Monday, April 30, 2012

Where Are They Now - Korey Spates

The five months between Basketball and Football season can be kind of dull for Boilermaker fans.  Luckily for you, we're here to quench your thirst of all things Purdue by looking back at (and following up with) one of the worst teams in Purdue history - the 2005-2006 Men's Basketball team.

Past Where Are They Now Posts:
Part 1 - Matt Kiefer
Part 2 - Nate Minnoy
Kirk has become an internet star and has amazingly secured a guest post at Purdue blogging legend, Boiled Sports!  The guys over there were forced to gracious enough to be the exclusive host to Part 3 of the "Where Are They Now" series, and if you thought the Nate Minnoy edition was riveting, you won't want to miss Korey Spates' wild ride after his stint at Purdue!

So head on over to Boiled Sports for Part 3 of the "Where Are They Now - Worst Year Ever" series, then head back over here as we entertain you all summer long at the worst-named Purdue blog on the web!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thoughts on Purdue's new logo

The Purdue community is all astir regarding the new Nike-designed logo.  Here at GoBoilers, we like to think ourselves a bit more laid back and open to change.  Sure, we may be fanatics who have a heart attack during a football game, scream at the refs on our TV during a basketball game, or fly off the handle when someone puts our alma mater down, but we also are calm enough to recognize the business of sports and that things change.  Change is hard, especially if it involves something you're passionate about or you feel isn't up to snuff.  Recent examples include the defunct Purdue Pete revamp (which we, along with most, hated) and the Makers All campaign (which I also wasn't a fan of at first, although it grew on me a bit).

Back to the new logo.  Sure, it's about Nike being able to make Purdue apparel more easily, consistent, and cost effective, but that's the norm in the business of college athletics.  Do we think it's an improvement?  Certainly not, but is it a travesty that made our eyes bleed?  Nah.

While the new logo lacks some punch and color of the old logo, there are actually some things we like:

  • Even though the gold color is a different hue, the consistency of "Purdue" in one color is easier on the eye and still packs a punch
  • I'm a fan of symmetry and in no way think the smoke looks like this guy
  • To me, the train doesn't look stationary any more than the old logo, and to the onlooker, it looks like we're ready to run you over, instead of run right by you.  Maybe this will strike fear into our opponents? (read with heavy sarcasm)
I will miss the "P" that sat so perfectly in the center of the engine, but that's my only real dislike of the logo.  Give it time, and you won't mind seeing it on your apparel (and apparently they'll still make some stuff with the older logo for those of you who need to cling to it).

Friday, April 20, 2012

When is a cupcake not a cupcake?

Last week, I read a Yahoo Sports article about next year's college football schedule, highlighting the worst FBS vs. FCS games in the 2012 season.  I mainly read this article to get a good understanding of how the awful ACC keeps ending up with more than 2 bowl-eligible teams year after year (Surprise! 4 of the 12 games involve ACC teams this year).

Anyway, hidden in the article was a Purdue mention...
For the most part, Big Six teams don't want anything to do with top-level FCS programs. There are some exceptions, among them ... Eastern Kentucky at Purdue on Sept. 1.
Wait, what??? Surely, we just scheduled Eastern Kentucky so they could get a big payday as a thank you for grooming Danny Hope, right?  After looking at it a little closer, I was wrong.  I am truly frightened by this team...

Facts about Eastern Kentucky:
- Last year, they lost 10-7 at Kansas State.  KSU scored a touchdown with under 2 minutes left to win the game.  This is the SAME Kansas State team that finished 10-2 in the regular season.
- EKU finished 21st in the FCS polls, even though they lost in the first round of the playoffs.
- They return 8 first-team all-conference players (I know it's the Ohio Valley Conference, but how many teams have that many returning first-teamers on it, regardless of conference?)
- Their top QB, RB, and WR are all returning.  Returning RB, Matt Denham, was third in the FCS in rushing yards per game, while WR, Tyrone Goard, had 11 TD receptions.
- Eastern Kentucky's campus is located on the former spot of Central University. and is actually a 4 hour drive to the most Eastern point of Kentucky.  Perhaps they should have stuck with the Central name.

