The biggest news of all for Boiler fans is that Boilermaker Special #7 got into a wreck near campus late this afternoon. Rumors say it was outside of Hummel's apt. Other rumors say the newest Special is actually a drone that is driven from the bowels of campus near the atom collider.
What we do know is that the vehicle that was overhauled last year ran into a police vehicle...and I don't know who was at fault or if there were any injuries. But, since we know some of the Reamers, and we like them, we're hoping everyone came away unscathed.
*Pre-production addendum- everybody's safe following the minor incident...and even #7 isn't damaged too badly. Sounds like she'll be doing her duties on Saturday around the Black/Gold game.
Every report out of practice...from players on both sides of the ball says the defense is playing with more speed and swarming around the ball a lot better than last year at this time...and probably better than the were at any time during the season.
This is great news- as much as we want to see a more-efficient, more-exciting and single-QB led offense, I think this team's success will be defined by how well the defense plays. The get to play against some pretty good running backs each day...so they're getting tested. And once the offensive line is healthy, they'll get some tests there too (we'll have to wait for the fall for that).
Mike Alstott has taken a head coaching position in Florida. He'll be coaching St. Petersburg's Northside Christian School- a team that barely fielded a squad in '11...and whose last coach won less than one-third of his games in three seasons at the school.
As always, the former Boiler badass will be doing things in an unconventional manner.
Sorry to bear bad news...BUT...
In spite of IU's Zeller being high on a ton of draft boards, he will return next year to Bloomington...as will the versatile shooting forward, Christian Watford. Neither player's return is really shocking.
Now, let's be clear here. IU is going to be extremely talented next season. Their only real loss is that of Verdell Jones. At BS, we've said this a lot- we'd love to see some of IU's players in gold and black; some of those guys play hard on both ends of the floor.
But the Forehead has some real problems to contend with in the coming season- how will he keep all of these guys happy? Can he actually focus long enough on the game to realize that dumping into Zeller is a nearly sure-fire way to score? Probably not...and while having the embarrassment of riches is a dilemma that any coach would love to struggle with, we still think the Clapper is one of the worst game coaches in the conference...So there's always that.
The Forces of Good
I think we've mentioned how much we like the 5 guys (including Hale) that will be new to the roster next season. We love that they have a chip on their collective shoulder and most seem to have a built-in lunchpail mentality...but this isn't a Purdue recruiting class from the 90s that's comprised of a bunch of role players that are short on talent. These guys can play...and there are some pretty solid moving parts already in place on Matty's squad...And nothing I've heard from Painter makes me concerned about next year's team.
Here's my first typed prediction for '12-'13:
I think Purdue will have 21-22 wins...make the tournament again and grow up a lot during the season. While that sounds a lot like this season, it'll look different. Injuries shouldn't play a defining role- TJohn won't be coming off of a surgery, the starting point guard will be able to practice right away and the leading scorer will be able to go through pre-season workouts. Let's also remember that Jacob Lawson's off-season workouts were stunted a bit by his ruptured achilles...so if his head's right, that'll go a long way in helping to improve his game as well.
It should be TJohn or Byrd who leads the team in scoring...and I think Byrd's business-first approach to the off-season will encourage his teammates to stay on task.
There's still a chance that an additional player could be added to the roster in the coming weeks/month...and that someone could decide that they no longer want to play for Matty (no, I don't have any inside info). But, the core is what it is.
In closing, here is a photo (credit HammerandRails) of a short, fat, white guy in a JJ jersey shooting a jumpshot: