Matt Painter Explains What Holds November College Hoops Back

matt painter

Tonight sees the B1G-ACC Challenge begin earnest following two appetizer games last night. Coach Matt Painter and his #15 ranked Purdue Boilermakers travel to the (it pains me to even type a venue name THIS STUPID) KFC Yum! Center (seriously, who puts an exclamation point in the official name of their arena?) to take on the #14 Louisville Cardinals.

The Challenge, which began in 1999, was a fore-runner to a series of events implemented in recent years that attempt to stimulate more interest in pre-conference college basketball. As any veteran sportswriter with even a basic sense of honesty and candor will tell you, November and December college hoops just don’t move the needle most of the time.

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Caleb Swanigan Looking Like Wooden Award Front-Runner Early On


Caleb Swanigan plays his home games in a venue addressed 900 John Wooden Drive. Depending on what entrance to Mackey Arena he takes that day, he might pass by a John Wooden statue. Thus it’s only fitting that the man nicknamed “Biggie” could also take home the Wooden Award this April.

The Wooden and the Naismith awards are the two honors going to the nation’s best overall college basketball player. The onlyh major difference between the two “Hoops Heisman Trophies” is who votes on them.

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#4 Villanova Basketball vs #15 Purdue Boilermakers Game Preview

villanova big east

It’s not just the headliner of the 2016 Gavitt Tip-Off Games, it’s also about as good as November college basketball can really get this side of the Champions Classic. The fourth ranked, defending champion Villanova basketball team heads to West Lafayette Monday night to take on the fifteenth ranked Purdue Boilermakers.

For an early November contest, it doesn’t get more exciting and interesting than this. Let’s preview!


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Northwestern Football: Game Preview vs Purdue Boilermakers


Northwestern football  needs to win two of their last three to go bowling. Luckily, two of their last three are against the B1G’s soft underbelly in the West division, so it can still all work out for them.

Despite the atrocious first month of the season, there’s plenty left to accomplish in 2016, and make this a decent season.  2016 Northwestern football is 2-1 on the road this season, 2-3 at home. While their two (arguably) best performances have come away from Ryan Field, their two worst outings have definitely come at home. Their dominant win to spoil Michigan State’s Homecoming seemed somewhat impressive at the time, but that W has certainly not aged well.

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Purdue Basketball: Guard Play Unimpressive to Jay Bilas

purdue basketball

The No. 15-ranked Purdue basketball team opens its 119th season Friday night when they host McNeese State visits Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers have their highest preseason ranking since being ranked 14th in the 2010-11 poll. The Boilermakers return three starters and eight letter winners from last year’s team that posted a 26-9 record and was ranked in the nation’s top 25 all year long.

Purdue basketball has lost two excellent players and elite defenders from last year’s team in A.J. Hammons and Rapheal Davis.

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B1G Basketball Power Rankings: Every Team as a Past or Present Presidential Candidate

hillary clinton

It’s November 8th B1G basketball fans! Huzzah, if you’re reading this it means that we actually made it through the strangest, ugliest and most low brow election cycle in the history of our glorious democracy. Election Day fell on the latest possible day that it possibly could, and that’s unfortunate, given how one poll showed that 13% of respondents preferred a meteor hitting the Earth to Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump.

Hey, it’s all over tomorrow and then we can all move on to other past times like college hoops, which tips off its season on Friday.

Viva la Revolucion!

american-flag-star spangled banner

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Donald Trump Made Awkward Gene Keady Reference in Stump Speech


(Editor’s note: as we head into the final hours preceding the U.S. Presidential Election, we revisit and republish some of the sports and pop culture stories we ran in 2016 relating to the electoral process) 

Speaking in Cleveland today, Donald Trump covered a litany of topics, first and foremost his much discussed and hyper analyzed Republican National Convention Acceptance speech from last night. Trump then shifted gears to his notorious feud with Texas Senator Ted Cruz before discussing his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

The Republican nominee then described why he loves the state of Indiana and this included mentioning a cadre of coaches with elite won-loss records.

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Darrell Hazell Fired by Purdue Boilermakers


Numerous sources are reporting that Purdue University has dismissed Head Football Coach Darrell Hazell.

Hammer and Rails, the Purdue community on SB Nation have collected links to a few of the sources that are reporting the dismissal ahead of any statement from the school. As of now, the university has still not sent out confirmation of Hazell’s termination. So if and when they do, they’ll be a day late and a buck short.

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Illini Football Game Preview: vs Purdue Boilermakers


What a difference a week or two can make for the mood Illini football fans. The season began with ebullient enthusiasm. As opening day approached, and with a 52-3 favorable result over Kent State, the mood was like listening to Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September.” (or the Phats & Small September ’99 remix for my younger readers).

After a thorough demolishing at the hands of MAC foe Western Michigan in week three, the mood then became more Green Day “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”

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Darrell Hazell, Purdue Players Big Ten Media Day Audio (1 on 1s)


Purdue Boilermakers Head Coach Darrell Hazell was the second Head Coach to speak at the podium for Big Ten Media Days this week, and his remarks brimmed with optimism. They were the type of remarks that you would expect a head coach to make on dais, during a media session broadcast live on BTN.

Hazell, as well as the rest of the coaches, don’t really answer the media questions as much as they utilize the platform to get their program’s messages across. It’s the college football equivalent of a political stump speech, with reporter questions loosely serving as a tie-in to the talking points each coach wants to communicate.

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All B1G Teams as Simpsons characters: Michigan Wolverines =Mr. Burns


Today kicks off B1G Media Days and your Michigan Wolverines are now deemed the league favorite. Actually, some sports books have ascribed UM the National Championship favorite. Ok, that’s a bit presumptive! Yes, we know that the media fawns over Jim Harbaugh more than they fawn over any other individual, but I still don’t know how we really got here on that one.

Of course, I also have no idea how a casino magnate with three wives and a disturbing tendency to publicly lust over his own daughter became the Presidential nominee of the political party dominated by the religious right, as 2016 is truly bizarro world.

How did we get here? The last time the Michigan Wolverines were last nationally relevant in 2006 and their most recent title came in 1997.

michigan wolverines basketball

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College Football Award Watch Lists: Just Please Stop Already!

college football

Yesterday kicked off, as the great Elvis Costello sang, “the other side of summer.” That’s because Tuesday July 5th initiated the evil scourge that is College Football Award Watch List Season. These pointless press releases are sent out as breaking “news.”

Not only does the journalist receive the email blasts from the award and college football organization themselves, every single school sends out their own individual email blast themselves. Now you cannot blame the SIDs for this. It’s not their fault and don’t shoot the messenger.

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