Thursday, January 31, 2013

Focused on Northwestern, Boilers lose Heartbreaker to Hoosiers

The title was a joke...I kid to stop myself from angrily drinking.

Tonight was historically-bad: The 37-point loss was the worst loss EVER in West Lafayette for the Purdue basketball team.  That's right, not the worst just at Mackey, but in any building by a Purdue team at home (I believe they've played in four gyms on campus).  That's rarified air...and it's the stuff that isn't taken lightly by the old alums.

IU is good, very good...I detailed my thoughts on that yesterday afternoon, as did my fellow BSers.  We all thought Purdue would lose...and the match-up was a bad one for our Boilers.  But we had no idea Purdue would lose this way.

Painter coached a lousy game. RonJohn played his worst game at Purdue. TJohn forced the same garbage in the lane time and again. Byrd was emblematic of this Purdue team: his inability to create his own shot made him a non-factor.  The ONLY positive play I can remember him making was a desperation heave from about 24 feet.  Good stuff all around...

Wait, that sarcasm is actually extremely unfair.

AJ Hammons was a beast last night.  He was looking forward to playing against a big time player, and he rose to the occasion. As Purdue's guards wilted, Hammons was tough on both ends of the floor. He played one of the best centers in the nation head to head and beat him soundly.  But, the guys surrounding Zeller were on another level.

Another bright spot was Carroll's play as Hammons sat due to early foul trouble- he hit a couple big shots...and was rewarded by playing hardly any minutes after that.

Purdue as played some bad games this year...but I don't know if I've ever seen a Purdue team look this overmatched, overwhelmed and outclassed.

This game is a fault line in the Matt Painter's time at Purdue. In a year or two, we might be saying that this was the defining moment of his demise OR the lowest point before Purdue's hard climb back to where the program should be.  No, I don't think I'm overstating- this wasn't an anomaly, this was an historic failure that had been in the making for a few years. While IU, Michigan, Michigan State and aOSU have been hitting home runs on the recruiting trail, Painter and his staff has been striking out more than not, until recently...this game is the neon sign over those recruiting misses.

We'll have to wait and see how the team reacts to this...this is a massive test.

Sports are cyclical...I get that.  Purdue won six-straight versus IU...IU has now won three straight versus Purdue. The IU players that were dismantled by Purdue teams, time and time again remember those games.

Purdue players and coaches better not forget this one as they move forward.


*Note: this post was quite a bit longer when I first posted it...but even hours after the game, I was still too angry to have any objectivity; if you read that and thought it wasn't congruent with what I usually write, I agree with you...and apologize for its original contents.

That said, I hope to never see a Purdue team, in any sport, lose like this again.

31 comments:

Bob said...

I don't think Painter was outcoached. As he has said in so many words recently, some of these players are selfish and don't listen to him. Painter knew how to win this game but the players didn't execute the plan......or anything else....'cept for Hammons. We had to do almost everything right to have a chance. I didn't see Terone forcing things, took just 6 shots, 2 of them threes. Instead, this Johnson pulled a Costanza, not going to the rim, passing out of the lane. He looked totally psyched out, as did DJ.....who makes the IU guys look like they have warp speed.

Brad said...

Purdue's youth and inexperience has hurt them all year -- on defense.

Painter's defensive system requires a lot from a player. It's pure man-to-man, which is hard, and players need to have a very good sense when to play help defense on a drive through the lane and when they still need to cover their man.

This team has had trouble with that all year. When we've faced teams with only 1 or 2 legitimate scoring threats, we shut those guys down. When we're facing teams that can score from anywhere on the floor (Michigan, IU), we look like we're out of position, we give open looks and we get destroyed.

This will improve. These guys are finally starting to get a bit better on offense as they learn their roles and better understand where their teammates will be in the context of the offense. But on defense it just hasn't "clicked" yet. Guys look like they don't always know their assignment, and against a team like IU, a split-second hesitation is enough to let them run wild.

I'm just glad I was time-shifted on the DVR for this game so I could fast-forward through the second half...

boilerdowd said...

Stats might not show TJohnson's shots because he drove and got tied up over and over.

The thing that kills me about this game more than anything is how Byrd and Johnson were just nowhere to be found. The stabilizing force was a Freshman center.

Now, Painter missed a ton of opportunities to stop the bleeding and keep the game from getting out of hand...he waited too long to make changes and call timeouts...he kept guys in too long who looked terrified...

I don't doubt young players can be selfish, but he coached a very poor game tonight.

IU was a buzz saw tonight; they hit everything and did everything right. I have a hard time saying Crean out-coached Painter...BUT, he definitely had the right game plan and had his players motivated.

Michael R. said...

My only take away I chose to remember from this game was that Purdue has a freshmen center who just scored 30 points in a game.

Pierce Roe said...

