This Saturday, we'll get to see the new look Boilers start a new era of Purdue basketball under Matty. Arguably, the best single class of Boilers have all moved on to play for pay. And while they'll be missed greatly, there's a ton of excitement surrounding what Hummel's departure means for the young guys.
The two-headed monster of Hale and Lawson will surely try to fill the void left by #4...but neither will be able to force defenses to respect them to 21 feet...that's where a combo of Byrd, AJ and TJohn, who have all been working with shooting coaches, will look to make strides forward...in the wake of losing one of Purdue's best three point shooters ever. Next, Davis will probably be the perfect guy to spell TJohn as his frame seems to be B1G ready out of the gate. LewJack, one of my favorite Purdue point guards of all time, and one of the best court generals Purdue's seen in the last few decades is gone...and Ronnie Johnson will need to be ready right away. There is also some serious beef in the Purdue line-up...the frontcourt will resemble a Xavier, MSU or UConn team...at least on paper, for the first time in my life. Size and braun shouldn't be an issue.
|Not Playing Saturday.|
All of my theories and prognostication become sight on Saturday in a swelteringly-warm Mackey Arena...as the Boilers rescue me from the summer sports doldrums, if only for an afternoon.
There's been a ton of confusion on the Knucklehead boards and on Twitter- so here's the deal:
-If your kids want autographs from the current team, have them be there at around 1:00. The team will sign until around 1:40
-The old guys tip-off around 2:00...guys ranging in age from their early 20s up to their 40s will give us a little taste of what we've missed for months...or decades. Friend of BS, Ryne Smith will be playing, crowd favorites and defensive wizards, Kramer and Lowe will be on hand...and one of my favorite Boilers of all time, Troy Lewis will probably put on a shooting clinic. In a house that was built by defensive intensity...don't expect much defense. Do expect trickeration and tomfoolery.
-Rumor has it, there will be a running clock, for at least the second half...and Coach Keady will like that- he never loved calling timeouts.
-The second game will feature the young pups, doing what they do as they practice their Italian accents. Should be a good time.
I would guess the whole thing will be done around 4:30...and Purdue security will be sure to have all of you kicked out of Mackey by 4:45.
Here are a few questions I hope to have answered after Saturday:
-Can I lose weight as quickly as Donnie Hale gained it? He's put on 35 pounds since his redshirt year.
-Will Hale and Lawson be instant-impact guys? (Simpson too...but he won't be playing)
-Have Marcius, Carroll and Lawson improved their defense enough that Purdue can start off the season quickly?
-Can DJ Byrd jump from 6th man to All-Conference?
It should be fun, regardless of which questions are answered.
If you see me, know that I accept cash and checks- I'll be celebrating my birthday while enjoying watching my Boilers go undefeated.