It’s time for the final entry in the series for spring, and it’s on coach Matt Pinter. The coach has been vocal that he is always looking to improve and we have seen that development during his time at Purdue. There is no doubt that he is a better coach now than he was in 2010, or even 2015. He has adapted his teams well based on the talent he has each year. In many years, his bands have a tremendous balance. In 2019 it was The Carson Edwards Show. He’s changed his recruiting philosophy and it has paid off in a string of strong recent results with four Sweet 16s, two Big Ten Championships, two runner-ups, and five NCAA appearances in the past six years.
But the 2021-22 season was disappointing.
It’s pretty hard to say about a year that Purdue was 29-8, achieved his first #1 overall ranking in program history, and was in the top 10 nationally for the entire season, but it’s a year where a lot was left on the table. Purdue lost the Big Ten Championship because he lost four conference matches in the last second picks. He lost to the 15th seed in the NCAA Championship by three points. It’s been a year where expectations have been very high, and for good reason, but he ultimately ended up frustrated as this team was painfully close to meeting said expectations, all while not looking for that height for extended periods.
This team had a lot of similarities to the 2017-18 team that won 30 games. This team also finished without equipment and lost Sweet 16. Both teams lost at least a share of the Big Ten title in one game (failed box vs. Ohio State And a miracle appears in Rutgers, Straight). This team has consistently felt that they have played 10-15% above their ceiling for most of the year. No doubt they were a great team, but they have exceeded expectations for most of the season.
This year was different. On paper, this team was more talented than 2017-18, but it looks like they played 10-15% less Its ceiling is regularly high. Purdue was absolutely terrible in the first half in Indiana and for most of the second half against St. Peter. In four of the eight losses (St. Peter, Rutgers, Indiana, and at home against Wisconsin) Purdue was either tied or ahead in the game’s final media timeout. against Michigan State And in Wisconsin, in addition, he was either tied up or ahead at the last minute. against Iowa in Big Ten . Championship Purdue was one point away three minutes from the end of the game. It was five losses by three points each, and when Jaden’s Ivey three-pointer missed against St.
Purdue ended up playing 17 games he had in the last five minutes, but if he plays to his ability, he turns some of those games into more comfortable wins. If you play to their capacity, half of those losses become wins.
It looked as if Bordeaux had finishing issues, and even in a few wins it was very close. Purdue crashed and nearly lost at home to a bad Rutgers team. It took an extraordinary comeback to overcome even worse North Carolina a team. The Ohio State game was a complete meltdown of late overshadowed by three serious Ivy winners. The home game against Indiana was another survival. I realize it’s very difficult to be at night, or outside, but since Ron Harper Jr. hit that miracle in December, Purdue has never been the same.
This team was good enough to be special. He showed it early on by tackling two teams that would eventually reach the fourth final. He later showed it off in impressive wins in Iowa and Illinois, as well as breaking up the second half of Illini at West Lafayette.
It all comes down to the painter’s coach. What happened? This team had a unique balance of talent, depth and experience. It raised expectations through the roof, and when Purdue was really in the works, I don’t think anyone in America could beat it. Unfortunately, it was not fully operational after the Rutgers game.
I think the biggest blow to the painter this year has been his loyalty and lack of flexibility in his formations. It’s hard to beat, but there have been games where some players haven’t performed flat and the rotation has stayed consistent. As much as I defended him, late in the season Isaiah Thompson was an outright responsibility on defense and was struggling to attack, yet he continued to be part of the rotation. Fight against St. Purdue had no answer for “We got the awful, rare game of Jaden, now what?” When I had the talent to beat it against this opponent.
Even then, it was a strange season because in many ways Bordeaux were still in a position to succeed, but were unable to implement it. The biggest hurdle of the year, the defense, has shown improvement in the long run, but the attacking efficiency that Purdue picked up in the first half of the season eroded of late. Being a great three-point shooting team means nothing when you shoot 25% from there in a St. Peter loss, 25% against Iowa State, or 11% against Michigan State. Purdue was looking open in those games too and didn’t fall out.
How much blame can you really place on the painter if the shots don’t fall off? Purdue was less than 30% of three out of five of the eight losses: Rutgers, Michigan State, St. Peter’s, Iowa, and Michigan. You can throw away that Michigan game, because it was by far the worst loss of the season. In the other four, if Purdue simply hits her average, she wins, and likely disappears. In the end, the painter could not make the shots himself, and Bordeaux were often in good standing with good shots and they did not fall.
Where does it evolve from here? Hard to say, really. Purdue was uploaded this year. He had a depth and a higher 5 NBA draft picking or picking She had experience. was its size. He had a shooting. We couldn’t ask for a more perfect team, but they underperformed and struggled in close matches (10-7 in possession games with less than 5 minutes left). At some point this year, I said the sport’s most serious advance was Purdue, who rose seven or less in the latest media deadline. He turned out to be prescient, as losses for Rutgers, Indiana and St. Peter’s were close to mirror images of losses in Maryland and Minnesota the previous year. For whatever reason, Bordeaux was tight at those games. You can see it. While watching, you can almost hear the inner monologue “I have to be perfect and score in this play” every time.
I don’t really know what to say about the Painter Coach. There is no doubt that he is one of the best workers in this field. As for the errors I’m taking with this team, we’re probably about five plays away from having another Big Ten sign in the rafters and at least an Elite Eight appearance. He’s had players in the spotlight over and over again this year, and if Purdue had only averaged out of three, he’d likely be a 33-game winner and an Elite Eight (if not beyond).
The results speak for themselves though. For the second consecutive season, Purdue was eliminated by a mid-to-low specialization that simply strained them up and down the floor. This was the other thing I noticed this year. When things went wrong, it was because the opponent was stressing us out. There is much in common between St. Peter’s and North Texas because in the extensions of those games that Purdue was working in, it was dominant, but for the majority of the game it was operated by a lesser opponent.
Matt the painter is not going anywhere. He’s got a big leash at Purdue and it would take, at least, three losing seasons in a row for him to consider firing him. With him you know what you are going to get at this point. Purdue will be in competition in the Big Ten for a year, and a year later, making a second weekend of the NCAAs wouldn’t be a rarity. Even if we lose what we lose next season, I still expect the top half of the Big Ten and the NCAA show. The vast majority of college basketball will take it.
However, the year will be 18. He was the carefully chosen successor to Jenny Kiddie, who made it for 25 years. It’s 43 years of basketball where Purdue has been in “really good, but not elite” territory, and Mars’ record speaks for itself. The painter is now 1-5 in the Sweet 16 games, and one win was a huge crash and was very close to losing. At some point, he had to find a way to hack, which was why he was paid what he was getting paid. He won’t get as good of a chance as this year, all the way to the category before us once the tournament starts. Purdue is still in basketball purgatory for “a great team until the lights shine on.” After this season, I’m back to “if” the painter got us to the Final Four instead of “when” because if we don’t do it this year I won’t believe it could happen again until we’re already there.