Saturday, January 21, 2012

Embarrassed in East Lansing: 83-58

The telecast began with Hummel getting off of Purdue's bus and complaining about what had transpired over the previous 18 hours for our Boilers.  They had been held on the runway at Purdue's airport due to icing, poor visibility and lousy weather for three hours.  After that wait, they decided to drive up early this morning to East Lansing. Hummel said it was like nothing he had been through at Purdue...and his game in East Lansing was nothing like what we've come to expect.

He played sloppy, couldn't hit a shot and his body language told me after the first few minutes that it wasn't going to change.  Painter decided to only play him 22 minutes as the deep hole got deeper and deeper for the Boilers. He finished with two points on 0-11 shooting while grabbing a very respectable six boards...but Rob wasn't the only Purdue player as stuck as their chartered plane the previous afternoon.

Smith went 1-6, Byrd was 2-11, AJ was 1-7 and TJohn was 2-5.  The two point guards, Jackson and Barlow were the only two who seemed like they wanted to be there- LewJack hurt his back (it looked like badly), but still came back to try to squeeze more out of his beaten dominative frame...he finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal; Barlow had 6 and 4.

In the first 15 minutes, both teams shot like dog crap...and Purdue's effort kept them in it.  On one possession alone, Purdue had four offensive rebounds...but as MSU started hitting shots, Purdue's defense got worse and worse.  Once again, this Purdue team seems to think that it's offensively good enough to not play hard defense and to run a half-assed motion offense...and the end result showed just how good of a team Matty's squad is when they don't play with heart.  I'll take that back, the final score should have and could have been worse, but MSU's all-white final five players including walk-ons and cheerleaders helped Purdue climb into the upper-50s.  Had MSU kept their foot on the gas and Purdue's starters stayed in the game, it probably would have been 90-something to 40-something.

Gene Keady's best quote was, "It's not who you play, but when you play 'em."  And MSU coming off of two-straight losses is not a team you want to play if you're Purdue...hell, they're not a team anyone wants to play.  But Purdue looked and acted fatigued and heartless.  That could be because their heart and soul simply isn't there right now.  We've watched Hummel squeak into the low teens during the B1G season time and again by digging deep and finishing as strong as possible...but this afternoon was different- he didn't seem angry about the effort or the score, he just wanted the game over.  While I watched, I felt the same way.

I'm the first to admit how happy I am that #4 is on this team and is able to play basketball at all.  What he's gone through in the past few seasons isn't deserved and isn't fair...but it is what it is.  His pal, Dreymond Green came into MSU with a similar skillset and similar size...but a physique that looked like it belonged on a Weight Watchers commercial.  His laziness in high school and early college yielded him healthy knees though...and he's been able to finish his career playing his best basketball due to being in the best shape of his life...Good for him.

The story for one of the best Purdue underclassmen EVER is not the same, sadly.  Sure, there's a lot of basketball yet to be played this year; but what have we seen that tells us it's getting better? I for one have a hard time seeing it.  J said that he has a hard time seeing a scenario in which Purdue doesn't make the NCAA tournament...I'm the exact opposite.  The schedule is brutal from here out. Sure, this team will shine a few times at Mackey before this season is over, but they simply must do it versus the top teams in the conference to make an impact on the tourney committee.
Painter didn't have budget to get Fife to become a Boilermaker
(same might to be the case for Dawson & Harris*)
Hey Paint Crew- make a note: Branden Dawson is a jerk...he showed it again today in East Lansing by talking trash to Painter on more than one occasion.  Maybe that's why he didn't end up at Purdue- because he's not a good fit and he just doesn't like Painter...or maybe the fact that Matty never seems to get near the shady underbelly of NCAA basketball recruiting has something to do with it.  Whatever the case may be, I'd like Dawson to never win at Mackey Arena...and I think that's a real possibility.  But effort like what we saw today from Matty's squad will not make that a reality.

Versus Xavier, Alabama and now MSU, Purdue seemed to be nowhere near as talented as their foe.  And  on top of that, in each of those games, the old trademark defense and motion offense both failed miserably due to inconsistent, if not shoddy, effort.  Purdue allowed MSU to make 3/4 of their shots (before the scrubs came into the game) in the second half...teams NEVER win games when that happens.  Regardless of travel issues, talented blue chip opponents and tough road venues, what we saw today out of Purdue is inexcusable.

The good news is our Boilers play in three days back at Mackey.  The bad news is the opponent just beat MSU and will probably be a top-15 team.  Painter's teams typically don't lose back-to-back games...but they've unpleasantly surprised me over and over again this season; who's to say that it won't happen again?

One thing we do know: There are at least 12 games left in the season (11 on the schedule, 1 in the B1G tourney) and I think Purdue needs to find a way to win half of them.  Coincidentally, six of those games are at Mackey.  Seems to me at this point, that Purdue must protect the home court to make the dance.


*My perspective on Izzo changed quite a bit in 2010 when he was suspended for a game for a secondary suspension.  He didn't seem angry about the violation, but that the NCAA had the gall to hold him accountable for breaking a rule.  That coupled with rumors over Branden Dawson's recruitment in the summer of '10 make me like the guy less than I used to...but that's natural since Painter simply doesn't win recruiting battles agains the uber-successfull Izzo.