Yes, football season's over 4 months away, but with Notre Dame lurking in week 2, let's hope Purdue doesn't look past a very dangerous FCS team.  This game's going  down to the wire, and when it does, your friends who were super pissed at you for talking about how good Eastern Kentucky was all summer are going to reluctantly say "You were right!".  And isn't getting your friends to say that magical phrase pretty much the sole reason you spend hours upon hours reading game previews?   It's alright, you don't have to give credit.  Just knowing that you're thinking about us is all the satisfaction we need.
I like cupcakes.  I don't think I'm going to like EKU.

Stay tuned for more coverage including: 
- A dissertation on The Meaning of John Hart
- The Football Spring Game Recap written solely from watching it on BTN (aka. a replay of the 2011 Purdue-OSU game)
- Part 3 of the epic, entertaining, and heart-wrenching Where Are They Now series

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where Are They Now - Nate Minnoy

The five months between Basketball and Football season can be kind of dull for Boilermaker fans.  Luckily for you, we're here to quench your thirst of all things Purdue by looking back at (and following up with) one of the worst teams in Purdue history - the 2005-2006 Men's Basketball team.

Past Where Are They Now Posts:
Part 1 - Matt Kiefer


Quick!  Name the last four Purdue players to average 10 points or more in their Freshman year.
Amazingly, Purdue’s recent rise back into the national spotlight that began in the Fall of 2006 has only produced 2 double-digit scoring freshmen.   You would have to go all the way back to that awful 2005-2006 season to find the other 2 players (read on to find out who they are!). 

With 2 freshmen among the top scorers, one would think that the stretch of NCAA Tournament runs began with this high-scoring Freshman class.  Instead, neither player would be seen in a Purdue uniform again.

Our Where Are They Now – the ’05-’06 Worst Year Ever Edition feature continues with Nate Minnoy...

Nate Minnoy was one of the highest ranked recruits to come Purdue in the past decade, and his bright future was never more evident than when he dropped 25 points in a 82-75 win over Wofford  in his and Matt Painter’s Purdue debuts (Bonus for clicking on the link: check out the scoreboard at the top of the page as Number 5 Michigan State lost to Hawaii by 22 points that day!  Needless to say, the national press was not talking much about Purdue’s opener that night).

Minnoy would never score more than 15 points in a Purdue uniform again, but was averaging a respectable 10.2 points per game as he faced Northwestern in his Big Ten debut.  Playing in front of friends and family (he graduated from Hales Franciscan High School in Chicago), Nate tore his MCL  and became the fourth Boilermaker starter to be out for the season.

Still, hopes were high for the freshman’s career, as a possible 2006-2007 starting lineup of David Teague, Carl Landry, Terrance Crump, Nate Minnoy, and Marcus White was going to be a tough team to face with a full recovery from Minnoy.  Unfortunately, Nate had some other issues, as can be seen in this MTV Nike Battlegrounds video from 2005, in which Tim Hardaway and Lebron James (!) both mention how Minnoy’s ego might lead to his downfall.

In the video, Nate says, “Basketball’s my ticket to get rich in the NBA or get a college degree.”  Unfortunately, basketball never directly led to either of these things.  Nate abruptly chose to leave Purdue two months before the start of the season.  This stunned everyone in the program, as Minnoy had already been published as part of the year’s promotional materials.  However, this was only the beginning of the tumultuous timeline of Nate Minnoy:

