Saturday, December 08, 2012

Boilers sMACked In Ypsilanti, 47-44

Only scoring in the 40s. Shooting 31% from the field. Shooting 42% from the line. Not a single player in double figures. How the hell can you expect to win?

Oh, wait, those were the numbers from the team that did win today in the Purdue-EMU heavyweight tilt. 

If you can't break 50 points on a MAC team, it could be a sign of trouble.

The Boilers went up to Ypsilanti today to play a rare MAC road game and picked up their fifth loss of the season, falling 47-44. EMU fans responded by storming the floor as though they'd just knocked off a ranked team.

For Purdue fans, it was more of the same -- sub 30% shooting from the field, only 60% from the line, and a complete inability to put away a team. Instead, the Boilermakers played to EMU's level and allowed a pretty mediocre Eagles team to hang around in the first half. The Boilers would push the lead out to something like 11-2, but then stall there and allow the Eagles to painstakingly -- and it was painful -- inch their way back. By halftime, it was a 20-19 game. Exhilirating.

For those of you who didn't get to see this since it was only available streaming via ESPN3, well, you didn't miss too much.

Purdue's leading scorers were Terone with 12 on 4/11 shooting (and 1/4 from the line), followed by Ronnie and AJ both having 11. That's all the double figures Purdue had, which I guess isn't that awful since they only mustered 44 points for the game. Mercy.

DJ Byrd has gone 1/15 from the floor, including 0/14 from three, since his 22 point performance against Clemson. Something is wrong and it's hard to tell what. Maybe we'll learn he has a nagging injury that's worse than we've heard. Or maybe it's all in his head at this point and he's just pressing, knowing the team is struggling and that he's the leader. Whatever it is, DJ needs to iron it out soon. There are just no two ways about it.

In this one, the Boilers couldn't hit free throws and couldn't hit anything, frankly, and yet still had a good chance to win the game. The Eagles were up by as many as nine (I think) in the second half, but the Boilers ground their way back. With a minute and a half to go, after a timeout, the Boilers struck quickly to make it a 46-44 game. EMU had a critical possession, which they squandered, and so Purdue had the ball back. After bringing it upcourt, Matty took a timeout to draw up the winning play.

That winning play turned out to be drawn for Terone Johnson, who got a clear look at a three-pointer (and hey, why not? Threes have been so good to Purdue lately) but bricked it. Naturally, despite rebounding being a strength this season, the Boilers could do no more than knock it out of bounds, giving it back to EMU with ten seconds remaining.

Even then, EMU hit only one free throw on the ensuing predictable foul by the Boilers, allowing our boys another chance to at least tie it. And in typical 2012 Purdue fashion, it's not enough to lose -- it has to be done in an excruciating manner. The boys brought it upcourt and then, before a shot could be taken, fumbled it away. EMU takes possession, game over, drive home safely.

There are significant concerns among the Purdue faithful about this year's team. I've seen remarks that they'll be playing in a half-empty Mackey the rest of the season, which, if you guys do that, you don't deserve to have tickets. I've also seen people saying Byrd belongs on the bench -- I can understand this sentiment and if it means young guys get more minutes and Purdue is that much better next season, so be it. But DJ is a Boiler, too, and he's been a good soldier playing out of position for most of his time at Purdue. It's also still only December 8. A lot of things do indeed look bleak right now and this was an awful loss, but there is a long way to go. The team that should have beaten Villanova and did put a whipping on Clemson still exists in there somewhere. Do you really think it won't emerge again as these youngsters get more minutes under their belts?

No, this isn't a tourney team right now. But I maintain that the future remains bright and that this season will still have some exciting moments. We need to try to stay positive. There's a long track ahead of this train.


Mark said...

Sorry, J. Way too positive. For the last three years Painter has squeaked by offensively. I was complaining that even with 2 NBA players, we often couldn't score when we needed to. Last year our 'amazing' shooters only shot in the .300 range.

Painter doesn't know offense, and it painfully obvious. I like him as our coach, but he needs some rethinking of recruiting and the overall direction of the program.

This team should be running. Instead we do the absolute worst thing for a quick, athletic, deep, and young team: half court stall...stand around...crank up threes because the shot clock is low.

This is not a new complaint for me, but without Robbie, it's magnified.

COD said...

It's like nobody, including the coach, has ever seen a zone before.

CalTravelGuy said...

I'm in Hawaii and took a moment to check and see if Purdue played today. I was thinking that I felt super disconnected from what's going on with men's basketball. It doesn't feel like Purdue has a program that is on the rise... or relevant... or interesting... Back to the beach.

strawmy57 said...

Can CMP just eliminate the 3pt shot, and install some kind of run-n-gun. Its the only way i see this team doing anything in March.

J Money said...

Mark-- you think I'm being positive? Maybe read it again.

JD said...

I'm a big CMP fan, but he did not recruit players that fit the motion offense. He needs to play a system that fits his personnel. We just don't create enough turnovers to make up for the poorly executed offense that we have now.

Basketball is a game of points and possessions. Offensive rebounding right now is our best offense and is the only bright spot on this team.

conk said...

I think Ronnie will ultimately develop into a floor leader like LewJack, but his shot is as ugly as LewJack's and should be kept within 10 feet...but Drew Anthrop? seriously? He, Carroll, and Marcius probably wouldn't even start on Eastern Michigan. I thought Clemson was going to be the turnaround. Like when Robbie, E, and JJ were freshman they looked like an NIT team early but then got way better. I don't see that with this team. A couple games under .500 in conference play and we'll be in the "next four out" of the dance.

grant.jacob2 said...

I'm simply sick and tired of having quality recruits leave the state of Indiana. Like Glenn Robinson III, how do you let him slip considering he's the son of one of our most successful alumni.

boilerbugle said...

Grant -- I think painter doesn't have a "prepare you for the NBA" pitch. He has a "come work hard and be a boilermaker and get a degree and we'll win championships along the way" pitch. Which of course, you and me would sign up for in a heartbeat, but not a kid with dollar signs in his eyes.

Mark said...

I forget who said it, but one recruit said that Painter opened with, 'you're not good at X, and I you play at Purdue, you'll need to work on it.'

I don't know If the recruit was using hyperbole, but how could this ever work!?!