Did it Work?
The worst-kept secret in the past few weeks around Purdue sports has been Bolden's ACL. The Tuesday after the IU game, local radio shows talked about it...but Purdue's sports information department and head coach were mum on Bolden's injury.
Methinks they played it close to the vest to not let bowl committees know that Purdue would be without its leading rusher and probably its best offensive weapon. So controlling information like a former Soviet state works out as well as Communism- It always ends up failing.
As I said after I saw the injury, I'm saddened for Bolden. I haven't heard if he'll petition the NCAA for another redshirt season or just play next season as he gets healthy (which will probably be just over a half season). Regardless of his decision, I feel awful for Ralph.
From what I understand, this is Bolden's third tear to the same knee.
Last week, there was a buzz on GBI that Gary Nord was one of the final candidates for the Florida Atlantic head coaching job. After deliberation, FAU decided to go another direction, and some Purdue fans weren't too happy with the owls decision.
I think Nord has been so worried about keeping other teams off balance and out of rhythm this season that he hasn't let his team get into a rhythm. He and Hope have made decisions like throwing to 10-12 receivers in a game, running 3-5 running backs regularly and playing two quarterbacks in most contests. The end result seems to be a very balanced, decidedly-mediocre offense that doesn't let a hot hand dominate a game. This system instead settles for surprise while sacrificing power and punch.
Don't get me wrong here- I think there is plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball- guys like Bolden, Siller, Edison, Shavers, Holmes, Hunt, Mostert, Bush and Ross (when he's focused) could play about anywhere, in my opinion...but they're not given enough opportunities.
A Lil' Hart
If you've been to Purdue basketball games in the last few weeks, you've seen John Hart in warm-ups going through pre-game with the team.
Since the late summer, Painter has said Hart would be available around December...and while I haven't heard anything official, I'd bet we get to see Hart play in the next week...at least for a few minutes. Hart's addition will make Purdue's rotation 11-deep.
Non-Con Home Stretch
Our Boilers have four more games before heading to Iowa to start the B1G schedule on December 28. The Forces of Good have the exact record I thought they'd have at this point...but I didn't think they'd have Xavier in their clutches before giving that one away. Regardless, there aren't a ton of contests left for Matty to figure out his rotation and regular starting line-up. But be sure of one thing- the rotation will shrink...it has every year Painter's been coach.
But, Painter seems to handle personel in a different manner than many coaches. Some games he won't play a guy at all because of match-up concerns...the next game, that same guy will play 20 minutes...we saw this with John Hart a few seasons ago.
While a couple things are shaping up, a couple question marks still remain.
First, DJ Byrd is still struggling with an ankle injury that happend v. High Point (I believe). Last game he only played 9 minutes. I don't think that should be read as Painter giving up on Byrd...just wanting people on the floor who are physically able to play. I hope to see Byrd as a major contributor again by the B1G season...and think he'll be in the regular 9-man rotation...if nothing else because his versatility and hustle.
Here's the rotation I'd like to see in the B1G schedule:
I think we'll see Smith, Barlow and TJohn all rotate in the starting line-up depending on the opponent...and if Purdue's playing a quicker opponent, Marcius and Carroll might play limited minutes. But the B1G schedule is a meat grinder...and the flu almost always has a hand in at least one game/season...so having too much depth is the best problem to have for a coach.
Polls are nearly-inconsequential at this point in the season...and even computer polls lack sufficient data to be very accurate in early December. But here's a quick look at where Purdue stands:
When the human polls come out later today, Purdue will probably still be receiving votes, but outside of the top-25. Without a ranked opponent on the schedule until possibly Illinois, definitely Wisconsin, Purdue doesn't have many chances to prove itself in the eyes of the nation...just win and everything else will take care of itself.
As of this morning, the CCR for the Boilers was 29.
Did it Work?