Minnoy (55) at Schoolcraft Community College
  • September 2006: Nate officially transfers to Schoolcraft Community College in Livonia, MI (Spoiler Alert: this is not the last time we’re going to hear about Schoolcraft in this series!) 
  •  2006-2007 Season: Nate becomes eligible to play for the Ocelots in January, and leads the Ocelots with 22 points and 11 rebounds per game.  Schoolcraft goes 14-6 after Minnoy joins the team, but loses to the eventual NJCAA National Champion, Mott Community College, 3 times in those 20 games (oops, meant this link).
    Minnoy (22) at Central Michigan
  • March 2007: Minnoy transfers to Central Michigan.
  •  2007-2008 Season:  Minnoy averages 8.8 points per game for the Chippewas, but his minutes diminish as the season wears on, and we know from the video above how Minnoy gets when his minutes are diminished!  Nate was suspended prior to the MAC tournament for disciplinary reasons  and he would never play another Division 1 basketball game.
  • June 2008: Minnoy transfers to Lee University, an NAIA school in Cleveland, TN.
    Minnoy at Lee University
  • 2008-2009 Season: Nate averages 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 17 games for the Flames.    Nate can’t make it through THAT season either, as he left the team midseason.  Little can be found on the reasons why he left, but a message board post from a Lee fan  declared that he had “some real issues and was gone from the team before the season was over”.
This is where the timeline gets a little hazy.  What happened to the guy selected as third-team ALL-DECADE for Illinois High School basketball? 
Well, Nate eventually headed back to Central Michigan to study communications, presumably on his own dime.  According to his twitter and facebook accounts, Nate is still at Central Michigan, although it is unclear if he is still a student.  If he is still a student, let’s hope his first real-world job involves tweeting, as he averages nearly 50 tweets a day!

Basketball-wise, Nate appears to be playing in pick-up games at the school’s recreation center and is the coach of the Central Michigan “club” basketball team.  Once a Boilermaker, always a Boilermaker though: just yesterday, Nate tweeted, “Sprained PCL is wat the trainer say... torn acl n my right knee ... #CantWin”.

Off the court, Nate has a young son and tweets about him all the time.  He’s also gotten into some trouble with the law.  Last year he was charged with driving with a suspended license and according to his twitter account, this month he took a “plea deal” for an unspecified court appearance.

Nate Minnoy’s career peaked during high school, as college injuries, disciplinary issues, and an oversized ego led to one of the rarest “feats” in basketball – playing for 4 different universities in his 4-year college career.  While a basketball future isn’t likely in the cards for Mr. Minnoy, he is still affiliated with Central Michigan and will hopefully be getting his life back on track in the near future.

By the way, did you come up with the 4 Freshmen who have most recently averaged double-digit points?  The two most recent are Robbie Hummel and E’Twaun Moore (JaJuan Johnson didn’t average double digits in his freshman year).  Nate Minnoy was the third and is joined on this list by a teammate from the 2005-2006 season.  Stay tuned for a future “Where Are They Now” to find out who it is!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Great read on Robbie

Nice to see Robbie getting some high praise in the Washington Post!  Maybe the Celtics draft him, too?

Where's The Love?

Our first several posts have mainly focused on Purdue basketball and we've even touched a bit on Purdue baseball, but where's the love for the football team? 

Part of the reason there's not a lot of football news here is that Coach Hope has closed off spring workouts to outside reporters while the Boilers install a new defense.  This almost got me in trouble with my boss as I had originally faked tennis elbow surgery for the first weekend of March Madness and was expecting to do live coverage from the football practices during my "recovery".  When I returned to work 3 weeks early, I had to explain how they had quoted me the "old" tennis elbow surgery recovery time and that this "new" surgery restored full range of motion within a few days.  Where I WILL get in trouble is when I actually need tennis elbow surgery and have to come up with a reason why the recovery time isn't a matter of days after all.  Hopefully that will be in March.

Anyway, since we can't provide first-hand coverage, make sure to check out today's excellent post regarding the football team's chances next year - it's guaranteed to get you pumped up for the upcoming Spring Game this Saturday!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Purdue baseball? Hello, nice to meet you!

