GoldandBlack.com’s Three Thoughts from the Weekend column runs every Monday morning, with analysis of Purdue football, Boilermaker men’s basketball, recruiting or whatever else comes to mind. In this week’s edition, transfer-system issues, Purdue hoops and more.
ON THE TRANSFER LANDSCAPE
For as much as the one-time transfer allowance has changed college sports, how long can this remain a one-time transfer allowance? As I wrote Wednesday, the NCAA rarely says the word no when it comes to eligibility petitions, and now events like what you’ve seen under new coaches at Colorado, Purdue and other places where coaching changes have occurred are telling you exactly what the future looks like, how every year there are going to be these purges of players new staffs just don’t want.
There once was a run-off waiver, where a player could petition to play right away elsewhere if the prior coach signed off on it. I don’t see how that’s not part of the future here, or else you’re going to have players essentially forced to give up their silver transfer bullet so if they want to transfer again later in their careers, it’s petition time. And there ain’t no party like an NCAA eligibility waiver party.
I want to add that the shotgun nature of these transfer recruitments are going to lead to scores of bad fits and gobs of buyer’s remorse, so this second-transfer topic is the next frontier of complexity for these sports to navigate.
Purdue basketball (Photo: Chad Krockover)
So, hypothetically, let’s say that Zach Edey comes back for another season at Purdue and things line up for the Boilermakers in a way that reminds that last season wasn’t Purdue’s year, but rather this one is. If Edey comes back, Purdue will be preseason top five easily, though it’s season will be defined by the NCAA Tournament. No way around it.
Does preseason acclaim matter? Maybe, maybe not.
Here’s my random April view: Purdue has not always carried itself like the baddest man on the block when it’s been ranked accordingly. If anything needs to change moving forward — and that lies in the eye of the beholder — then that may be it, and it lies with the fire in the bellies of these guys coming back.
It’s OK to believe you’re better than everyone else when more often than not you are. When it’s come down to these NCAA Tournament losses, that confidence has not been evident.
If you get Edey back, maybe the key for Purdue is not ignoring its own hype, but believing it. In a productive manner, I mean.
Ryan Walters at Purdue’s practice on April 15, 2023. (Chad Krockover @KrockPhoto)
ON ROSTER BALANCE
Purdue football did not recruit at the highest level the past few seasons under Jeff Brohm. That in mind, it was a funny contradiction how Purdue had so many veterans move to the NFL the same weekend that so many younger players attended a red wedding in West Lafayette. You’ll know what you need to know based off how many of this weekend’s portal entries get recruited by Louisville.
Anyway, the release-and-replace game for Purdue will be a tricky own. You might look at just numbers and experience right now and hope that Ryan Walters and Co. can convince opponents to count to five Mississippi before rushing Hudson Card. You might look at running back at, again, see Devin Mockobee and few other carbon-based lifeforms. Who’s Card’s backup?
The mad scramble to fill out — and in the best-case scenario, upgrade — this roster is going to leave some gaps. From a Jimmys-and-Joes perspective, that may be more consequential come fall than the Xs-and-Os.
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