Matt Painter is as straight a shooter as there is in faculty basketball, so he ought to take these phrases in the identical spirit he would give them to anybody else.
As of Friday nights, Purdue is the choke artist program of the decade. There is no different move both. And one thing within the DNA of what Painter has created desperately wants to alter.
Purdue’s newest Chernobyl-level droop led to requires Painter to be fired, lacking the mark to grow to be simply the second No. 1 seed in NCAA event historical past to lose to a No. 16 seed. Painter is an amazing basketball coach, and Purdue is a reliably good program that has superior to the Candy 16 or past in six of the final 14 years.
You do not burn him to the bottom and begin once more. Not at Purdue. Perhaps nowhere.
However the program can not stand the pattern it has created after three consecutive March disasters. This is not acceptable.
North Texas. St Peters. And now, Fairleigh Dickinson.
As soon as upon a time there was a fluke. Twice the issue. Thrice is not simply embarrassing, it is dangerous.
Shedding to Purdue 63-58 at Fairleigh Dickinson was like watching a cruise ship run straight into an iceberg in good climate. It was like dropping a surgeon’s scalpel and clipping an artery. It was like a professional golfer sending a 1-foot putt right into a sand lure.
When issues bought even the slightest bit tense, Purdue fully shut down and turned what had been a daily season affair into mayhem.
How do you win the Large Ten common season by a major distance, roll via the convention event after which come out and lose to a crew ranked 275th within the kenpom.com effectivity rankings? One crew, by the best way, solely bought into the NCAA event as a result of Merrimack, which had defeated Fairleigh Dickinson within the NEC championship sport, was ineligible for the Large Dance.
You lose that sport since you are afraid of it. As a result of you do not have the mindset and willpower to win it.
When the sport hung within the stability, Fairleigh Dickinson by no means wavered. Purdue ran, hid, and hoped for a fall from his opponent that was to not come.
To be trustworthy, it was a bit unhappy to see this. However the best way Purdue performed on Friday deserved it as nicely. Boilermakers have been cowards. They have been senseless. They have been all the pieces their critics accused them of being after horrible NCAA event exits the earlier two years.
Males’s schedule:Full 2023 NCAA Males’s Event Schedule, Outcomes & Timings
Heck, they could not even make a field-goal try for 7-foot-4 star Zack Ade within the ultimate eight minutes. How does that even occur?
It simply so occurs as a result of that is what Purdue does in March. Perhaps the narrative would have been completely different if Virginia hadn’t executed one of essentially the most miraculous end-of-game performs you may ever see within the 2019 Elite Eight to ship the sport to extra time. If Kihi Clark would not make an ideal move from half-court off a missed free throw to Mamdi Diakite to maintain Virginia’s season alive, Purdue goes into that Closing 4 and perhaps wins a nationwide championship.
However this didn’t occur. So the place do you go after that sort of heartbreak? Is it a springboard or an anchor?
Nicely, the following time Purdue will get an opportunity to play within the NCAA Event, it seems to be to be gradual and slugging away in 2021 because the No. 4 seed in opposition to North Texas in a 78-69 extra time loss. Hey, it occurs to everybody typically. march.
However then final season, Purdue took care of enterprise within the first two rounds and earned a visit to the Candy 16, the place good luck put the Boilermakers in the identical bracket as St. Peter’s, advancing as a miraculous No. 15 seed. It ought to have been a layoff within the elite eight for Painter. As a substitute, it was a 67–64 nightmare loss through which St. Peters shot 39 p.c from the sphere and nonetheless received.
Now you’ve got a 3rd straight debacle exit, and it is going to sting for a protracted, very long time.
Fairleigh Dickinson labored arduous, performed well and was the extra fearless crew beneath stress. Purdue, for all its common season success, is going to be remembered as one of the largest goats in March Insanity historical past.
That is the world Painter is going to dwell in for the following eight months, and scar tissue is very actual. Perhaps he must recruit some extra dynamic athletes. Perhaps their system must be a bit extra versatile. Perhaps he wants to alter just a few issues in the best way he performs tournaments.
However no matter it is, Purdue is a program that runs from November till the convention event after which fully implodes when everybody places their greatest foot ahead. That does not imply Painter ought to lose his job, however he’d higher discover a solution to those March embarrassments.
Painter is a coach who values fact. For Purdue, it begins with a protracted look within the mirror.