Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Purdue Basketball: Enormous Expectations

The preseason prognostications are largely in. Check out a few here, here, and here.

Coach Matt Painter has reiterated that these predictions don't hold much water, and the boys at BoiledSports have pointed out yet again that these preseason accolades are nice to look at but not much more than that. We've yet to play a game.

Still, the informed electorate fanbase is ready to lay their hopes on the line and put some concrete, measurable goals out in the open before the Florida Southern tip. Where to begin though?

I think the expectations shake out like this in order from reasonable to dreamy
  • Winning season
  • Beat Duke
  • Beating the 3 I's: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana (Coach Keady's old seasonal goal*)
  • Winning the pre-season NIT
  • NCAA Tournament berth
  • Big Ten Tournament championship
  • Outright Big Ten title
  • Elite 8
  • Final Four
  • and while we're here, National Championship
There's so much to hope for, and honestly, I don't know where to stop my dreaming. I graduated the spring that Cardinal, Robinson, Jaraan, Carson Cunningham, Greg McQuay et al lost for the fourth third time to Wisconsin and narrowly missed the first Final Four since 1980 - the first I would remember - in Indianapolis and another date with Sparty. Even at the start of that season I didn't have the school-girl giddiness that I do this season.

There's the rub.

I know better than to buy the hype. I know better than to talk Nemanja Calasan-sized smack. I know better. Yet still, I hope.

However, against all good, past-disappointment-informed judgment, I'm drawing my line somewhere near Big Ten title and Elite 8. Let's get started.

*No real understanding why Gene was hell bent on this measure. Was he a closet grammarian enamored with assonance, or did he just like sticking it to Dr. Tom, Lou-Doo, and Bobby?


J Money said...

That was the third loss to Wisky that year. We split in the regular season, then lost in the Big Ten Tourney and in the Elite Eight. Probably Keady's best shot at a Final Four, too... despite the team not being one of his best. Wisc was an 8-seed, as I recall.

Ross McLochness said...

Duly noted. For some reason, my grief compounded the loss total to four.

boilerdowd said...

I think #13 is a pretty good place to be...I don't know if #5 or 4 is right just yet. There are a lot of talented and experienced teams nationally; My mantra, "there is much to prove" rears its head again.

Nice write up.