Blog Entry

Purdue's NCAA hopes are in trouble

Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:08 pm
 

By Jeff Borzello

As one of the better teams over the last five years, we’ve become accustomed to seeing Purdue in the NCAA tournament – and as a team no one really wants to play.

After the Boilermakers’ home loss to Michigan on Tuesday night, though, Matt Painter’s club has its work cut out for them if it wants to return to the Big Dance.

Right now, Purdue sits at 14-7, with a 4-4 conference record. On the surface, that’s not bad. However, the Boilermakers have one marquee win on their docket: a neutral-court win over Temple back in mid-November. The Owls are a solid team, yes, but it’s not going to be the type of win that sets Purdue apart come bubble time. Outside of that, there isn’t a victory over a definite NCAA tournament team. Beating Illinois at home was good, as was knocking off Minnesota and Iona away from home. But Illinois and Iona have begun to lose some games, and Minnesota isn’t in great shape for an NCAA tournament bid.

The computer numbers are average, at best: an RPI of 62 and an SOS of 55. The non-conference strength of schedule was only 185. Moreover, a neutral-court loss to Butler and a 20-point road loss at Penn State aren’t doing the resume any favors.

Yes, there is still plenty of time left in the season – but therein lies the biggest problem. The remaining schedule is brutal.

There are five road contests left in Big Ten play: Northwestern, Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana. Not one of those games is a definite win for Purdue. The Boilermakers will need to steal one or two of those away games if they want an attractive profile on Selection Sunday. Saturday’s game at Northwestern would be a good start, as it might be tough to win at Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana.

The home games aren’t a cakewalk, either. Penn State and Nebraska should be wins, but what about Indiana, Northwestern and Michigan State? Just to finish above .500 in the Big Ten, Purdue would have to go undefeated at home – not an easy task – and then steal a road game.

If this were a Purdue team of the last couple of years, that wouldn’t seem too difficult. The Boilers used to be unbeatable at home, but it has now lost two of its last three games at Mackey Arena.

It’s going to be a tough five weeks for Purdue.

Photo: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:35 am
 

Purdue's NCAA hopes are in trouble

Josh, I'm glad IU's recent win over Penn State has emboldened you enough to come back.  As for Painter, he has lost in the tourney to a better team with more talent, every year except for last year.  I'm still guessing Purdue gets in the tourney this year, and still a decent chance to finish ahead of IU in the B1G.  That's with IU having 2 NBA players in my mind.




Since: Aug 6, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:41 pm
 

Purdue's NCAA hopes are in trouble

They need to pass the ball more.



Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:13 pm
 

Purdue's NCAA hopes are in trouble

three NBA draftees in the last five seasons (Carl Landry, JuJuan Johnson, and E'Twaun Moore).


And all Painter could do was a sweet 16.  Now that he has no NBA players, they're going to miss the tourney.  Great coaching job!




Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:57 pm
 

Purdue's NCAA hopes are in trouble

"Purdue is in danger of becoming Pur-don't in both basketball and football.  The more they flounder, the more impressive Gene Keady looks.  He managed to keep Purdue in the thick of things for a long time." 

The "more they flounder..."... I am not sure what that is inferring; since when, and for how long, have they been "floundering"?  NCAA appearances in all of the last five years, including two Sweet 16 appearancs; 22-plus games won in all of the last five seasons, with four 25 plus games won in all of the last four seasons, including a 29 win season; three NBA draftees in the last five seasons (Carl Landry, JuJuan Johnson, and E'Twaun Moore). 

In Keady's 25 years at Purdue, he missed the NCAA's 8 times; in Painters 6 years at Purdue, he has missed the NCAA's once (and that was in his first year); Painter is just as much a winner as Keady was.

Of course Purdue is currently struggling, primarily in the departments of FG% and rebounding, both of which Coach Painter is capable of correcting come the final stretch of the season.  The FG% will almost certainly correct itself with the number of high percentage shooters on the roster, and rebounding and crowding the paint is coachable (obviously the lack of a dominant inside presence, lost when J.J. Johnson headed to the NBA, hurts).  Two of these last three loses (i.e. the Wisconsin and Michigan games) were very winnable, AND THAT WAS WITH THE BOILERS EXECUTING POORLY.  There is no reason to think that Coach Painter won't have this team playing to its strengths in the very near future.  BOILER UP.




Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:29 pm
 

Purdue's NCAA hopes are in trouble

Purdue is in danger of becoming Pur-don't in both basketball and football.  The more they flounder, the more impressive Gene Keady looks.  He managed to keep Purdue in the thick of things for a long time.  

Purdue's problem is that they are overshadowed by Michigan, ND, Indiana, and Michigan State in basketball, and by Michigan, Michigan State, and ND in football.  They are in what looks like a talent-rich area, but they don't have any redeeming factors to persuade recruits to give up opportunities at their favorite schools.  
 
Purdue fans can gripe about their coach all they want, but Purdue is one of the toughest jobs in the country when it comes to recruiting.  Maybe they can just give the job to Robbie Hummel when he graduates.  He's old enough.
 



Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:53 pm
 

Purdue's NCAA hopes are in trouble

Shhh... don't say this too loud. The Boiler faithful will be out with hammers and pitch forks!


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