Being a soon December grad, I immediately regretted my decision to graduate and not buy tickets for basketball as soon as I saw the court.
While I watched from the comfort of my dorm room, BS reader BoilerPaulie was kind enough to send in some notes from the game taken court side to supplement my own efforts.
First off, it was apparently DJ Byrd's 21st recently. So Happy Birthday to him!
Paulie seems pretty happy with the changes, but doesn't know how he feels about a split up Paint Crew. He was excited to see how the building looked under war time conditions and sends his approval. I am curious how people feel about the new computerized ads we have scrolling by on the media table..
Northern State was bad early; I mean sickeningly so. The simulcast couldn't help but use the words intimidated and scared. They had 5 turn overs in less than 6 minutes of play, but that doesn't even begin to explain that picture. Purdue controlled the ball and momentum on both ends of the court. The wolves ended up having 7 fouls with 11 minutes to play.
Now for the boys..
Robbie was given the first opportunity to shoot and even though it bounced around and missed, damn it was good to see Ostrich again. Working the glass and getting take aways early put tears back in my eyes. Manly tears. Manly! His first 3 that he made? A beauty. And he was fouled. And he made it 4.
Rob is wearing a black and gold knee brace that Paulie reports as being $5,000 after insurance. I say we slap two on him just for good measure.
Paulie also sent in about two paragraphs about he thinks Robbie and Ryno both look like strapping young men. It was too steamy to repeat here.
Barlow still showed a little immature ball handling, but overall did look improved on the scoring and the hand to hand combat - save for the time when he accidentally got the ball lodged between the backboard and rim.
DJ Byrd reminded all of us that he is arguably the scrappiest player in the league with his aggressive style of play. At one point he grabbed his first steal and saved it from going out of bounds by sacrificing his body as we have come to expect. He followed up this performance by forcing the jump ball.
TC put up some impressive points and inside presence. The real surprise was that he scored both the first points and grabbed the first board. He had a smooth perimeter shot that was strangely arousing.
Sandi looks pretty decent. Taking up space, finishing inside if the opportunity presents itself
The most surprising information? According to the simulcast, Dru Anthrop is the recipient of Patrick Bade's scholarship. That's right, the former walk on and punching bag may just see minutes. I'm having Bobby Buckets flash backs.
Scoring was pretty stagnant early on. Lots of decent looks turned into missed shots, but the offensive rebound effort was definitely there. The defensive pressure that it seemed Northern State was put through early on was really heavily influenced by their own inabilities it seemed. While I don't discredit the effort of our team, a lot of their mistakes appeared to be just bad fundamentals and ill preparation.
The freshmen? They were freshmen? They played like men, but really no one had that single shining moment.
Anthony came in and went straight at the 3 point line reminding all of us why he was red shirted. He was scoreless for 15 seconds. Lawson got scrappy and recorded a sick block if I am correctly attributing that. Donnie Hale looked sharp and ready to produce. I expect him to come in like Ryno did two years ago before the first incident.
Overall, it wasn't a great game to really guarantee anything except for the fact that they boys are playing strong together, Rob is alive and awesome, and the new blood can ball. None of these things were really a concern for me coming into the night, but god was it good to see Purdue Basketball again; it was a rough 7 months.
Northern State plays Butler in about 19 hours. That's right: back to back 2010 tournament teams in 24 hours. This team has heart and you have to respect that.