The Current State of Purdue Men’s Basketball

painter_0

In light of the Ronnie Johnson transfer situation and what seems to be becoming the norm in Purdue Men’s Basketball over the past few years, I have decided to do some research of all of the transfers, dismissals, and player recruiting of Matt Painter’s 9 Seasons at Purdue.  Painter has a record of 191-112 at Purdue, not too shabby.  He has lost to good teams in the NCAA tournament each time he’s gotten there (see below).  He has produced three  (possibly four) NBA players.  However, he’s been 31-35 in the last two season.  He has also only had 11 Four-Year Scholarship players in those 9 years.  In this piece, I am just presenting the information. You can do the analysis of the situation on your own.  As a Purdue graduate I understand that we are not Kentucky or Duke, but I also think we shouldn’t be last in the Big Ten.  Competing for a Big Ten Championship should be the goal every year and right now, it looks like the program is very far from that.  Is it missing on recruits?  Is it getting recruits that are not what we thought they could be?  Is it coaching?  I hope this is worth reading and helpful to those questioning what is going on in West Lafayette.  I also hope that you read this and think, “Hey, this is pretty good and I’d love to buy this guy a beer when I see him at Harry’s”.  Finally, I hope that after a game at Mackey I see you at Harry’s where you can buy me that beer and we can try and get over another heartbreaking loss together. Good day. Enjoy.

Year #1…

05-06 Team – Record: 9 – 19

This was Painter’s first year as head coach after 25 years of Gene Keady.  Purdue fans were looking forward to seeing what this former player was capable of and what was to come.  This season was supposed to be a change from Keady’s last year when they went 7-21. However, it ended up being a nightmare.  This was the year many players were injured or got into some sort of off-the-court issues.  Carl Landry and David Teague both went down with injuries and the guys mentioned below battled everything from injuries to law enforcement.

Head coach Gene Keady

AFTER THE SEASON

1. Nate Minnoy (Transferred) – 3 Star Recruit – Averaged 10.2 ppg as a freshman before tearing his MCL.  He was a promising kid with a lot of talent.  Too big for guards to guard him, too quick for the bigs (on offense).  However, personal issues, work ethic, and his attitude seemed to have ruined his playing career. Transferred to Central Michigan.

2.Korey Spates (Dismissed) – 3 Star Recruit – Averaged 10.1 ppg as a freshman before being kicked off for multiple team rule violations.  He had potential, but a lot like Minnoy, his attitude and off-the-court issues got the best of him.

3.Marcus White (Medical) – Averaged 10.1 ppg after transferring from UConn.  He played well for Purdue, when healthy.  But, White had some sort of back injury and had to leave the team.  Coach Painter offered to let him keep his scholarship at Purdue for his senior year as a gesture of good faith.  White decided against it and ended up playing 3 years of professional Basketball in Lebanon and Iraq. This was another odd situation with a guy that could have really helped the following year.

06-07 Team – Record: 22 -12 and Lost in the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament

Additions: Tarrance Crump (4 Star – Ju-Co Transfer), Keaton Grant (4 Star Recruit), Dan Vandervieren (2 Star), Jonathan Uchendu (3 Star Recruit), Chris Kramer (3 Star Recruit)

This was the year that that Tarrance Crump, Carl Landry, and David Teague were all healthy. They had a nice year finishing 5th in the Big Ten and losing to eventual champs, Florida, in the second round of the NCAA tournament.  It seemed like this season put Purdue basketball back on the map.

I can’t believe I love this guy now.

AFTER THE SEASON

4. Chris Lutz (Transferred) – 3 Star Recruit – Averaged 9.2 ppg his freshman year and 6.1 ppg as a sophomore.  Sharpshooter who said he was leaving to be closer to his family in New Hampshire. Lutz ended up averaging over 9 ppg game at Marshall University (West Virginia) over two seasons.

5. Johnathan Uchendu (Transferred) – 3-Star Recruit – Big man project who transferred to Arkansas- Little Rock and Abilene Christian University.  Sadly, Uchendu was later killed in a hit and run incident.

6. Dan Vandervieren (Transferred) – 2 Star Recruit – Another big man project – Played one season for Colorado State averaging 6.2 ppg.  Seems like both of these big guys saw JaJuan Johnson coming and did not want to stay. (I should get some credit for researching the career of Dan Vandervieren. You thought, “No way I’ll ever hear that name again!” Wrong.

7. Gordon Watt (Dismissed) – 7.2 ppg 4.9 rpg after transferring from Boston College.  He was got himself into trouble several times while at Purdue until he was dismissed. Went to Houston Baptist University (Southland Conference) where he played 35 games over two years and averaged 17.2 ppg and 8.8 rpg his senior year.