I have to agree entirely with you boilerdowd. It seems like this entire season Painter has been incredibly slow to make in-game adjustments when his team is being outplayed. Maybe its a result of having inferior talent, but keep in mind that Brad Stevens' Butler team beat this same IU team about a month and a half ago. Its hard to argue that Butler has more raw talent than Purdue does this season, hence it comes back to coaching and making in-game adjustments. Painter just seems like he doesn't have any fire this season and is almost looking past this year towards next season. Maybe I'm off in my assessment, all I know is that a game like this is ridiculous and incredibly frustrating to watch.

Mark said...

Crean is a better coach than Painter.

Yes, read that again.

Do I think Crean knows X and O's? Not really. What Crean dies know is how to motivate, how to shoot, how to score, and MOST of all how to recruit.

Painter has 2 above average classes in 8 yrs. none if his teams were good offensively. Aside from 2009-10, we've played flat in big games.

I've had enough of 'Painter is such a better coach!' talk. He's never been #1, and his @ss has been handed to him on the recruiting front time and again.

After a 40 point loss, no need to take shots at Crean...we suck. It is that simple.

COD said...

I want to believe that Painter let this get out of hand as a teaching moment. This is what happens against good teams when you don't play within the system. What bothers me more is that Hammonds was the only one that looked pissed off about the team getting its ass kicked by IU. If you are on that team and didn't want to vomit after that game, you don't deserve a scholarship.

zlionsfan said...

Pierce, I'll take that bait. Butler has two things right now that Purdue does not: an experienced post player (Smith) and accurate outside shooters (Clarke obviously; Dunham is pretty close, and just as importantly, both are solid from the line).

Stevens does an excellent job of getting the most from the players he recruits, but he's also running a team that has options on offense. Two problems with Purdue's offense are that their choices are Hammons inside or pray for accuracy outside, and that if pretty much anyone gets fouled, don't count on two points at the line. (In some cases, one point is a bonus.)

I agree that there are players who don't seem to be part of the system yet. That might be on Painter, given that we've seen this problem before: if it's one or two guys, it's probably just the kids. More than that, and you can question whether the coaching staff is recruiting the type of player that will fit their system.

This is basically a worst-case scenario for Purdue. They're rebuilding while pretty much all the other contenders are ready this year, right now. (MSU and Wisconsin are having off years and are still top-20-caliber teams.) I don't like losing to all the top teams, but I can understand most of the losses - the Ohio and Michigan games weren't bad at all in context.

This one, though ... it does make you question the ceiling for this group of players. I'd like to think that Painter is still a solid coach and that this is just an aberration. But there's also the possibility that he was fortunate to land the Big Three when he did, and after Hummel left, Purdue is not much better off than when Painter arrived. (Keady really left the cupboard bare, so hopefully it won't get that bad again, ever.)

Saturday will be a good test. Northwestern lost by 15 at Nebraska, so they're absolutely beatable ... but they also knocked off Minnesota and held Indiana to 67 points in an 8-point loss. (That's tempo as much as anything else, though, which is smart on Carmody's part. If you don't have the horses, slow down the game.) Painter has time to burn the video from this one and keep the guys on track to steal an NIT bid ... until they show they can beat a top-four team, I won't hold out hope they can win the Big Ten tournament, and there won't be an at-large bid for them this season.

L2F said...

Got to agree with Mark. I do think that if Painter all else being equal, Painter is a better coach than Crean. But can't argue with what Crean has done. IU is averaging 42% from three, 75% from the line, 50% from the field. Really great stats.

I am willing to give Painter a pass this year. He missed big time on a lot of recruits and is now laying in the bed he made. But he is in the top 20 in terms of salaries, so next year we need to compete like a top 20 team.

I really think if we don't make the tournament next year Painter may be on his way out. Can't afford these big salaries if there aren't results.

Mark said...

This is my dead horse:

Anyone else think our offense is designed NOT to work?

It bunches players. No other offense I've ever seen bunches players like Painter's offenses! Does anyone know what advantage is gained by putting three guys in a 5 foot space? I was always taught to spread out...like....omgosh,...O$U, UM, and IU.

Kodiak33 said...

Painter's system doesn't bunch up players, it's their fault if they're not moving around properly.

I also wonder, what the hell the assistant coaches are doing? You guys need to ask Ryne what the hell is going on with their shooting coaches, because if IU can have most people that can shoot the ball...Purdue can at least have 3.

While, I get the argument that Painter might be trying to teach a lesson by letting these guys be humbled, but losing by 37 POINTS at home is incredibly EMBARRASSING and is borderline insane. They embarrassed the school last night, and the fans that took the time to show up. That includes the coaches and players.

Chuck Jones said...

Just ask your self this. How many of the current Purdue players would be starters on other Big Ten schools? The answer, not many. Another question. How does a coach take a team without any scholarships 4 years ago and be a contender for the National Championship. Matt appears to be distracted this year. If the players don't want to listen, send them packing. We keep unproductive players more than we should. I'm a loyal, diehard Purdue Alum/Fan and last night was simple "a joke".

Mark said...