While it's fair to consider Erik and I huge fans of baseball, we really never paid too much attention to the college game.  Since our major league loyalties rest with franchises that befit our Purdue pride - tortured, unlucky souls branded Cubs and Indians - we didn't have much space in our hearts or brains.  That's a lie.  We really didn't follow Purdue baseball because a) we never went to games, b) the colder climate of the Big Ten isn't usually college baseball nirvana, and c) no one else was talking about it (we don't need more things making us outliers, do we?).

Fortunately, that has changed in two big ways.  First, the Purdue baseball team is outstanding!  Ranked anywhere from 16-22 (depending what you read), the team boasts some serious talent.  Recent graduate Josh Lindblom is playing in the big leagues, and the team has two former all-conference selections, catcher Kevin Plawecki and pitcher Nick Wittgren.  Pitcher Lance Breedlove has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week three times already this season!

Second, lots of people are paying attention.  You can read regular reports from serious journalists now to stay up to date.  I don't anticipate we'll have much to say about the baseball season until the Boilers are rocking Omaha, but it's great to know that Purdue is fielding highly competitive teams in major sports that are too frequently overlooked.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A great "leader" comes to Purdue

When I think Stephen A. Smith, I think of a true leader, don't you?  Someone at Purdue must as the Boilermakers are hosting Smith for a keynote speech on April 13th entitled "The Road to Great Leadership."

The most telling quote from the article: "Smith is a veteran sports journalist whose career has allowed him to get to know leaders up close." So that's all it takes nowadays to speak about leadership: you know some people that are leaders. Nice.

Act fast, tickets are only $5.  Maybe you can enjoy some cheese doodles while he pontificates.

2012-2013 Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings

I understand the constant obsession with reading stories, analysis, and prognostications about sports.  Heck, it's why we started this blog, to have yet another place where you can get your fix of offbeat Purdue updates.

Therefore, I can't argue with the "why" of posting basketball projections less than one week after the season ends like folks have already done over and over - writers need topics and people love looking ahead, dreaming and scheming.  But what I can complain about is people getting all up in arms over these rankings, especially when it's not related to your own team.

Sure, it's natural to feel slighted when your team isn't viewed by the "professionals" as well as you'd expect, and to get giddy when your team is generating top-level buzz so many months prior to the first game.  Let those feelings last a few minutes, and then move on. Players may leave for the NBA or get injured, team chemistry can change, coaches can be lured away for better gigs, and the world can end on December 21.  It's not that hard to tell which teams are most likely going to be good and which teams aren't, but any effort to rank them right now is a waste of time.  You're probably assuming that I'm implying this due to the current basketball landscape, but rest assured this issue was just as frustrating even when Purdue was receiving media love prior to the 2010-2011 season.  A lot can change.

The only way to stop the early-April Madness is to stop caring.  Stop commenting on these posts, giving them page views (check out my links above that you thought were rankings), and wasting your time and energy debating the rankings to death.  Just stop.

I'm reminded of a quote from that famous hit of the 90's, The Critic: "It’s very simple: if you stop going to bad movies, they’ll stop making bad movies." If you stop caring about the most inane ultra-preseason rankings, maybe, just maybe, they'll go away.

So on that note, here are my 2012-2013 Big Ten Basketball season predictions!  Did you expect I'd take the high road? If other people can make rankings based on assumptions of what will and won't happen this off-season, mine are just as valid.

12. Nebraska

Famed athletic director, Tom Osborne, decides to pay attention to sports not named "football," and after hiring new coach Tim Miles, he lobbies the NCAA to make every other team's upperclassmen ruled ineligible so that his Huskers can have a "fresh start."  The Children of the Corn still lose every road game by more than twelve points.

11. Minnesota

Tubby Smith lives up to his nickname and gains 400 pounds in the off-season, making it impossible to leave his couch and coach the Gophers.  His son takes over, and as everyone expects, fails miserably.

10. Penn State

The Nittany Lions are exhausted after being forced to also play on the gridiron after half of the football team transfers.  Tim Frazier still builds off of his great junior season to lead the team in points, assists, and blocked field goals and gives the university something to be proud of, despite the losing record.

