The new year is upon us which means we begin to think about what we’d like to improve upon in the coming year. I did this last year and out of the eight Purdue resolutions I set… we only met one. Kind of like the 20 pounds I promised to lose this year, we fell short in a lot of ways. Shout out to the women’s basketball team for getting back into the tournament though, that goal we did achieve.
2023 was not kind to me but sometimes the greatest teacher is failure. Maybe last year I set too many so here’s 4 things that I want to see in 2024… let’s make this year the best one yet.
1. Win a Men’s Basketball Natty
Okay, the obvious one here is win that National Title. After what happened last year, for me, it’s the only redemption. I wrote a piece last year about having the “it factor” and if that team had it. Turns out, it didn’t. Now I’m a little gun shy writing this in December because well, Purdue tends to fade in February, but they do seem a little different this year.
The addition of Jones, who was born to be a Boilermaker, plays with an edge and seems like he wants to help the team prove everyone wrong. I really don’t think there is a team who can beat them when they play like they did against Arizona, but can they channel that into March? Only time will tell, but right now I think the March woes are all mental and it only takes one time to break through.
Maybe I scheduled my spring break in February to avoid the crowds or maybe something in my gut thinks I may be busy on another trip in April. Let’s get it done.
2. Edey goes for NPOY again
He’s the front runner and a big part of Purdue's success. Edey is the guy who will put up 20 and 12 and it feels like he had quiet night. I don’t like when we run our offense solely through him because it seems we become stagnant but he’s the staple (maple?) and gets you a bucket when you need it. Edey getting NPOY of the year two years in a row would be the first for Purdue. There have only been 12 players who have accomplished the feat since it started back in 1958, the last time when Luke Garza of Iowa won in 2020 and 2021. Even more unique? There hasn’t been a back to back consensus National Player of the Year since Bill Walton in 1971 and 1972. Edey has a definite chance to grab that!
3. Volleyball gets into the Final Four.
I cover a lot of volleyball and am a big fan of Dave Shondell but it’s hard to ignore the similarities to the men’s basketball team. Both get high level recruits, compete in the regular season but always seem to fall just short. They were young this year and showed promise but their experience would plague them at times. With Colvin and Hudson as veteran players and another year under her belt for Chicoine, I really want to see them break through to the final four.
4. Coach Walters improves
Football has a hell of schedule next year and Walters is only in his second year as a head coach so I’m not expecting some crazy turnaround, but I’d just like to see some improvement. We went 4-8 this year so if we could get to 6 wins that would be huge considering the schedule. I really like the energy he brings to the program and I’m hopeful he translates that to the field.