Thursday, November 22, 2012

Purdue Boilermakers vs North Carolina (Wilmington): A Tale of Two Halves

The Boilermakers played bipolar halves tonight against the North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks. Purdue went into the half with a 28-29 lead following a late Terone buzzer beater.

In the second half the Matt Painter halftime talk must have prevailed again.  The defense was sharper, the fouls were less crucial and the Boilermakers were actually running an offense, strange I know. Matty's boys were able to hold UNCW to just 12 second half points to win 66-40.

The first half was a definite struggle.

Purdue started off hot opening up a 15-4 lead early, then the Seahawks started making baskets. It's obvious he is still tweaking his line-ups and trying to find what's best for the team.

Coming out of the half the Boilermakers and the Mackey Arena crowd were greeted with a technical on Jacob Lawson.  Unlike the MSG screwing, this one looked legit, although I haven't seen a replay of it. That was the first time the crowd really got into it inside Mackey, note the students did not have tickets to this one.  Lucky for the three blind mice, they called a similar call on UNCW for swinging his elbows at DJ.  That's when the Boilers started rolling.

Let's start with the positives.

Travis Carroll played like a division one player tonight.  Although he made a lot of defensive mistakes, he had 10 points going 4-4 from the field and four boards, some productive minutes for a guy that hasn't shown much promise.

Terone was wet from three again in this one.  He was 3-3 from range scoring 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.  He was the life of the offense all night.  His driving was productive and you can tell this team is going to look to him to put the points on the board on a consistent basis.

Raphael Davis only played 8 minutes in this one but made the most of it scoring six points and didn't miss from the field or the stripe. I would like to see him get more involved offensively, especially when Anthony Johnson isn't being productive.

A big positive of the night was from the stripe.  So far this season the Boilermakers are shooting 58 percent from the line.  Tonight they shot 83 percent from the charity stripe.  If this can stay continue to improve, we are likely to win some of those close games.

Now a few improvements that need to be made in order to be successful.

First off, Purdue needs to discover who they are.  They need to come up with how they are going to play ball and decide what they are going to be.

Turnovers need to be limited, but this will come in time.

Hammons is just a freshman, so I will cut him some slack.  I really like what I see from him, but I just wish he would realize how tall he actually is.  Sometimes I think he forgets he's a 7'0" monster in the paint.  He only pulled down five boards tonight.  He also needs to work on moving his feet defensively, but this isn't just for Hammons this is for all the big guys.  The big men are definitely the weakness of the team right now, other than Hale and Lawson who have both shown flashes of brilliance this season, Purdue hasn't seen a consistent big man yet. I'm just worried come B1G season our 5 spot is going to get handled on the block.

One thing this team is lacking is a three point shooter.  Sure, DJ Byrd has been known to light it up from beyond the arc, but once again tonight he had a quiet showing and made all but 3 of his 10 points tonight from the charity stripe. This season the Boilermakers are only shooting 25 percent from beyond the arc.  Either they need to quit taking so many threes or start hitting.  4-13 from beyond the arc isn't going to get it done usually.

Overall this team is still growing and developing and I still believe they will make some noise within the conference again this season.  They have all the makings of a high caliber squad, it's just going to take time to mesh and get into a rhythm.  Once this team comes together and discovers who they are, watch out!


strawmy57 said...

Terone was 3-3 from deep. He looks more confident than Byrd shooting 3s, but he did pick his shots, all in rhythm spot up 23 foot lay ups.

BoilerBloodline said...

Lawson has shown me in just a few games thus far that he is now ready for the big time. He is ball hawking on defense and making smart moves on offense. His stat line looks "okay" but in no way does it show his importance to this team. I look for him to continue his growth as a person and as a player. You can tell that he has matured A LOT and wants nothing less than a W every time he steps on the floor. He and the rest of this very young Boiler team will make A LOT of noise this year and in the years to come. It's very exciting to be a Purdue Basketball fan these days.

BoilerBloodline said...
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BoilerBloodline said...
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Plang said...

I know BDowd and I used to talk about this many, many years ago: I think Matty got a hold of "The Picture." That would make me concentrate on my free throws and defense a heck of a lot more...

BoilerRick said...

I think Hammons is going to emerge as the best recruit in many years.

zlionsfan said...

The non-conference schedule is set up pretty nicely for Painter: two reasonable tests against Clemson and Xavier, two more weak opponents to test different rotations in Lamar and Eastern Michigan, another challenge against ND, and then two more weak teams in Ball State and William & Mary in case there are any spots left that he needs to determine. That should give Purdue a stable lineup come conference time ... which will be necessary in a conference where the sixth-best team is 12th in the country according to kenpom.

One good thing to see is that they are scaling back the threes. Only about a quarter of the shots come from outside the arc, which is appropriate when you're hitting almost 49% from inside and about 26% from outside.

I think this is shaping up to be a throwaway year for the Boilers: if they can make the tournament, great, and if not, then a lot of guys will be getting valuable experience for next season. Get the bigs some minutes and some size, get the guards some experience handling the ball against Big Ten pressure, and Purdue will create some serious problems for teams next year.

The downside to landing a solid, sizable recruiting class is that once they all graduate, you've usually got a bunch of freshmen around ... but in a couple of years, I think we can put these guys up against any other team in the country, even that one down south.