdue basketball is all about. If they set the foundation it will live beyond them.
- With the end of the pandemic in sight the men’s team is resolving to remain healthy until that sweet sweet vaccine becomes available. It’s hard work to refrain from doing stupid things in college, as most readers of this blog can attest, so kudos to these young men on their restraint thus far this season.
- Yet another one for Coach Painter here. He resolves to do whatever it takes so that the Big Ten officials truly understand what it means to officiate a player over seven feet tall. They’ve been messing this thing up year in and year out for nine years now. Simply being tall shouldn’t mean you get fouls called on you that other people wouldn’t. Someone like Zach Edey can’t help it that his elbows are roughly the height of people’s faces. He’s not swinging them any different than any other player yet he gets a disproportionate amount of fouls because of it.
- Taking time off can be good for your mind, body, and soul. Purdue though too often does it during games. Suddenly the offense hasn’t scored in 4-5 minutes and the opponent has either pulled away or caught up. Purdue has resolved to maintain focus and have fewer mental lapses. A sharp mind can lead to more victories and isn’t that what we all want?
The team has plenty it can work on in the new year. What do you think would be some good resolutions for the team to consider?