Photo courtesy of Purdue athletics
On May 13, Purdue head men’s basketball coach Matt Painter went and interviewed with basketball personality Dan Dakich.
There, Painter discussed the recent transfers, the future of college basketball, and Purdue’s 2020-21 basketball team.
On the Transfers
Painter was quite blunt when speaking of players who have left.
“You might’ve gotten your degree from Purdue but you’re not a Boilermaker if you walk out the door in the end,” he said.
He also said he tries to take a step back and look at the kids’ perspective and see how did they better themselves. Painter added that they’ve given kids too many avenues to move and that in life, you can’t do that. He referenced that eventually, you’re going to have to hunker down and fight adversity. Without doing so, you’re only becoming good at change, Painter said.
He does not understand how it helps young people. Painter said he believes players should be allowed to move and change, but simply, there are just too many ways at this point in time.
“Embrace problems and embrace adversity and fight it,” Painter said. “Don’t turn and run from it.”
Many ex-Purdue players have stood by Painter’s words when sharing their own stories. Painter said he once told former Purdue forward Jacquil Taylor to transfer as a result of his placement on the depth chart. Another opportunity, Painter said, would allow Taylor to showcase his abilities elsewhere during his senior season. Painter noted that only 19 transfers were selected over the last seven NBA Drafts.
I was down on my back, last on the depth chart and about to transfer schools but I didn’t. I just worked and worked until I got to the top spot. Unfortunately injuries and God had another plan but he’s absolutely right. You gotta stand and face life! Can’t run from everything 🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/dfFSNBWEHE
— 🤫 (@Rb_Fuller_25) May 13, 2020
Thought I should’ve left Purdue in ‘15 & ’16 many times. BUT, I realized my teammates, and Purdue were more important than my ego / situations.
Then Brohm & the new staff showed up; Jan. ‘17 – Dec. ‘17 turned into the best year of my life.
“Tough times don’t last. Tough SOBs do” https://t.co/Xg5nu2flVl
— Garrett Hudson (@ghud_xvi) May 14, 2020
Yup. Head coaching change & ACL injury had me 🤏🏼 close to transferring. Was easy way out & put blame on someone else. Not always easy to look in the mirror. Decided to stay, take accountability & fight some adversity – not only led to an AA season but changed my ENTIRE life 🖤💛 https://t.co/rNnNjQcdlU
— Maddy (@m_williamz12) May 14, 2020
On the Future of College Basketball
Painter referenced the challenges social media poses to the modern player and how he doesn’t understand why players take stock in the opinions of strangers they don’t know. Despite all the changes to college and high school basketball, Painter noted that the skill level needed to play in the NBA doesn’t.
“These guys are like ‘hey, I wanna be a pro’,” Painter said. “Great, way to go, so you’re gonna knock somebody out of the (Indiana) Pacers’ rotation? Who? What’s their name? They don’t get the picture of how good you gotta be and how much work you have to put in.
“These guys are like, ‘hey I wanna be a pro’. I’m like, ‘why don’t we be all-conference in college first?” Painter continued. “Why don’t we try that out? So you’ll get guys that average four, six, nine or 10 points and say, ‘coach, I want you to develop me into a pro.’ Well, why don’t you work like a pro?”
Painter also said the increase in outside distractions has made it harder for players to attain that level of success.
On the 2020-21 Boilermakers
When asked out the center position, Painter said Trevion Williams had beat our Matt Haarms for the starting spot. The only other roster news was given in the way he discussed what each of the new recruits can bring to the table.
He said that Ethan Morton was the best passer he had ever recruited. Painter said he expects Brandon Ivey to be a fantastic player for Purdue. He said that Zach Edey was a raw talent, but noted that he had only been playing basketball for a few years and expects big things from him.
Nojel Eastern Commits to Michigan
Former Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Nojel Eastern, announced his intent to transfer from Purdue this week and just a day later, he has committed to Michigan.
— Nojel Eastern (@NEblessed_20) May 14, 2020
Interestingly, Michigan still has not recognized his commitment and former teammates Aaron Wheeler and Eric Hunter have both poked fun at Nojel. Also, of note, Nojel will have to sit a year as he never graduated from Purdue. Nojel will likely be eligible for the 2021-22 season.