With great power there must also come great responsibility. Those are the words once said by Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben and made famous via the comic book The Amazing Spider-Man and uttered throughout three different movie franchises. It becomes the motto of Spider-Man and one reason why he always pushes himself to do more and to be better. It’s almost unfair in a way. For those with great gifts they also receive great expectations. Just like Peter Parker, the expectations heaped upon Jaden Ivey this season were monumental.
Guard play is paramount in the NCAA Tournament as Purdue fans have seen year after year. In Purdue’s last trip to the Elite 8 they got there largely based upon the strength of two great guards in Ryan Cline and Carsen Edwards. The thinking was that this season with Sasha Stefanovic and Jaden Ivey, Purdue would have another pair of great guards that could lead Purdue to the promised land. Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out to be the case.
The question then becomes did Jaden Ivey meet the expectations we set for him? Did he do enough to lead the team and reach his potential? Comparisons have been made between Ivey and Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant. Those are mighty big shoes and it’s a comparison that I’m sure Ivey loves hearing. Morant is a player who can take over a game and truly carry his team to victory, but is that what Jaden Ivey is? Is that the player he was for Purdue this past season? There were big shots of course including the three pointer to beat Ohio State and the three at the end of the St. Peter’s game to keep it close (and the unfortunate second one that didn’t drop). But, in the big games, on the big stage did he do what we all believe he can or did he fall short?
In addition, were expectations too high? Is this all extremely unfair? Casey and I discuss this and more on the latest episode of the Hammer and Rails podcast. Give it a listen and make sure to rate, review, and Hammer that subscribe button.