The Hunter, Once Again?

For much of the season, Purdue has been considered the hunted...the team that should win, the team that's been there. It now has seemingly changed.

I watched the BTT show last night and they focused heavily on the upcoming Men's basketball tournament. I literally heard every team in the conference mentioned as a contender, darkhorse, team that might surprise people or out-right favored team...with the exception of Iowa and Purdue.

No one believes in Purdue at this point, it seems...Is this what Painter needs to motivate this squad? Perhaps.

While I don't think Tim Doyle and Jim Jackson are a braintrust by any means, I know that both of these two are typical media heads...they talk about what's popular- and they're not talking about Purdue...rightfully so, mind you.

Purdue lost three of its last four regular season games and played some of its worst basketball of the year in late February/early March. This comes at a time that Coach Painter thought his team would be gelling or coming together for a stretch run. It is a bit of a mystery, but it seems to me, these problems are easily solved.

Purdue's defense has gone from drum tight, night-in, night-out to, tight the same time, their rebounding reverted back to the early season form- Our Boilers are flat-out getting there cans kicked on the glass. And offensively, they've gone from a team that was inconsistently explosive, to one that seems to have little-to-no firepower.

Perhaps the league figured out a way to defend Johnson to render him ineffective...perhaps the team's offensive confidence has caused them to not believe they can score at will...perhaps some of the guys are tired and have hit the wall.

I think the current state of affairs is a bit of each of the above, but the root of it all comes from motivation and our Boilers making the decision to take what is theirs. From the coaches, down to the last man on the bench, this team hasn't seemed to sieze the day or take advantage of its lofty position. Johnson is a bit of a microcosm of this team- BS' very own J Money has said that when JJ simply makes the decision to not be denied and exerts his will every now and again, he is truly great. He did it last year in the tournament versus Baylor...and he showed he could do it during parts of this BT season. The time is now to sell out to the idea that only great effort, all the time will yield great results. It's now or never.

The hunt is officially on.

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