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A Deep Dive Into What Makes Makes Matt Painter Special

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NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster released a full-length analysis on Matt Painter’s time in West Lafayette and the magnificent job he’s done with the Purdue program. Dauster credits Painter’s ability to adapt the team’s playing style to his personnel as well as the trends of college basketball, as a whole.

Painter has been leading the Boilermaker program since 2005 when he took over for Gene Keady. Painter has won Big Ten Coach of the Year four times (2008, ‘10, ‘11, and ‘19). In 2019, he led the Boilermakers to the Elite Eight for the first time under his control, earning himself National Coach of the Year. The one thing that has kept Purdue at the top of the Big Ten year-in and year-out is Painter’s adaptability. Dauster encapsulates this ability to change:

“In the span of seven years, Matt Painter went from running a program that played Hummel, a 6-foot-8 small forward, at the five to one that paired Caleb Swanigan with Isaac Haas to one that rode Edwards going full YOLO to within a Mamadi Diakite buzzer-beater of the Final Four.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Purdue vs Virginia Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Painter will have to continue that trend of adaptability this coming season as he adjusts to life without Carsen Edwards. Edwards averaged a Big Ten-leading 24.3 points per game last season on his way to being named an All-American. Purdue also loses their second-leading scorer with the graduation of Ryan Cline. Matt Haarms and Nojel Eastern are the leading returning scorers so we may see Painter revolving the offense around Haarms’s ability to post up. Regardless, Painter has proven that he’s one of the most underrated coaches nationally.