Comments from Purdue football coach Darrell Hazell and basketball coach Matt Painter during Tuesday’s Boilermaker Coaches Caravan in Evansville:
On whether he has Purdue’s past problems in football identified and is confident of being able to correct them:
HAZELL: “I don’t care to comment on those. I wasn’t here. But yes, we have a plan. Our new staff has a game plan … We know the things we need to do and how hard we have to play.”
On what offensive and defensive sets he favors:
HAZELL: “We’re a West Coast offense, which is really a completion-driven world if we are going to live there. We’ve been in and out of every personnel grouping and formation we can think of that we’ve picked through so far.
“We’ll probably major in three-wideout sets, two tight-end sets and two-back sets.
“Defensively, we’ll mix it up. We’ll go with a four-man front, then you’ll see some three-man fronts and some blitzes.”
On recruting, whether he will continue to push into Florida as former coach Danny Hope did:
HAZELL: “I think the previous staff did a good job of going out and finding guys (in Florida). My approach is going to be a little different. We’re going to try to take 75 percent from the State of Purdue, which is Indiana, Illinois, MIchigan, Kentucky, Wester PA and Ohio. We’ll try to get the rest of the class from Florida and those areas.”
How is the summer basketball program looking?
PAINTER: “We’ll be back at it on Monday and start doing individual workouts. All our returning players went to May-mester for four weeks and now they’ll go to summer sessions for six to eight week. It might seem like a lot of time, but we decided as a staff that our guys need to spend a lot of time together and bond.
“We are still going to have a young team.”
On whether last year’s disappointments are behind the Boilermakers:
PAINTER: “I think we did better at the end of the year, but we still had a poor showing in the Big Ten tournament and we didn’t finish the CBI tournament the way we’d like. So we were inconsistent across the board.
“I think we have to have some consistent habits from our young guys. Until you have consistent habits, you’re not going to be a consistent player. And when you have too many of those guys, you’re not going to be a consistent team.
“Our guys tried on Wednesday and Saturday nights, there’s no doubt about that. But those days in between, you’ve got to have a game-time mentality and sometimes that’s a byproduct of you. Young guys don’t quite understand that.
“Hopefully we can improve in that area.”
Painter revealed that another fifth-year senior will be joining what was an incoming three-player freshman class and Cornell transfer Errick Peck — he just couldn’t talk about him. However, the transfer of guard Sterling Carter of Seattle University has been widely reported.
Both player boost the depth after Purdue lost three players of its own via tranfers — rising fifth-year senior center Sandi Marcius, rising redshirt junior guard Anthony Johnson and rising junior forward Jacob Lawson.
PAINTER: “We’re still going to be a young team. We’re going to have no juniors on our roster, but in addition to two returning seniors we’re going to have two fifth-year guys coming in … The good thing for us is we are going to have a lot more depth.
“We had a couple of guys last season where we didn’t have back ups that were comparable. Now we do. If those guys don’t make the same strides or aren’t productive, now we have another guy to go with.”