March 23rd, 2017. The talented Purdue team led by star Caleb Swanigan had found themselves in the sweet 16. They were just 2 wins away from a Final Four appearance but unfortunately for them, Kansas stood in their way. The Boilermakers were embarrassed by the Jayhawks, 98-66, and their season had come to an abrupt end. Fast forward to early November. Swanigan is now gone and coach Matt Painter now had a tough job ahead of him to lead his team back from such a dominating loss just a year ago and the loss of a star. Purdue did have a good recruiting class coming into the season, but were not thought highly of by the national media. They were left out of the top 15 in the preseason top 25 rankings and most projected them to finish on the outside looking in regarding the Big Ten. Often in sports, when a team gets disrespected and undervalued by critics they rally together and play their best just to prove their haters wrong and to shut them up. That is exactly what Purdue has done to start their season. The Purdue Boilermakers have a 17-2 record, have won 14 games in a row and have found themselves ranked 3rd in the national polls. Prudue is led by a combo of talented ball players who have the same last name but come from two different states and two different stories. Sophomore Carsen Edwards is averaging 17 points per contest as well as his ability to light it from beyond the ark and has been a bright spot to this Boilermaker team this year and has been a nice compliment to the senior leader of the team, Vincent Edwards. Edwards is a senior forward who is slowly starting to show America that he is one of the best forwards in the country. He is averaging 14 points a game to begin the season and has also brought down 8 boards per matchup. Purdue also has a Senior C in Isaac Haas who causes havoc down low and is a nightmare for post defenders on the opposing team. So yeah, I think Painter did a nice job of responding to that deep dark day on March 23rd.
The question now becomes, what is next for this Purdue team and how far can they go this season? They are currently tied with Ohio State in the Big Ten with a 7-0 record in conference, but have not yet faced the thick of their conference schedule. Purdue’s toughest point in the season will come in early February where they will host OSU on Feb. 7 followed by a road trip to East Lansing that Saturday to face the 9th ranked and heavily talented Michigan State Spartans. Write this down because it will be a hot take to end this blog. If they win those two games on Feb. 7 and Feb. 10 Purdue will go on to win the Big 10 regular season tittle, the Big 10 tournament and the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! HOP ON THE BOILERMAKER TRAIN FOLKS BECAUSE IT IS LEAVING THE STATION ALL THE WAY TO SAN ANTONIO TO CUT THE NETS.