Thursday, November 17, 2011

Positive PR: Boilers Win Nail Biter v. Iona 91-90

Not at the game
In the Caribbean the warm breezes and beautiful views force you to take a deep breath and just take it easy...usually, you visit the islands to get away from your fast-paced life back home and rest.  That wasn't the case on this business trip for Matty and Co.

In previous season's under Painter, hard-nosed, low-scoring, grind-it-out victories have been the norm for The Forces of Good.  But for the second time this season, this Purdue team has scored over 90 points...and this time, the allowed 90.

Iona is a squad that won 25 games last season.  They have a player named Glover who is on the Naismith watch list who averaged nearly 20 pts/game and over 10 rebounds. On top of that, they have a guard named Lamont "MoMo" Jones who started his college career in Arizona after being a 4-star recruit out of high school. Jones started for the 'Cats last season averaging 9/2 and was granted an NCAA hardship exception after transferring to be closer to his Grandma.  After these two, the Gaels were comprised of a bunch of fast, athletic players who look to run at every chance, and today was no exception.

If Purdue missed a three, Iona used the long rebound as an opportunity to start a fast break. If the Boilers made an errant pass, they'd pay with a fast break attempt...thankfully, Purdue didn't have a ton (7) of turnovers, and at the same time, forced 12.

Rob Hummel had a generally-quiet game...he'd go long streaks without getting the chance to get involved on offense, but he finished with a team-high 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a block.  He looked frustrated a bit in this game at times too, but nowhere near how he looked v. High Point.  Plus, with his squad down by 2 points and just seconds left, Hummel hit a sizable three to give Purdue a one-point lead that they held until the end of the contest.

Ryne Smith started the game where he left off in the last game hitting big three after three in the first half.  He finished with 15 points (5-6 from three), and maybe just as importantly, filled the sheet with 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 down the stretch that helped Purdue win.  But, like his fellow Senior and 90% free throw shooter, he didn't hit a charity shot- he went 0-2 while Hummel only shot one free throw (0-1).

LewJack matched up well with the athletic Gaels using his quickness time and time again to drive past Iona's different defensive looks. He finished with 17 points, 3 rebound, 3 assists and 2 steals, while only turning the ball over once.  He got into foul trouble about mid-way through the second half...or his numbers would have looked a bit better.  Where LewJack looked very plebeian in the last game, this afternoon, he looked more like what we expected- he was clearly one of the quickest players on the court, with and without the ball, and Iona had a very difficult time matching up with him. Plus, unlike most of the Boilers, he shot his freethrows well, finishing 4-5.

Barlow played with flashes of brilliance one second and made maddening decisions a few seconds later...or in other words, was himself.  When he's in the right frame of mind, he's tough on both ends- making good passes and fighting through defense with contact.  But, he took some ill-advised deep shots that Iona took advantage of (above).  He did have arguably, one of the most-important shots of the game-  After a first half in which Purdue struggled to stay close, Barlow nailed a half-court jumper that looked smooth and effortless as if it was 15 tied the contest at 50.  He finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds,  4 assists and 2 steals.

Hummel, Carroll and Lawson had the tough task of guarding Glover and they held him in check most of the game.  Carroll didn't make a ton of noise offensively, but was pretty solid doing the dirty work- In 24 minutes he had 2 points, 6 rebounds and two steals.  Lawson seemed to gain Painter's trust during the game since his quickness and leaping ability helped him match up.  He finished with 3 points and 5 rebounds...but didn't get official credit for a steal at the end of the game that he quickly turned into two points.  He also seemed to look more sure of himself and his role as the game wore on.

Byrd returned from the last game when he didn't play one minute to play six generally-quiet minutes. But, one of the most-tenuous moments of the game was when Iona's Ridley threw a high elbow into Byrd with just a few minutes left in the first half...Byrd jumped up and got into Ridley's face before walking away...EsPN moron analyst, Doug Gottlieb said it was a play that should have been allowed as it's part of the game for a player to clear space after a rebound...the problem is the guy was trying to clear space above his own shoulders which NO ONE is coached to do because it doesn't protect the ball.  Ridley looked like he might take the game over until Lawson began bodying him up and playing physical with him.

