It’s been an up and down, rough season for the Boilermakers. They lost a lot last year and they’ve yet to fill in all the gaps. But Purdue is still in a position to make a late season move past the NCAA tourney bubble.
It starts tonight with a road game against Northwestern, where Purdue will look for it’s first Big Ten road win.
So to help kick off this big weekend of sports, let’s go over to twitter and see what’s on Boiler nation’s mind. Follow us on twitter at @hammerandrails as we will look to do more Q and A’s as the season winds up to March.
Are the slow starts on offense emblematic of a lack of a cohesive identity with this teams current philosophy or more due to lack of consistency?— Robert Baker (@kerba1123) January 31, 2020
A: : Consistency is mostly a myth in college basketball. In fact, Coach Painter has been impressive at one thing above almost anything else, is how consistently his teams run an offense and have an identity. Watch a lot of other schools and half the game is mindless and messy. The slow starts on offense are more about Purdue just not being a very good offensive team.
There’s no philosophy that can make up for a lack of instinct, and dynamic offensive players. Right now, Williams is the only consistent and dependable thing on an offense that hasn’t found it’s shot or a perimeter player that can consistently get to the rim or make shots. At times Purdue has been great at getting Williams the ball and letting him work, but not enough, and it’s really hard to funnel everything through the post when the other teams know that’s what you want to do.
This will be the first time since 2015 Purdue will not have a top-25 offense. Sometimes it’s as simple as we don’t shoot the ball that well, and we don’t.
Why doesn't anyone talk about the loss of Greg Gary as a major contributor to our offensive woes? I get that we lost Edwards, Cline, & Eiffert but I am not seeing a scheme that's efficient and helpful to fit our current team.— Drew Thomas (@DThomas46875510) January 31, 2020
A: First off, because we filled his spot with Micah Shrewsberry, who is universally loved and respected, who already coached with Coach Painter and then went on to coach with Brad Stevens in the NBA with the Boston Celtics. Stevens is as good an offensive mind to learn from as you can get. Coach Gary was great, but you answered your own question.
We lost Edwards and Cline, who are, to be very frank, cheat codes. Guards aren’t supposed to be able to make the shots they made routinely. Their off-ball movement resulted in the second best offense last year because you can’t guard guys running through screens that hard who can shoot from anywhere, at any angle, at any time. You can’t defend it. If you don’t believe me, that same NBA team, the Celtics, had Edwards targeted and traded into the top of the second round to take him.
Cline and Edwards are that good, and the scheme of this offense isn’t dramatically different than last year. Purdue is getting good looks. It’s just that instead of a multitude of shooters, there’s just Stefanovic and Hunter, and a one post player capable of running an offense. Proctor just got hot again and that might change the team’s dynamic going forward, but Purdue gets clean looks, they have great motion, and Coach Painter is still helping to design the offense.
Is this year’s season (football too) merely a sacrifice to the sports gods in exchange for big success in the coming years?— Been through the desert, on a horse with no name (@smilingplatypus) January 31, 2020
A: You know, we did give up our best player and our QB on the same play, and that’s still a more compelling reason for that QB draw Sindelar ran late in a win against Vanderbilt than anything else I’ve heard.
Would this year be different if Mason Gillis and Brandon Newman had played instead of redshirting?— Clint Buechler (@ClintBuechler) January 31, 2020
A: Nope. However. Four years from now, that team will be remarkably better for them redshirting.
How good can next year's team be? Can it be a title contender, or will this group be fighting for position between #8 and #4 in the B1G standings?— BlueRidgeBoiler (@BlueRidgeBoiler) January 31, 2020
A: : After the 2018 season, I told the H&R group chat and then twitter, that the 2019 squad would make the Elite Eight. That we were ready to break through. They damn near broke all the way through.
I get the same feeling for this squad next year. Ivey and Morton are day one studs, shooters who can pass and handle the ball, while defending and playing Painter basketball. Newman is still a physical freak and will have a year under his system. Isiah Thompson has been much better than I thought, and his shot will only get better. Eastern will be a senior and Williams will be the best big man in the country.
That doesn’t even mention Hunter, who has been good to very good all year, and Stefanovic who has had some big moments and looks to be the best shooter in the B10 the next two seasons. This team could be something special next year.
Will we win a road game in the Big Ten?— Noah Khan (@Noah_K11) January 31, 2020
A: Purdue plays Northwestern tonight on the road. I’d say, tune in. It’s gonna be a good time.
Will any current player ever make an NBA roster?— Brian Williams (@GrowingBigStuff) February 1, 2020
A: Making a roster is a little different than being a useful NBA player. But I’d imagine Eric Hunter Jr. would get some run at some point. He’s smart, can shoot, and plays great defense with decent length for a point guard. Newman is the kind of athlete that he’ll get looks, especially if he can shoot in college. Trevion Williams is a once in the generation passer in the post. He’ll draw some interest, and if not, will have an incredible overseas career.
That’s probably the list. I get that Haarms on paper is everything the NBA wants in a project big man, and he’ll probably get a look and maybe even a contract for it, and the offensive spacing in the NBA will really help his game where he won’t ever be asked to post up, but man, any and every NBA caliber point guard will eviscerate him. He’s a great kid and plays hard, and he’s tall and quick, so he blocks shots, but he is just not a very heady defender. Guards with any sense of pace and misdirection just absolutely destroy him, getting him in helpless places on the floor, and allowing easy passes to big men for dunks and lay-ups.
Will the Boilers end up going to the NCAA's, NIT... or CBI?— Hal French (@Hal_French) February 1, 2020
A: : I think I speak for all Boilermakers when I say the CBI is dead to me. Look, I get it. The win loss record looks bad. We look bad at times. But this is still a good basketball team. Purdue has to go on a run and get some good wins going out, and I think they will, but there’s no way they fall out of the NIT.
And the season isn’t lost if they do end up in the NIT and have some success and make it to Madison Square Garden. But I think Purdue sneaks in in the 7-12 range still. There’s still plenty of good wins left and this conference is absolutely insane.