In 2005, Matty inherited a Purdue basketball program that was in pretty bad shape. Coming off of a 7-win season, Painter looked to rebuild. His two best players were both forced to redshirt the first season due to injury. His resulting roster was comprised of walk-ons, a football player, transfers, some guys who wouldn't be playing anywhere else in the league and a couple guys that belonged in the BT. In his first season, Purdue went 9-19.
Over the second and third seasons, Matty lost 6 players to transfer. Attrition forced fan favorite, Bobby "Buckets" Riddell, the 5'9" Lafayette native and walk-on, to not only play significant minutes, but start for part of Painter's second season.
Painter, of course made a splash with the Baby Boilers class that included JJ, Hummel, Smooge and another guy that gave Purdue a top-10 recruiting class nationally. This class and Matty's plan helped restore Purdue to the top-three of the league by year three of Painter's tenure in W.Lafayette.
Tom Crean inherited a team decimated by academic and disciplinary problems in Spring/'08 following Kelvin Sampson's resignation. Like Painter, Crean was forced to using walk-ons and transfers his first season. Along with a few carry-overs, his first class was a good recruiting effort in an abridged time- no super stars on paper, but some solid players. That class included Dumes, Jones, Roth, Story & Pritchard.
The next season ('09), Crean brought in a monster class that included three 4-star recruits, 2 high 3-star recruits and a couple of project players. This class was rated top-5 in the nation.
With that strong class as a lynch pin of his rebuilding plan in Bloomington, Crean is now in his third season in Bloomington...But the media is still telling us that the talent disparity with the rest of the BT is too much too overcome for IU to possibly compete. We told you following the game in Mackey that we weren't buying into that story...and here is a bit of evidence to back up what we've been saying...you make up your own mind.