A few weeks ago, Purdue head coach Matt Painter was named one of 15 finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year award. Today, that list was reduced to ten of the best coaches across the country, and Matt Painter was on that list.
Painter certainly deserves this recognition. In case you have been under a rock for the last couple of months, you have probably heard that Purdue lost 4 starters to graduation from last year’s 30-win season. After a slow start that bottomed-out with a bad loss to Notre Dame and left the Boilers at 6-5 on the season, Purdue ended up surging during conference play.
The four finalists for the award will be announced March 20. From there, fans will be able to support their coach by visiting naismithtrophy.com/vote between March 22 and April 3, to cast their ballot. The award will be presented on April 7, in Minneapolis.
Along with Painter, the other finalists include: Rick Barnes (Tennessee), Chris Beard (Texas Tech), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Nate Oats (Buffalo), Kelvin ‘so call me maybe’ Sampson (Houston), Mike Young (Wofford), Tony Bennett (Virginia), John Calipari (Kentucky) and Mark Few (Gonzaga).