Purdue basketball has already had many movements this offseason. It started with the obvious loss of Anthrop and Byrd as graduating seniors, and continued with the loss of Anthony Johnson, Jacob Lawson and Sandi Marcius.
Midseason there were rumors of these departures and most make sense. There was a culture issue at Purdue this year. During a season that was dismal, Purdue fans looked to the future, and so did Painter. I'm not going to imply that Painter forced these guys out, but one has to wonder if an ultimatum was put on the table.
Aside from Marcius, attitude has been a problem with these guys.
Lawson seemed to just be out of it most of the time on the court, sure he showed flashes of brilliance and was extremely athletic, but being athletic only gets you so far. Especially at Purdue, where athleticism is given less appreciation than hustle.
Johnson just never seemed to get a groove going. Sitting behind some talented players didn't help, but with the leadership of Lewjack, it seemed like he should have grown faster. In reality though, Johnson didn't fit well into the system. Shoot first mentality is not Painters thing.
Losing these guys is going to affect this team a bit when it comes to experience, but in the end it won't matter much leadership wise. Chooch will be missed next season as a leader, but the leaders have been all but established for 2013-2014. From an outside point of view, Johnson and Lawson were not positive leaders on this team and weren't moving the program forward.
Going forward I hope Painter learns from his mistakes and starts to recruit program players, not just talented players. After a team culture that was far from ideal this season, it was time for something to change and these players leaving gives us an idea of what was going on with the team this season. I have doubts that this program will go through a year like it did last season again under Painter.
I wish the three guys transferring the best of luck wherever they decide to go and I hope they succeed in their future endeavors, but the train must keep steaming.
Current students, enjoy your grand prix week, and if you see a panda out, feel free to buy him a drink. Choo Choo Muthas.