Marcius only played two minutes as he didn't seem to match up well with the quick frontcourt of Iona. AJ and TJohn had solid days- In 16 minutes, AJ had 8 points, 3 rebounds an assist and steal.  TJohn, played 20 minutes, had 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.

If you didn't get to see this one and are worried because Purdue played another tight game versus a non-AQ conference foe, don't think that there's a trend happening here.  Make no mistake, this was a different game all-together.  High Point played a packed-in zone that Purdue didn't seem willing to test as the good guys hung around the three point line.  This game, Iona played a full-court press, man-to-man, match-up zone and standard 2-3...and Purdue did a great job, at least on the offensive side of the court handling the different looks and staying under control.

The old halfcourt defense that we became accustomed to in the past few years is no where to be found simply because JJ isn't in the lane to clean up the mess...and Kramer's been gone for a few years.  Lawson showed a bit of why he shouldn't be redshirting this season, especially on the defensive end of the floor and might take more and more minutes, depending on the situation. At the same time, TJohn, Hummel and LewJack are still working their way up to full lung capacity; and it'll happen in the next few weeks...but today showed some good things in that Purdue can run if they need to, and once again finished out a game they could have lost.  The only really bothersome part of today was how Purdue missed a ton of free throws down the stretch, leaving 9 points on the floor and only shooting 55%.  Plus, they're not drawing enough fouls on the drive, in my opinion.

I think playing, and winning, close games like this, especially this early in the season is a big positive- This game kind of reminded me of the Richmond game last season and that didn't end well, but at least today did.

Next up, Purdue will play Temple tomorrow at 1:00, again on EsPNU.


Anonymous said...

Good win. What happened to Marcius being vastly improved? He still looks pretty lost out there to me. Need Carroll to step it up big time on the offensive end to give the guards/hummel a breather once in a while. Can't see any offensive productivity from Marcius or Lawson. Is it worth using Hale to replace Marcius?

Batavia Boiler 2015 said...

I hope Gottlieb isn't commenting the game again tomorrow, for the sake of my sanity. He sounds like a weasel and acts like one too. But on the plus side, I thought that we played okay considering it's really early in the year. Not to mention Iona is certainly a tournament team that would probably beat the lower tier B1G teams this year. That MoMo Jones kid has incredible quickness and giant cajones for taking that jumper in the lane at the end of the game.

boilerdowd said...

We don't like Hale being redshirted...and believe versus athletic teams like Iona, Hale will be utilized...but there are only so many minutes in a game; I think that's what Painter's thinking.

I'd like to see more out of both Carroll and Marcius.

jbrunner said...

Purdue definitely needs more out of their bigs. Come conference play, I can see all three being utilized. But I have to ask...why is Marcius only playing limited minutes? It almost seems like he isn't getting a fair shake. Is he injured?

Other than missed FTs and improvable defense, great game by the Boilers. Can't wait for the Temple game...although I'm not sure how much I'll get to see.

Headphones_on said...

Marcius didn't get much playing time for two reasons. 1) he had 2 fouls early on in the game 2) he would of been a nightmare matchup for us. This was a quick paced game for the entire 40 mins. Iona would of blown by him going to the rim

Row Boilers said...

Batavia, ESPN is not sending Gottlieb home, he's in PR for the duration of the tourney, turn your sound down and call your own game, it's the easiest job in TV. He does sound like a weasel.

Marcius is not going to give us much this year, did not move his feet any on D, and on his one offensive attempt he made a nice drop step that squared him to the hoop,then inexplicably took another step which put him under the basket and ruined his shot.

Offense has not been the problem it's been in recent years, but we need Byrd's toughness on D and Painter has got to back his guards off some against quick guards who can beat us off the dribble.