9. Michigan

The free-fall starts when Trey Burke leaves for the NBA.  Then, Glenn Robinson and Tim Hardaway both are suspended from the team when they brawl over whose father was better in the NBA.  The suspension only happens because the fight is caught on camera and injures 16 bystanders.  Also, Mitch McGary has academic "issues" and is ruled ineligible.

8. Northwestern

The team leads the league in turnovers after repeatedly passing to the ghost of John Shurna, who is still alive, although playing basketball in the wastelands of Eastern Europe.  The Wildcats again disappoint on their way to missing the NCAA tournament, but Cobb and Crawford have solid seasons.  Freshman and recipient of many "best name" awards, Sanjay Lumpkin, wins Big Ten Freshman of the Year in a shocker.

7. Iowa

Aaron White, representing highly underrated Strongsville, Ohio, has a fantastic year, and the team really gels with their large freshman class.  The team narrowly makes the NCAA tournament and rides a string of upsets to the Sweet Sixteen.  Fran McCaffery resigns at the end of the season to take a more lucrative job coaching women's basketball at Northern Iowa, stating "We've peaked!" on his way out.

6. Ohio State

While the Buckeyes are used to losing raw uncoordinated big men to the NBA, they can't fully recover when Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger depart early (with graduating senior William Buford) to be grossly overpaid in the NBA.  Aaron Craft's winsome smile helps endear the team to the referees allowing the Buckeyes to average 25 free throws per contest, but without strong leadership the team under performs despite great talent.  It is later discovered that during a 7-game stint of conference play, Thad Matta is replaced with actor Gene Hackman and nobody notices.  The team goes undefeated during Hackman's tenure, making the NCAA tournament but failing to make the Sweet Sixteen after a narrow loss to South Florida.

5. Indiana

Cody Zeller shocks Notre Dame football fans statewide when he announces his intention to enter the NBA Draft, wisely realizing that his stock will never be higher after a depressing dinner with his brother, Tyler, who is heard muttering, "Stay in school, they say.  Win a national title, they say. Jackasses!"  Tyler is later drafted 22 spots behind Cody.  Christian Watford, realizing the Hoosiers are his team again, shoots an atrocious 33% on the year and is often seen bickering with the more talented freshman, Hanner Perea.  Jordan "Jordy" Hulls is unwilling to take a backup role to Freshman point guard Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, arguing that he was there first and his nickname is "way cooler."  Tom Crean is hospitalized during the Big Ten Tournament and unable to coach the Hoosiers in the NCAA Tournament after clapping so hard the skin peels off of his hands.  Under assistant coach Tim Buckley, the team's play improves, leading them to the Sweet Sixteen where they once again lose to Kentucky, albeit a roster of completely different freshmen.  After the final game, a drunken Derek Elston is arrested for repeatedly trying to trip a police officer.

4. Wisconsin

Tide goes in, tide goes out.  Never a miscommunication.  Wisconsin finishes in the top four in conference play, led by a cadre of indistinguishable white goofballs.  You can't explain that. 

3. Illinois

Under new coach John Croce, Illinois experiences a renaissance.  Meyers Leonard's departure to the NBA makes everyone on the team happy, and DJ Richardson and Brandon Paul lead the Big Ten in shots taken, and surprisingly, shots made.  Playing most games with a 5-guard lineup, the Illini tear through the season but eventually lose to Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen after Bill Self reminds Illinois who's in charge.

2. Michigan State

Tom Izzo does it again.  Big man Adreian Payne dominates inside and is named first-team All Big Ten, and Derrick Nix showcases a new-found work ethic and slimmed down physique after kicking his weed habit. Sophomore Branden Dawson and Freshman Gary Harris have amazing seasons but wither under the hatred of the Paint Crew during their match-up in the Big Ten Tournament. In March, Michigan State returns to the Final Four, where they lose in a close game with Butler.

