WEST LAFAYETTE—Tough love from the selection committee wasn't so bad for Matt Painter.
He came into his Sunday night press conference laid back and calm, without a bit of frustration over his team's drop down the seeding charts for the NCAA Tournament. Painter's no stranger to the nature in which teams are chosen, and he knew there were some things about it that he couldn't argue with.
"No question about it, that's why it happened," said Painter, when asked if Robbie Hummel's injury dropped the team down to a fourth seed, just 48 hours removed from the team being discussed as a possible second. "Our resume says we're a two or a three."
Read: Purdue Drops To A Fourth Seed
But without Hummel, they are down a spot, but that's not really paramount on the coaches mind. On Sunday his Boilermakers were a day removed from a 27-point demolishing at the hands of Minnesota in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. It's a game in which they never held a lead and scored just 11 points in the first 20 minutes.
It was the second loss in the last five games for Purdue after the team ran off ten consecutive wins, so getting Purdue's head right is more important to Painter than seeing if the selection committee got their seeding correct.
"Hopefully it will serve as motivation for our guys to play better and hopefully pick themselves off the campus, and get back up and fight," said Painter.
Some many of those same questions were asked when Hummel went down against Minnesota three weeks ago with a torn ACL, and Purdue responded in the affirmative. Now after five games, in which Hummel's ability to score and rebound were at times sorely missed, does this team still feel the same as they head to Spokane to face 12th seeded Siena?
Read: Purdue Looks To E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson For Scoring Punch
"I think everyone is still confident," said senior guard Keaton Grant. "I don't think anyone's changed, its not like we're sad in the locker room, we still have fun, we're still gonna do what we're gonna do."
According to Chris Kramer, though, they'll have to do it much better than they have the past few weeks, especially in the Big Ten Tournament and particularly on offense. Against Northwestern, JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore scored 50 of the Boilermakers' 69 points, and only four others put points on the board. On Saturday, on Johnson reached double digits as the Boilers scored a season-low 42 points.
"We're all staying positive,, we've got to fix our offense," said Kramer. "We've got to throw the ball into JaJuan every possession and we've got to play inside out and go from there."
Johnson, in fact, says that the humbling loss to the Gophers along with Hummel injury could reinforce Kramer's thoughts to the team.
Read: Life Begins Without Robbie Hummel
"People just realize now that they need to contribute a little bit more and step up a little bit more in there but not try to do too much," said Johnson.
They'll get some help from both Moore and guard Lewis Jackson, each of whom went out with injuries during the loss to Minnesota. Jackson's occurred on the same foot which he broke earlier in the year, but both he and Painter don't anticipate him missing any time.
"It's the NCAA Tournament, that's why I came back. This is no time to baby the foot, and we've just got to play," said Jackson of his chances of playing on Friday.