The class of 2010 for Matty looks strong on paper as it bolsters both the front and back court. But 2011, in spite of four departures, will be much smaller, probably one or two players at most plus the carry-over of the ultra-athletic PF Donnie Hale who's heading to prep school for the year.
The apple of Painter's eye for about a year has been SF Branden Dawson. I thought he was kind of an open-shut case and would be at Purdue in two years. But the more I read, the less-confident I become. I still think he's a lean for the gold and black, but I was hoping for a verbal this summer. He's not deciding until months from now, it appears, so we'll see.
But this week, Chasson Randle cut his sizable schollie list down to a final three that he's considering and the Purdue coaching staff's hard work has paid off. Randle will be going to Purdue, Stanford and Illinois. A year and one-half ago, or so, he looked like he was coming to Purdue, but his recruitment got quiet as other offers flooded in. I'm glad to see he's still a possibility because I like everything I read about him- good, smart kid who likes to play defense and wins...sounds like a good fit.
If either Randle or Dawson decide to play for Painter (or both) we could see the first McDonald's AA at Purdue in over a decade...but definitely not the last for the next few years. Painter's staff has quite a jump on the subsequent classes.
The really great news about the year 2011 is that it should be the end of Matty's fruitless pursuit of players with the last names Zeller and Plumlee. Granted, both families are talented and all six seemed to have considered playing at Mackey in college (which is good), but the 0-fer will probably be made official in the next few months as Cody Zeller makes his final decision. I think, and hope, Painter has learned when to cut bait from this futile exercise over the past six years.
It Officially Didn't Happen
USC has begun expunging all evidence of Reggie Bush's decorated career from its athletic officies and buildings in L.A. So keep your eyes peeled on ebay as you may soon be able to own a Heisman Trophy of your very own. The university still doesn't know what it'll do with the trophy, but it knows it can't keep it displayed.
In all seriousness, they should probably just send it back to New York...Perhaps Robert Marve's '11 Heisman will actually be a mint-condition, previously-owned model.
Getting It Right
I've been out of town much of the last half month, so I haven't had the chance to post about this, but I think Indy Car did a very good thing when they made their final decision about what the future of the league will look like. The Safety Cell idea leaves developmental details open enough that the cars could look very different from team to team and, of course, their performance will very quite a bit too. This plus the different engine options should make for a very different-looking series come 2012. The real question is, is a car with mostly-closed rear wheels still an open wheel race car?