football

Painter preaches fight again at banquet

Afteraseasonthatdidn'tgoasplannedwithalast-placefinishintheBigTenandasecondconsecutivelosingseason,MorganBurkeandMattPaintertalkedabouthandlingadversitybutmaintainingthefightinPurdue'spostseasonbanquetWednesday.
Intheevent,whichlastedabouttwohours,Painteradmittedtheseasonwas"very,veryfrustrating"aftertheBoilermakerscouldneverfindconsistencywithalargelyyoungroster.
"Nobodywantstobehere.Youcangoputthecoversoveryourheadandfeelsorryforyourselforyoucanlearnfromit,"Paintersaid,speakingtohisteamandthegroupinsidethePurdueStudentUnionbanquethall."Youcanbecomeabettermanbecauseofitandyoucanhelppeopleasyougoalongfromtheexperiencesthatyouhad.
"It'shardtobegood.Itjustis.It'shardtomakesacrifices.It'shardwhenthingsgettough,whatdoyoudoandthat'swhoyouarewhenadversitysetsin.WhenwemetwithJesseJacksonacoupleyearsagoandhespoketoourteamfor15minutes…theonethingthatreallystuckwithmewasthatchampionsalwaysgetoffthecanvas.Youdon'tmakeanexcuse.Yougetupandfightagain."
ADBurkealsoreferencedhow"heartbreak"canteachyoungmenlessons.Admittedlylessonsthatdon'twanttobelearned,"skills"thataren'tnearlyasmuchfunaswinning,hesaid.Butwhatheconsidersvaluableskills.
"It'sinlearninghowtodealwiththatadversity,disappointment,thatthesuccessultimatelycomes,"hetoldtheplayers."Allofunderstandthatlifedoesnotalwaysrewardourhardworkthewaywewantittoberewarded.Butasstudent-athletes,Ithinkwelearnandfigureoutthatyouhavetogetontothenextplay,nextgameandnextmoment,andthat'ssomethingyou'llcarrywithyouforalifetime."
It'satoolthatthereturningplayersforwouldrathernothavetoworryaboutfor2014-15.
Paintersaidit'llbecrucialmovingforwardforhisteamtofocusonthelittlethingslikefreethrows,looseballs,box-outassignmentsandfollowingascoutingreport.
Hedoesn'tthinktalentwasthereasonPurduemanagedtowinonly15ofits32gameslastseason.Itwasattitude,workethicanddecision-making.
"Ifyoudon'tliketheholeyou'rein,stopdiggingandstartfighting,"hesaid.
HandingouttheawardsTeroneJohnsontookhometheteam'sbiggesthonorforthesecondconsecutiveseason,beingvotedMVPbyhisteammates.
Johnson,aguard,averagedateam-high12.0pointspergameinhisfinalseason.
"Eventhoughwedidn'thavetheseasonwecouldhavehad,justcomingfrommyteammates,namingmetheTeamMVP…itwasaprettygoodhonor,"Johnsonsaid.
HesaidhevotedforA.J.Hammons.
FellowseniorTravisCarrollalsogotaspecialaward,thefirstTomReiterAwardgiventotheindividualwhoexemplifiesthevalueofbeingatrueBoilermaker.Reiter,thelongtimecoachandadministrator,diedinJanuary.
"Iwasn'texpectinganything,sogettingthataward-especiallyforahigh-characterguylikeTom,beingaroundourprogramlikehewas-isunbelievableforme,"Carrollsaid.
Inotherawards:HammonsgottheReboundAwardandPlayHardAward,SterlingCarterearnedtheCourageAwardandMr.HustleAwardandwalk-onJonMcKeemanwontheLambertAwardforhighestGPAthelasttwosemesters.
WordsofadviceMostoftheseniorsincludedintheirspeecheswordsspecificallydirectedatthereturningplayers.
Carter'smayhavebeenthemostpassionate,urgingthemto"dowhatyouguysaresupposedto."Heremindedthemthathardworkwouldpayoffashesaidhedidforhim,eventuallygettingmoreplayingtimeinhisonlyseasonatPurdue.Hetoldtheyoungstersnottotaketheexperienceforgranted.
Johnson,too,madesuretotellhisteammatestostayfocusedontheirgoals.
Carrollthinksthat'simportant,too.
"Ithinkjustusingeveryopportunitythattheycantowardstheirgoalandrealizingthatliterallyeverysingleplayinabasketballgamecanbethedifference"willbekey,hesaid."Sayyoulosebyonepoint.Maybethatbadshotyoutookwith18minutesleftinthefirsthalfcouldbethegamerightthere.Soyouhavetotreasureeverypossessionyouget."
SeizingtheopportunityAftersittingthroughthreepreviousbanquets,Carrollknewwhatitwasabout.Andwhenhegothischancetogiveaseniorspeech,hedidn'twasteit.
Thecoacheswhogavehimallhecouldhandleoverhiscareerweregoingtogetroasted.
Inthefunniestspeechofthenight,Carrolldeliveredawide-rangingassaultthathe'dseendonesowellbypreviousteammates,especiallyRyneSmith,whowasatthebanquettosupporthisgoodbuddy.
"WithSterlingandErrick,Idon'tthinktheyrealizedthewholething.ThenTerone,Ithoughthehadasubparperformance,littledisappointed,"Carrollsaid,smiling.
ButCarroll,whowasthefirstseniortospeak,cameoutblazing.
Hetoldthestoryofhowhe'dplannedtogoonatriptoArizonawithhisfamilyduringhisfreshmanyear-kindofalastfamilyvacationbecausehissisterhadjustgottenajob-butPaintertoldhimhecouldn'tgobecausehehadtostayforMaymester.
"SoIcanceledthetrip.Itwasfine.Itwasonlyabout$500,"saidCarroll,tonguefirmlyplantedincheek."IwasjustabletogotoArizonaforthefirsttimeinnineyears."
HestartedwithassistantcoachGregGarysaying,"verygoodcoach"butthenquicklytookaturn.HesaidGarywouldcussplayersoutbutwouldn'traisehisvoice,sohethankedthecoachfor"cussingmeoutwithouteverybodyelsehearing."(Fortherecord,GaryapproachedCarrollafterwardandmadesureanearbyreporterheardhimplayfullydenysuchinstances.)
HecalledoutBrandonBrantleyforholdinginthepostinpractice,hittingplayers"unbelievablyhardfornoreason"andnevercallingafoul.
Carrollalsoplayedbitteraboutbeingabletogotoabunchofnicerestaurantsaspartoftheteam,helpinghimdevelop"reallyexpensivetaste"onlynowto"havenoincome"tosupportit.
Intherestofhisspeech,whichhemadetosuretonotewasn'taslongashisseniordayone,healsothankedtrainersforhis"body-builder-likephysique."
Copyright,Boilers,Inc.2014.AllRightsReserved.Reproducingorusingeditorialorgraphicalcontent,inwholeorinpart,withoutpermission,isstrictlyprohibited.E-mailGoldandBlack.com/Boilers,Inc.
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