You are looking live at Purdue Coach Matt Painter, dispatched to the treadmill 90 minutes before Saturday’s game. Perish the thought if his Boilermakers beat WVU today and Bob Huggins has to do something about it.
Never been here before, but I’ve heard things. Namely, when it’s a good good Purdue team, or a good opponent, or a nationally televised affair, this is a really tough place to play. Da’Sean Butler has told us before that the crowd here for the the 2010 game, which was a Final Four team, mind you, was the best and most disruptive he could remember. I remembered him pointing out the odd configuration as soon as I got a look at the angular place today.
Look how close to the floor the stands are. There’s not a lot of room behind the baskets before a wall rises and takes you to two sections of students that serve as shooting backdrops. The sidelines aren’t as close and they have some VIP seating there in comfy chairs, but it just feels very tight and close in here, which is the opposite of Wednesday’s surroundings.
And the students? Inventive types! Check the Paint Crew Gameday Sheet — page one and page two. As your boy Frank Giardina points out, the Paint Crew, an homage to Matt Painter, followed the Gene Pool, an homage to Gene Keady.
Then again, the whole place is kind of compact. I mean, they park you in the football stadium, which is like 90 feet from the Mackey Arena.
All aboard …