1. Purdue

C'mon, if I was going to make this as ridiculous as possible, of course that means the Boilermakers win and hang a banner.  I can't even bring myself to explain how this might happen, but that's how ridiculous off-season rankings can be. Just stop.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Where are they now?

Since basketball season has come to a close, we have a lot of time to kill until our days are filled with discussions of Coach Hope, mustaches, and the logistics of playing three quarterbacks in one game.  We want to start this blog off right with something informative, humorous, and depressing all at the same time (which should be pretty standard emotions for all Purdue fans) so we bring you...

Where Are They Now? - The Worst Year Ever Edition

Sometimes it helps you appreciate where you are by looking at where you aren't.  During Matt Painter's first season as head coach in 2005-2006, he was left with a mediocre team at best, and a hodgepodge of misfits at worst.  Add in season-long injury red-shirts to the team's two best players (Carl Landry and David Teague, I still love you!), and Painter was left with a squad of guys who would have failed the Wonderlic test or who tried their darnedest but just weren't that good at playing basketball.

Now, it's not really fair to call the 2005-2006 season the worst year ever statistically, since Purdue actually had a slightly worse record the previous season, the final one under Gene Keady, going 7-21 and 3-13 in conference play.  Despite winning two more non-conference games and finishing just as putrid in Big Ten play, at least the 05-06 team didn't place 11th in conference (thanks Penn State).  Also, I'm sure there were some awful teams prior to Keady's reign began in 1981, but I wasn't alive, so it doesn't count.

To start off our walk down traumatizing memory lane, let's begin with the team's leading scorer, Matt "I'd rather be doing my engineering homework" Kiefer.

You kind of feel bad for the guy that his senior season went down the way it did, having to serve as your team's main offensive threat due to injury when you'd rather have cleaned up misses around the rim and played hard-nosed defense against more skilled big men in the league.  But like the frequent tragedy of Purdue athletics, his luck sucked.

Instead, Kiefer averaged a team-high 12 points per game (ouch!), led the team in steals (27), blocks (30), and rebounds (209), while also dishing out the second-most assists (49).  No other player even had 100 rebounds all season.  This man could do it all (because no one else was good enough to do much of anything else)!

So where is he now?  After graduating with an impressive degree in Chemical Engineering, Kiefer floated around the Euro leagues, most notably in Germany and Spain.  He must have really enjoyed some paella, as he played for five different Spanish league teams until 2010 when he mysteriously quit (I can't speak Google Translatorese).

Now Kiefer is an engineering consultant with a pharmaceutical firm in Chicago.  You should totally thank him for his years as a Boilermaker by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

One thing Kiefer was always great at: making scary faces!  That's probably why he switched teams so frequently in Spain - the villagers chased him out of town with pitchforks and torches.

We tease because we love.  Here's a hearty "Boiler Up!" to Matt Kiefer for actually being an exemplary student athlete and the best player on the worst team ever!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Let's get this train rollin'

We here at have been in meetings for nearly 2 years to determine the perfect time to start our new blog.  At the time, there were only a couple of reputable Purdue blogs out there, and we figured we could add some perspective as alumni who watch every single second of every single football and men's basketball game (except for that damn wedding where a distant relative thought it would be fun to tell me the score of the taped Purdue/Oregon game). 

Over those 2 years, we saw some of the most exciting and aggravating games, and through it all, Kirk and I sent over 100 emails to each other ranting, celebrating, and coming up with statistics to prove to each other why we should still be optimistic about this current team.  Don't ask why we didn't just post those here.  That would have been a lot easier.  We also saw approximately 78 new Purdue blogs pop up over that time.

So, the market's saturated, a basketball era just ended, and we've got 5 months until football season - might as well start this sucker up! 

We're not here to replace any blog that's currently out there - we're here to provide you with an extra post or two per week for you to read on your Kindle Fire when you run out of Purdue stuff to read while taking a dump.  We'll be entertaining, we'll be humorous, and we'll use actual statistics to prove our points!

We already have some great ideas lined up for the summer, so stay tuned for the premiere of!