Where Do We Set Expectations?

This is a new year, and Purdue is poised to make a great season out of 2021-2022. Star players such as Ivey and Trevion, as well as all of the role players who understand their parts are ready to do their jobs. Edey or Newman could go off for a monster season. Even the incoming freshman could go off in any given game for at least 15. People have bought into their roles, and Painter has one of the most talented teams to ever come through West Lafayette. These factors all draw attention to the questions many fans are wondering: What should we expect from this balanced, yet explosive team? What would the average Purdue fan consider a let down?

Personally, I feel like Purdue should be very hard to stop. We have one of the most imposing frontcourts in the country. Our backcourt is filled with guys who can drive and shoot, such as Newman and Ivey. We have catch and shoot guys such as Sasha and Gillis. Purdue has hustle all around the team, which has become a staple over the years, best showcased by "Gritty Grady", but is now being best-shown in Mason Gillis... The point is, this team can beat you in multiple ways. Whether the ball is being pounded inside, or someone is trying to create their own shot, or if Purdue has a guy coming around one of the Painter double screens, this team can just play you out of the game. The defense isn't perfect, but I'm sure it's something Painter is working with them on. The only weakness that was obvious to me last year was the turnovers. It was bad at times. There were times that it seemed to get better, but ending the year with the North Texas loss really showed how bad it can be. Hopefully that is a large focus right now for the Purdue squad. That being said, I feel like we should expect a top 10 team. I don't think we should expect top five, but if they surprise us with it, I would be more than happy. This is a team that's going to score a lot, but will probably not blow teams out of games due to the fast break points that will inevitably happen, as well as the occasional defense lapses where Purdue seems out of rythm for small periods of time. I believe a Big Ten Championship shouldn't be the expectation. I just want Purdue to learn throughout the year, and to be ready for March as at minimum a 2 or 3 seed.

What would we consider a let down? As Purdue fans, we've experienced some of those. If Purdue at least plays to their seed, I will be happy enough. I do want a Final Four though. While I may be disappointed if that isn't achieved, I don't think I'd feel like I'd been let down. However, I've heard many people talk about how "this is a make or break year" or "if Painter is ever going to get to the Final Four, this is his year"... We all know it isn't easy to make it there. Carsen gave Purdue around 200% of himself and Purdue managed to have a miracle pulled off against them. I feel like as Purdue fans, we're used to being let down, whether by being upset by a lower seed, or an unfortunate injury that leads to Purdue not being ready in March. Is this a make-or-break year? I'm honestly not sure, but I'm leaning towards it not being one. Final Fours don't just fall in your lap, they take a certain amount of teamwork, chemistry, coaching, and a LOT of luck. My hopes are high for this season. I honestly feel very optimistic, and I think this year may lead to a Final Four, or dare I say a Na****** ***********. I just don't want to say it, in case someone is worried about me jinxing them. Boiler Up. ;)

Please let me know what you think to expect this coming season, and what you'd consider a let down, as well as how you're feeling overall going into the 2021-2022 season. Thanks for reading.

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