11 comments:

Patrick said...

I know are bigs aren't spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, but we have to utilize them on the offense, especially when the squad is shooting 25%. Marcius, when blessed with the opportunity to get the ball on the inside, made some nice things happen. But that was short lived. He was posting up quite often and quite open many occasion for Jackson and the rest of the crew to decide not to pass it in. He should know better. When other options fail (like jump shots today), the inside game must be given a chance. Carroll has been playing better has of late and if he could get some touches (beside at the top of the key running the motion), we might actually get a glimpse of what he and the rest of the bigs can do.

Just a terrible game today. I'd like us to break Dawson's teeth in Mackey when when the time comes.

Kapper said...

As much as I do not want to admit it, you're 100% correct in this post. The sad part is that the trademark toughness that we've been accustomed to over the past--well forever--at Purdue is not apparent on this team. It also magnifies the glaring lack of talent brought in from the 2008-2011 recruiting classes. The horses to stay competitive in the B1G simply are not on this team.

As for Hummel, it's almost difficult to watch, he used to laugh on the court all the time, but now it seems like the pressure of trying to prove everyone wrong is making the rim a little smaller. I hope for his sake he has a breakout game soon and his injury plagued career can end on an up note. I just don't see it though.

As for Dawson--he is a punk and hopefully we can exact some revenge at Mackey throughout his career--but here's to hoping that the Paint Crew stays classy with it's jeers at him (unlike the Izzone), and that he never wins a game in Mackey.

BoilerWhat said...

This game was a house money game, perpetuated by silly travel circumstances. Forget it and move on.

I challenge the paint crew to come up with something special for dawson that lacks garbage behavior displayed by MSU. You're smart, think of something good.

Mommatried said...

I agree we need some production from our bigs but I don't think they are going to be the key to any game any time soon. The talent is not there. They need to play hard defense, clog the lane, alter shots and grab rebounds. I am still waiting for this to happen.

My first impression of Lawson was this guy has the frame and athleticism to leave WL as a Big Dog prototype. I may have missed the boat, port, and country on that impression. Of course Big Dog was a once in a lifetime type of guy..few if any guys come onto the scene as freshman and make that sort of impact- but I thought he might develop into something special. He still might- but the drive, the desire for the ball, the intensity...none of those things are apparent. He seems content with taking leftover rebounds and playing light defense...I guess he has made up his mind he can do nothing but foul.

The only thing good Purdue can take from this is a learning opportunity. They can fold that lesson neatly and put it into their pockets- and turn the page.

When you can't hit the broad side of a MSU heifer- you drive the lane, you get to the free throw line and you play excellent defense. If that statement is true- Purdue had no interest in winning this game. The standing around in a motion offense is....I have no words to describe this.

Live bye the sword die bye the sword...live bye the three and die many painful deaths bye the three...and or jump shot.

How many games are won shooting 15% (3-20) from 3? How many are won shooting 29% (18-62) from the field? Not many.

But we shot free throws fairly well- we have that going for us.

Riggins said...

Can't imagine Purdue students chanting that they hoped an opposing player would tear his ACL again.

We also know that if a Purdue player had talked trash to Coach Izzo that Painter would have benched him and he would be running stairs next week.

MSU and Izzo appear to have lower standards for their students and players. Izzo seems only concerned with adding to his leagacy of NCAA final four appearances. Possibly a lack of institutional control?

Erin said...

MSU has always been my "second" team, as in I root for them when not playing Purdue. I have strong family connections and grew up going to MSU games. So, the behavior of this game does not make me happy. I hope MSU can turn their attitude around...or I'm not sure it will be easy to pull for them, even against IU!

BoilerRick said...

Stuff happens - FSU beat North Carolina by 33 - only counts as 1 loss - move on and win the next one

Kodiak33 said...

I don't think Izzo heard either the Izzone or Dawson. Let's be real, it was probably one person from there, and Dawson. Who cares, we need to play better with what we've got. Right now, our players are one dimensional and disappointing.

Ryan said...

I've been told that Izzo is a coaching genius who has a great gameday understanding of what's going on around him...that doesn't seem to jibe with him not noticing anything that was happening 25 feet from where he stood.

No matter...like most of the coaches in the NCAA, his attention to detail seems quite selective.

I think this post did a pretty good job at pointing at the fact that Purdue players were the reason for the loss...that doesn't change the fact that Izzo is surrounded by crap and can't seem to get a whiff of it.

Purdue Matt said...

Harris wasn't bought, but Dawson was. Venture over to GBI and check out the threads titled, "Some thoughts on routines, MSU, Dawson, and recruiting (long)" and also "can anyone explain what went down with Fife." Some eye opening stuff there.

Mommatried said...

I will have to take your word on that Purdue Matt. I'm of the variety that I can't see any "content" on this subject (or any other subject Gold and Black) worth a paid subscription. You can call me a tightass but that would be a gross understatement.