07-08 Team – 25-9 and lost in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament

Additions: Nemanja Calasan (2 Star Recruit), Scott Martin (4 Star Recruit), Robbie Hummel (4 Star Recruit), E’Twaun Moore (4 Star Recruit), and JaJuan Johnson (4 Star Recruit)

This was the “Baby Boilers” season for Purdue.  This group was touted as the best recruiting class that Purdue has ever had.  The Boilers finished 2nd in the Big Ten and won its first NCAA tournament game before losing to Xavier University in the second round.  This was what Purdue fans thought it would be like over and over.  These young guys would grow up together in the program and terrorize the rest of the Big Ten for years to come.

hummel moore johnson

AFTER THE SEASON

8. Scott Martin (Transferred) – 4 Star Recruit – Averaged 8.5 ppg 3.8 rebs his freshmen year.  This was a huge blow to the young Purdue team.  He cited homesickness and ended up going to Notre Dame where he had an up and down career while battling injuries averaging 9.2 ppg and 5.4 rpg over three seasons.  At the time, people were just excited to have the other three, but his absence was felt because they struggled to replace him with future recruits.

08-09 Team – 27-10 Lost in 3rd Round of NCAA Tournament to UConn

Additions: Lewis Jackson (3 Star Recruit), Ryne Smith (3 Star Recruit)

This was the sophomore year for the “Baby Boilers” who had a great year finishing 3rd in the Big Ten and won the Big Ten Tournament over Ohio State.  They then won two games in the NCAA tournament for the first time in 9 seasons.  However, the recruiting class for this season was fairly weak.  After getting the best recruiting class in school history the previous year, they got Jackson and Smith for this one.

calasan and hummel

AFTER THE SEASON

0 Transfers 0 Dismissals

09-10 Team – 29-6 Lost in 3rd Round of NCAA Tournament to Duke

Additions: Patrick Bade (3 Star Recruit), Kelsey Barlow (2 Star Recruit), D.J. Byrd (3 Star Recruit), Sandi Marcius (NR Recruit)

This was the year where it seemed like Purdue was primed for a Final Four run.  They started the year ranked #7 in the AP National Poll and ended the season at #10.  They ended up 2nd in the Big Ten regular season and had a 4 seed in the Big Dance.  They beat both Siena and Texas A&M before losing to the eventual Champs Duke in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.  This run was mired in the loss of Robbie Hummel who suffered a knee injury late in the season.  What could have been? This was five years ago and Purdue fans still talk about it with much angst and frustration. However, the Boilers seemed to be ready for another run the following year with a healthy Hummel, plus Johnson and Moore both deciding to return for their senior years instead of going into the NBA draft.

AFTER THE SEASON

0 Transfers – 0 Dismissals

10-11 Team – 26-8 Lost in the 3rd Round of the NCAA Tournament to Virginia Commonwealth

Additions: Travis Carroll (3 Star Recruit), Anthony Johnson (3 Star Recruit), Terone Johnson (4 Star Recruit)

This season started with lots of hopes. Purdue had three studs returning for a run together.  They were the favorites in the Big Ten and were ready and seasoned for another deep run into March.  However, Robbie Hummel tore his ACL in a pre-season practice and was forced to sit out this entire season.  This Purdue team showed a lot of heart to fight through that tough early loss and ended up 2nd in the Big Ten and had a 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.  Unfortunately they ran up against the buzz-saw that was VCU in the second round.  VCU ended up making it all the way to the Final Four.  This also was the end of two incredible careers at Purdue. JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore combined for 38.5 ppg and 13.7 rpg their senior years and were graduating. These were two NBA draft picks that needed to be replaced.

11494436-large

AFTER THE SEASON

9. Patrick Bade (Transferred from Basketball to Football) – 3 Star Recruit – Played two years of basketball with limited playing time. Noooooo Bade!!!!

11-12 Team – 22-13 Lost in the 3rd Round of the NCAA Tournament to Kansas

Additions: Donnie Hale (3 Star Recruit) and Jacob Lawson (3 Star Recruit) (Robbie Hummel returns for senior year)

This was the season that Robbie Hummel was a world-beater on one good leg and carried the Boilers into the NCAA Tournament where they were about two minutes away from knocking out the eventual National Runner-up, Kansas.  This team overachieved in most people’s eyes and Coach Painter got a lot of praise for their success.  This was also the year where they tried to replace Johnson and Moore.  The recruiting class of Hale (who red-shirted) and Lawson (who barely played) did little to reload the Purdue team.  The 2012 recruiting class, along with the 2011 class, really hurt the team moving forward.

During that season

10. Kelsey Barlow (Dismissed ) – 2 Star Recruit – Played three seasons for the Boilers until he was kicked off for numerous team rule violations. His stats as a Boilermaker – Frosh: 3.4 ppg/2.3 rpg, Soph 5.1 ppg/2.9 rpg, Junior 8.3 ppg/3.7 rpg.  He played his tail off on defense and really gave the team toughness.  That toughness sometimes stayed with him off the court, leading to his dismissal.  He then transferred to the University of Illinois – Chicago where he averaged 14.8 ppg and 5 rpg.

AFTER THE SEASON

11. John Hart (Transferred) – Played between 5 and 10 minutes throughout his three season at Purdue.  Then transferred to IUPUI and averaged 14.2 ppg and 3.1 rpg for his senior year.

