Sunday, January 13, 2013

Boilers Beat Up Kitties in Snoozer 60-42

If you would have told me in December that Purdue could miss 11 free throws, get out-rebounded in a half and turn the ball over 14 times and still win by double-digits, I'd tell you that you're crazy.  Purdue played like crap today, honestly.  They did a good job getting into the lane and drawing fouls...but had a ton of one-point possessions...especially in the second half.  But it didn't matter. PSU made Purdue pay for none of its transgressions as the Frazier-less Lions are worse than either of the MAC teams that Purdue has played this season. They're undersized, have no transition game, are out of position all the time on defense, can't shoot and have no one that can beat anybody off the dribble.

I had tix to this one, thanks to our pal Ed...but a really crappy forecast between Indy and God's Country made me not want to drive with LBD up to the game.  I don't usually say this, but it was nice being inside, away from the crap, watching this one on the couch with my family.
Ugly outside.
Purdue's play was as sloppy as the conditions outside- a wintry mix (that always sounds like a delicious Christmas snack to me) fell from the sky in the second half, but not many jumpers were raining inside of Mackey...especially for PSU. They finished somewhat strong on offense, and still shot 25.9% from the field...they were below 24% for much of the second half.
Ugly inside.

I'd love to tell you that Purdue's stifling defense made that happen...but it didn't.  Purdue's effort was very good though.  Painter played a lot of guys and there were tons of bright are a few.

Carroll's effort was noteworthy and effective.  His post defense denied PSU goons the ball and frustrated them. Only three rebounds and no points...but he was good today in limited action (7min), and the beard was STRONG! Fear the beard, dagnabbit.

AJ had a solid, high effort game...Only 5 rebounds and 4 points in 21 minutes, but I felt he was playing smarter than the last few games and his attitude was very good.  He's one of those guys whose body language says a, he got after it a bit.

Lawson and Hale were both pretty quiet.

RayDay started and his physicality made it difficult on PSU.  He drove into the teeth of their defense forcing them to foul time and again. If he'd hit his freethrows, like he did v. UND, he'd be more dangerous...but he was still effective.  He finished with 10 points and 5 rebounds.

Hammons was a force and PSU didn't really have an answer to his size and strength.  They'd either foul him or double team him...and he was excellent passing the ball today.  His footwork looks better to me as the season goes on, and his hands are very soft.  He'll be a mother next year and is already a mother-in-training.  Teams without legit centers will struggle against 20 for the rest of the way.  He finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 blocks. One chink in the armor was he brought the ball down a few times and had it ripped...pretty fixable.

Byrd kind of patiently waited for his opportunity to get open looks and shot 3-4 from distance. He finished with 12 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 30 solid minutes. Like most of his teammates, he shot 50% from the FT line, sadly.

Ronnie Johnson's quickness was noteworthy today.  No one on PSU was as fast as him...and this enabled him to get way too deep into their defense.  When give the opportunity, he would slice up their D, draw a foul and miss a free throw shortly after. He was 1-4 from the FT line...but better from the field.  He finished with 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He had a couple turnovers, one was awful...but also played good-enough.

His brother, Terone played his worst game in recent memory. He got himself into trouble a couple times in the corner and just wasn't flowing really. He started strong with a 3-pointer very early...but only finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists...and 3 TOs as well.

TJohn was a bit of a microcosm for the Boiler squad- they can and will play better...but today they just didn't need to to get the W.  Next up, Purdue will make the long flight to Nebraska for a 9:00 tip-off on Wednesday.

Purdue improved to .500 (again) and really needs to win the next two games to keep hopes of any post-season play alive.  After that, they play another tough three-game stretch (@UM, Iowa and IU) before going to Northwestern and PSU.


zlionsfan said...

It's hard to properly explain how bad the bottom of the Big Ten is (although I'll try once I get this stupid work project done) ... suffice it to say that there are four groups: Absolute Locks, Bubble Teams, Hope for NIT, and Hope for Realignment. (Purdue is obviously in the third group.)

The last group consists of Nebraska and Penn State. They are not good. Beating them is an absolute requirement, not just because there will be precious few wins left on the schedule.

It was good to see the Forces of Good put away such a bad team despite playing poorly themselves. That'll be a valuable experience moving forward: learning how to win when things aren't going the way you want. (A cynic will point out that you learn how to beat this Penn State team by stepping on the court with them.)

Zach Shupe said...

I fee like just saying Hale was quiet doesn't give him credit enough for what he does on the court, or moreover HOW he plays on the court. The guy might not be leading the team in any statistics, but (especially) in a game where things aren't going your way and you're carelessly turning the ball over, he plays hard. He brings something to the team that's necessary. Especially in situations where everyone else might not be playing excellent, he's going to leave it all on the court. By playing that role he can restore confidence during a game when we desperately need to find our mojo. He came in with a few key rebounds when we needed it and I know that kid won't give up on a loose ball play.

Hammons continues to show promise and I liked how he not only used his size today, but also showed some agility. I also liked the starting lineup with Davis and RonJohn out together, it brings speed and players who are willing to drive to the basket instead of just settling for a step back jumper. Overall though I agree, not a pretty win.

As I always say, it's better to look like crap and get a W than just look like crap.

Hail Purdue

boilerdowd said...

Zach, a good loss is not good at all...and a bad win is still pretty good...we agree!

Hale is working hard and will get better...but I think he was pretty quiet. Love his and Carroll's hustle...and obviously, he has big upside since he has three years after this that remain. He's agile and athletic, but still gets pushed around a bit...not a big deal when Hammons is filling space near by, I guess.

Dave- I think your last point is absolutely correct...the loss of one player took them from a team that might compete against the middle of the conference to a team that doesn't look the part.

zlionsfan said...

Oh, that's right - with Crawford out, Northwestern is almost certainly in the last group, too.

That has generally been the case for those two teams: if they have any chance at all, it's because they have an all-conference guy on whom the entire team depends.