Somewhere in this spring's "Will Matt Painter really leave?" fray -- probably after Painter flirted with the open job at Missouri but before he agreed to a new deal at his alma mater (just a guess!) -- Purdue's athletics department decided it was time for the basketball team to spruce things up. Painter wanted a greater "commitment" from Purdue in the form of more resources, pay and travel for his staff, and by the time Purdue fans' long provincial nightmare came to an end, their coach got exactly that.
This increased commitment times up nicely with a few other changes. Purdue is renovating Mackey Arena -- both by choice and by natural design -- and included in those renovations are a new locker room, new film room, new practice court and a host of other spiffy upgrades that should do well to rebuild Mackey's image from an old, impersonal concrete haven to one with at few state-of-the-art amenities.
But as Lavar Burton would say, don't take my word for it. Purdue Sports is taking tours of the facilities upgrades and uploading them to YouTube, and they're certainly worth a peek:
I have to say, that film room looks like the kind of place I could spend a lazy Sunday. Give me a Netflix hookup, an XBox controller, and a delivery pizza, and you won't hear from me until Monday morning. As is tradition.
In any case, the facilities aren't going to knock anyone off their feet. After all, once you've seen Oklahoma State's $4 million locker room, everything else is bound to be a bit of a letdown. (I still can't get over it. It's just ... baffling. Four million dollars! For a locker room! Four million!) Still, for a program desperate to lose its reputation as an organizational tightwad, this is a pretty promising start.
(Hat tip: BIAH)