Jay Simpson Update (and basketball note)
If you haven't heard, RS Freshman power forward, Jay Simpson's career is over at Purdue. After becoming faint and nearly passing out a few games ago, Simpson began a battery of tests. The diagnosis is HCM or Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. This is the same condition that took the lives of Hank Gathers, Reggie Lewis and others.
I'm not a doctor, but I do read words on the interwebnet. While doing so, I found that this disease causes one of the walls of the heart to thicken. This thickening causes disruptions to the heartbeat and affects less than one-half of a percent of the general population.
It's a genetic defect that has no cure, but forces athletes to stop playing, or risk serious, massive heart attack. It causes about 100 deaths a year; almost all of those that die are athletes. Treatment options for Simpson and others with HCM include, medication, heart surgery or transplant (although it sounds like many with this condition don't go that route).
This is obviously lousy news for Purdue and bad news for Simpson...but it's also a tremendous blessing for both sides. The dizzy spell he had in his last game as a Purdue player might have saved his life and saved his teammates/coaches from having to watch their friend and teammate die on the court. I'm really thankful to the trainers at Purdue and the doctors that took good care of Jay after the incident.
I'm also thankful that Jay chose to come to Purdue, just because I liked the guy (and he seemed to like playing for Purdue)...And, obviously, wish we would have had the chance to see him play 4 years in the black and gold. His career high in points was the first game of this season versus NKU- he had 14 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. My favorite moment of his career was one that upset a lot of Purdue fans- when he nailed a three pointer (the only one of his career) from the top of the key versus Nebraska. His shot was a little flat, but it was a glimpse of what Painter saw of Simpson in practice...Matty thought Simpson might develop into the toughest matchup on Purdue's team based on his mix of skill, size and athleticism.
He had a truncated career- ten games last year before deciding to redshirt then this diagnosis this season. He also suffered from asthma; I'm pretty sure those symptoms had nothing to do with HCM.
Much less important than Simpson's health is what this does to Purdue in the coming season. I noted this a few weeks ago in a Handsome Hour, if Hammons leaves, Purdue will get much shorter simply because Purdue leans so heavily on him...but now with Simpson definitely not returning, and Haas being a developmental type of player, Purdue really needs Hammons to return. The undersized Boilers featuring RayDay at the four might become the norm regardless of whom returns next season...but the loss of Simpson is definitely large as the program looks to the future.
Bryson's Brother Arrested
Bryson Scott has a twin brother named Brenton (most of you know that). Brenton plays basketball at Indiana State. He was pulled over last weekend and then it got weird. He told the police that he was his twin, Bryson...then, the officer found that the smell of marijuana from the car was really marijuana. He was charged with Operating While Intoxicated, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Another interesting note in this story is that IU player, Austin Etherington's brother, Alex (who also plays at ISU) was in the car. I'm not sure how ISU is going to handle disciplining of Scott...nor am I sure if his twin brother is pissed for pretending to be him while being arrested. I would be.