Two words describe this upcoming season for Purdue basketball head coach Matt Painter: hot and seat.
Despite his first season, Painter has been relatively successful until the past two years. He has accumulated a 31-35 regular season record which is unacceptable in the eyes of Boilermaker fans.
Painter has to produce a winning team this year, place in the top half of the Big Ten and play well in the Big Ten Tournament to keep his job.
With the recent failure of this Purdue squad, success is the only option for Painter to stay as the Boilermakers’ head coach.
Rumors have been heard that players are frustrated and unhappy with how the past few seasons have gone. This has resulted in Ronnie Johnson transferring away from Purdue to an undecided school.
Painter has shown glimpses that he still has the ability to coach at a high level. He may have lost a more games than he has won, but this is a coach that will get the best out of his players. That showed in a one point loss to highly ranked Michigan last season.
The main problem for Painter has been getting his guys to work together.
When E’twuan Moore, Robbie Hummel, and Jajuan Johnson came to West Lafayette they had all played together since high school in travel basketball and had chemistry.
Painter is a good recruiter and knows exactly what he wants when it comes to recruits, he just can’t get all the players to work together and produce a solid outing resulting in victories.
The past few seasons the Johnson brothers seemed to focus on themselves and tried to be the best one man show out there and make the spectacular highlight play.
All the younger players on Painter’s squad worked well together last year with Stephens, Scott, Davis, and big man AJ Hammons. These guys are the future of this Purdue Boilermaker team.
Painter with his upcoming team of freshman that include PJ Thompson, Vince Edwards, Jacquil Taylor, Dakota Mathias, and Issac Haas look strong and poised to make a run into the Big Ten with this young but experienced team.
This recruiting class is Painters last hope to hold on to his job at his alma mater. He will have to show this year that his team is ready to play and make a splash. Then maybe, just maybe the fire under his chair will cool down.