Perhaps my rage from the loss this afternoon played into this or maybe I was having flashbacks to the Minny game last spring in the BT tourney...Whatever the case is, I haven't been this angry while watching Purdue sports in a few years.
LewJack, Smooge and Barlow combined defensively to make Richmond's Anderson look like Allen Iverson...back in 2000. At the same time, JJ, Bade, Byrd and Carroll made Justin Harper look like Dwight Howard.
I loved that Hart and Barlow tried to make something happen...especially Hart. But everybody else...EVERYBODY else earned this loss.
Purdue's defense was outshined by Richmond's and the offense...what offense? Purdue shot 19% in the first half...then raised their game waaaaaaay up to end the game at 30%. Plus, as a team, our Boilers shot 25%. Nice work, gentlemen.
JJ continued his poor shot selection as he settled for three pointers and 18 footers time and time again. He finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks- sounds good, huh? Well, he shot around 35% and was simply man-handled by Richmond's big & brawny frontcourt. We all know Johnson has a ton of talent...his lack 0f consistency has showed itself twice already in this young season. Purdue needs him to play like he's capable of playing, night-in, night-out...and honestly, so does JJ to help his financial future.
As JJ didn't play at full potential, Moore seemed to have a big cold turkey leftover sandwich right before tip-off...then at the half, he enjoyed all carbs- mashed potatoes, stuffing, yams and a big ol' slice of pumpkin pie. Yummy! The sad side effect was that he looked as sluggish as he has in the last two years on both ends of the court. Once the evening was over, he had 16 points, 9 rebounds- nice, right?? But he shot under 25% and simply didn't look like an all conference player...let alone All-American.
While the Big Two were lilting under the immense pressure of the Sears Centre crowd of 70 or 80 fans, Bade, Byrd, T. Johnson, Carroll and Marcius faded into the backdrop of empty seats and a black curtain dividing the arena...and disappeared all together.
Here's the really sh*tty biproduct of today's game- it makes the jerks in the national media look like geniuses. Purdue will surely drop 10-or-so spots in the polls. And honestly, until Purdue proves otherwise, the group of non-believers will only grow.
Purdue was beaten on the glass by 10...but it felt like 20. Plus, there was simply no offensive flow for the entire game.
The great news is Purdue plays a team that'll probably be ranked when they tip-off in four days...the bad news is Purdue plays a ranked team in four days. Did I mention that was on the road...on a bigger stage?
J and I have said it before- we want Purdue to be playing their best basketball in March...Thank God there's not much of a chance that they're using all of that mojo up in November!!
Other stuff that I'm angry about
-Notre Dame is winning against USC right now (it's the third quarter as I type). I hate days when ND wins, IU wins and Purdue loses (twice).
-Hope won't be fired in the coming days...weeks...months. So anyone stressing about that should just focus their angst on things that are more tangible and current...like the fact that Matty's boys having no offensive flow...and the defense isn't even that great at times this season. But, Hope has no excuses next season, regardless of who gets injured from now and next November.
I root for Hope to succeed because I like the guy. Plus, regardless of what you thought about the hire, he's Purdue's coach. I love his enthusiasm and positivity. But, the positivity crossed over from inspiration to delusional some time in October...and without proof of all things positive in the left column, his talk has become nothing more than fuel to the fire of those who are frustrated each Saturday in Ross Ade.
If Purdue doesn't win 7 or 8 games next season, the ground swell from Purdue fans combined with Hope's low buyout should force Burke's hand to make a change. In the meantime, here's to Hope assessing the staff and make changes where they're needed.
-This has been a very tough week as a Purdue fan...especially if you're in Indiana. Crean is getting commitments left and right, Painter's recruiting momentum seems to be gone. Our Boilers lose at Ross-Ade v. IU for the first time since I was on campus and now Purdue drops a game to a team that lost to Iona 9 days ago. We're all smarting right now.
I don't usually comment about verbals from 15 & 16 year old kids...I just don't think it's wise to get wrapped up in that stuff. That said, Painter needs a shot in the arm in the form of a verbal from Smotherman, Scott or somebody, just to help the psyche of the Purdue fanbase.
Before you go and jump off of that bridge you've had your eye on, keep in mind a couple things- first, John Hart was an unheralded recruit who some saw as a waste of schollie not long ago...He's now pretty good and will get better in the next 2.8 seasons. Plus, let's not forget that the class of '12 has three top-150 players in it. Sure, things could be better...we all know that. But, they could absolutely be worse.
It's easy to be a fan when everyone is in love with your favorite team and winning's coming easy...it's times like this that make winning big games, and dare I say it, championships really sweet. Keep your heads up!