12-13 Team – 16 -18 Lost to Santa Clara in the CBI Tournament

Additions: Rapheal Davis (4 Star Recruit) , A.J. Hammons (4 Star Recurit), Ronnie Johnson (4 Star Recruit), Jay Simpson (4 Star Recruit)

ncb_g_hammons11_200The 2012-2013 season was supposed to be the year of the second class of “Baby Boilers” for Purdue.  This was a Top 20 Recruiting class coming in with a 7-footer, a talented wing, and lightning quick guard.  Instead it was a disappointing season that ended in the 2nd round of the CBI Tournament, (which most Purdue fans have never heard of).  This team was young, inexperienced but showed some flashes of potential. (See Hammons vs. IU) However, at various times in the season they seemed to really struggle to play together.  Coach Painter started and ended the season saying that his team was selfish, didn’t work hard, and was hard to coach.  Seemed like there was a lot of fighting going on within the team and heads would roll after the season.  They did.

AFTER THE SEASON

12. Donnie Hale (Transferred) – 3 Star Recruit – A project player that showed flashes in 32 games for the Boilers.  3.8 ppg and 2.8 rpg.  Hale is now playing at DII Bellarmine University where he is not exactly lighting it up. 10.3 minutes pg with 4.8 ppg and 2 rpg.

13. Anthony Johnson (Transferred) – 3 Star Recruit – Played two seasons where he averaged 5.2 ppg , 2.4 rpg, and 1.1 apg. Johnson also showed moments of positive play but seemed like he never bought into Painter’s system.  He will be eligible to play for Northern Illinois University next season.

14. Jacob Lawson (Transferred) – 3 Star Recruit – Played in 58 games in limited minutes but was never able to stay in Coach Painter’s rotation. Averaged 2.3 ppg and 2 rpg over two seasons. Lawson Transferred to Appalachian State, will be eligible next season.

15. Sandi Marcius (Transferred) – Not Ranked Recruit – Spent three seasons at Purdue and played a solid backup big guy role to AJ Hammons his junior year. Left under weird circumstances that seemed to have to do with playing time.  Marcius could have really helped Purdue with Hammons being in the amount of foul trouble he was in all year. Marcius played in 33 games for Depaul this season averaging 18.6 minutes pg, 4.8 ppg, and 4.6 rpg.

13-14 Team – 15-17 Lost to Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament

Additions: Bryson Scott (4 Star Recruit), Basil Smotherman (3 Star Recruit), Kendall Stephens (4 Star Recruit), Errick Peck (5th Year – Transfer), Sterling Carter (5th Year – Transfer)

This was two seasons in a row where Purdue was getting a good recruiting class.  The season started out with some trouble right away when A.J. Hammons got suspended for violating team rules.  This was disappointing because he followed his suspension with a series of poor performances and had trouble getting himself going.  The season seemed doomed from the start and continued to be frustrating because of the poor performances by team leaders Terone Johnson and Hammons and a lack of big wins throughout the year (besides the IU game).  They ended up last place in the Big Ten. The low point was when they lost by 9 against Northwestern at home on Senior Day to finish the regular season.  The season was frustrating to watch and seemed frustrating to coach for Painter.  When the regular season ended he blamed himself for the poor finish and the poor state of the program. Painter blamed bad recruiting, poor attitudes, and bad teamwork. Click HERE for the video.

AFTER THE SEASON

16. Ronnie Johnson (Transferred) – 4 Star Recruit – Johnson leaves Purdue playing 66 games in two seasons averaging 10.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, and 3.9 apg. He started almost every game of his two year career and played a lot of minutes on a Big Ten team. Why transfer?

Jay Simpson (Medical) – 4 Star Recruit – Unfortunately Simpson will not be playing basketball anymore because of a heart condition.  I wish him the best.

Conclusion

There have been 16 contributing players that have either been dismissed or transferred in nine seasons under Matt Painter.  I am not saying that this is unique to Purdue, but it seems like the numbers have picked up in recent years for a coach that has been at the school for nine seasons. Also, there is still a chance that A.J. Hammons leaves for the NBA draft, though many Purdue fans think that he has a lot to learn before that (See the game at Northwestern..my goodness).  If he stays and there are no more transfers out, Purdue will have 10 players with a scholarship on the projected roster for next year.

2014-2015 Scholarship Players

Rapheal Davis – Jr.

A.J. Hammons – Jr.

Bryson Scott – So.

Basil Smotherman – So.

Kendall Stephens – So.

Vince Edwards – Fr. – 3 Star

Isaac Haas – Fr. – 4 Star

Dakota Mathias – Fr. – 3 Star

Jacquil Taylor – Fr. – NR

P.J. Thompson – Fr. – 3 Star

0 seniors and 5 freshmen

People might give Painter a pass and point to the good years when he had Landry and Teague (which he did not recruit) or when the “Baby Boilers” had their great run. I know others will look at the what has happened recently.  In a league that is getting better (Northwestern, Penn State, Nebraska), Purdue has gotten worse.  A few really bad recruiting classes on top of a high number of transfers has set the Purdue program back.  I hope that this can be turned around sooner rather than later.  I guess we will see.

tom-crean-mad

At least this guy had a bad year too.

Thank you to the best site on earth, www.sports-reference.com and another really good one, www.scout.com for all of the statistics and recruiting information.

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