Put Hope in the Rearview: Hoops Season is Near!



Big Ten Basketball is going to be special this season. With a lot of talent returning to the conference, the Big Ten has three teams in the top five alone. Sadly for the Boilermakers, they retain just role players and young guys, with the big loss being Robbie Hummel. It may not be the greatest season for the Boilermakers when it comes to success, but don’t count out this reincarnation of the “Baby Boilers” just yet, although I'm sure Hutch already has. 


Throughout his career at Purdue, Matt Painter has a tradition of success. He has been able to recruit well, coach well, and get these guys to the tournament year in and year out (Danny Hope, take notes).  He has led the Boilermakers to six straight 20-win seasons and no first round losses in the NCAA tournament. 


The question now is can Purdue maintain that impressive streak under Matt Painter with fresh talent and a few veterans on the squad?


So here it is, the first vague prediction of what this squad is going to do in the non-conference portion of the season 


Non-Conference: Optimistic about victory

These teams are all lackluster squads. It’s not good to sleep on opponents in college basketball, but if the Boilers come into these games prepared and with the right mindset, all should be well in Boilermaker nation.


Hofstra

North Carolina - Wilmington

Lamar

Eastern Michigan

Ball State

William & Mary


Too Close to Call

Bucknell could be the Boilers first loss in an opening game under Matt Painter. This team talented bringing back four of their five leading scorers from last season.  They could very well be this season’s NCAA Cinderella if they click and can get over that big game hump this season.  

Villanova isn’t very good in terms of returning talent this season but their style of play is usually challenging for the Boilermakers. This should be a tone setter for the season.

Alabama or Oregon State. With the talent that Oregon State has returning and the great games Purdue and Alabama have played in the past, either of these teams is going to present a challenge to Purdue.

Clemson is a team that Purdue should beat, but being a young team, the road can cause lots of problems.

Xavier is a team that always seems to be competitive; they have lost a lot of talent, yet they are likely to put on a fight for Purdue.  The players on last season’s squad should remember the loss at Xavier last season and be motivated.

West Virginia is going to be a test amid the conference season. Huggy bear usually puts together a talented squad and this has turned into quite the rivalry in the past few seasons.



Boilers Likely to be Underdogs

Notre Dame could be a team that makes a run, but it could also be a team that flops, either way, their fans will still be wearing cream and crimson.  This could be a big game for the Boilers, but on a floor they never seem to play well on, it seems unlikely to see a win here.


So if you say that Purdue is going to only win three of the close games, and lose to Notre Dame, then the Boilers should be around 10-3 throughout the nonconference schedule


Conference Play

This is where the Boilermakers are going to really start growing up.  Going on the road in the Big Ten is not something for boys or the weak hearted.  Besides the Bryce Jordan Center, there really isn’t a place that you don’t fear going to in the conference.  With the conference being so good this season, it’s going to make those arenas even more of a ruckus.


Look for our conference preview later to come. 

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