The Purdue Boilermakers have given their fans momentary flashes of potential during a rocky 5-6 start.
Moments of potential include a pair of narrow losses at Madison Square Garden that got away in the waning minutes. Or, in the case of the Villanova loss, Purdue fans would argue that it was taken away, but that's a different story.
An emphatic win at Clemson in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge stirred hopes of awakening. Those hopes quickly took damage with a home loss to a supposedly rebuilding Xavier team.
Finally, a loss at MAC contender Eastern Michigan sent fans into a deep funk that can only be lifted if the team surprises and records a winning Big Ten record.
Before that happens, however, there are some issues that need to be remedied, and done so quickly. Purdue begins conference play with three nationally ranked opponents: Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan State.
The team stumbling through its nonconference slate will have to hit the ground running immediately after New Year's Day. These are some things that the Boilers will need to work on to avoid what looks like an inevitable faceplant.