Stop with blaming the players. That's dumb. Byrd, A Johnson, TJ, Hammons, Ronnie, and Davis were all 4 star recruits.

And I'm sorry, but the bunching has been EVERY year except for maybe Teague and Landry's year, which IIRC, they used a different motion that year.

And it does by design. There is a moment in the offense where a high screen is happening with the ball at the wing and a guy at the elbow. Three guys 5 feet = dumb.

Andrew said...

Brutal game to be at. Luckily I didn't have any striped pants next to me. The Boilers have no excuse for yesterday. They are not as good as IU but not 40pts. That was embarrassing. Our poor recruiting for 3 years really showed. I totally agree that we need to start looking at Painter. He has 2 years. Period. I and other JPC members pay alot of $ for tix. Painter and this team should be embarrassed for making us sit thru that.

Mark said...

If not, then it's even worse because the players haven't known the offense for the last 5 years.

Painter needs to really do some searching inwardly. I'm tired of the 'selfish' comments. Our players are not that different from any other school's.

Stevens takes lesser recruits and improves their defense AND offense to a high calibre. I'm not asking Painter to be Stevens because I think he might be the best coach in our generation; however, I do expect someone like DJ and AJ to mature as shooters, which they haven't...at all.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Also.....Pierce....butler has more talent than us for sure! How a B1G team in a state full of talent has 0 pure outside shooters is just stupid. IU has 3-4 legitimate shooters on the floor at all times. Butler too. Purdue is lucky to have 1 or 2 on the floor. All of our guys need to do the Cuonzo Martin learn to shoot the 3 summer.

Kevin said...

Completely agree with Mark. I've been saying it for the past 6 years, Painter's offense is terrible. It is not conducive to any good basketball and relies too heavily on 3 point shooting. It's way too complex for these AAU kids that are used to run-and-gun. If he doesn't land a recruit soon that can put this team on their back, then we're in for another round of IU beatdowns. Simplify the offense for the time being...

jbrunner said...

You're right, Mark. What a silly idea to blame the guys that actually play.

WinamacBoiler said...

I echo what was said earlier: it confounds me that we can be a B1G school in the center of the basketball universe and not be able to have at least two pure shooters on the floor at any given time. I was talking to a buddy of mine this morning that said "Yeah, that's a problem, but rebounding is a problem too." He's right, but the reason we don't do well rebounding against elite teams is because they're smart enough to keep five guys damn close to the box because we probably won't make the shot anyway. Like he correctly pointed out; if DJ doesn't go out and nail 3-4 threes in the first 5 minutes and force them to respect us, we'll never realize the full potential of our 7 footer.

The lone bright spot - our freshmen center took care of business last night EVEN WITH one of the best teams in the country completely cheating on the perimeter. If he can get some outside support from the supposed shooters coming in next year, this kid could have a helluva run.

boilerbugle said...

I think I picked a good year to not have BTN...

This coaching staff isn't making it happen recruiting-wise. Time for things to change.

Ryan said...

Bugle- check the '12 and '13 classes...he's righted that ship.

Plang said...

Recruiting isn't the issue - look at the young guys playing. I think Painter is sort of sleepwalking through this season. Adjustments aren't there and he seems to have problems getting through to some on the team. There are plenty of thigs we could point to as the reason for this, but we really don't know. Whatever it is, if we see it next year - then we start to worry.

zlionsfan said...

Besides, for several years, there were positions where Purdue simply wasn't going to get all-star talent ... because they already had it. And the positions where they could have used it - PG and PF/C, probably C to have JJ play PF - are the positions where they do have talent now. It's not recruiting in general as much as the consequences of landing a monster class: if they all stay four years (or more), then you have to either replace them with a monster class or fill in the gaps one or two at a time.

Looking at it again, I think Painter's just out of options this season. Yeah, RJohn's shot selection is beyond questionable, so maybe Davis deserves more minutes ... but he's been getting them, even if not at Ronnie's expense. (32 and 31 minutes against UM and IU respectively.) There are no other young guys who have shown outside range, and the non-Hammons bigs have either offensive deficiencies or serious foul issues. And of course we don't know much about what goes on in the locker room or at practice - it could also be that the guys who are getting the most playing time are earning it.

WinamacBoiler said...

ZL - I hear you - but I refuse to believe that we can't get some freaking shooters. Indiana may not have much, but we're chocked full of pasty faced little white kids who can shoot the rock, especially if we have a guys like AJ/Lawson/Marcius who will force the perimeter defender to at least make a choice.

Again - I'm asking for 2... that's one of those little bastards every 2-3 years!

zlionsfan said...

Painter probably thought he had 2. RJ shot 59.5% at North Central as a senior, 39.7% from downtown. Terone's 3-point accuracy increased quite a bit from two years ago to last year, so it was probably reasonable to expect him to improve this season as well. AJohn was a highly-touted SG coming out of high school.

If any one of those three had found an outside touch, or if they'd stop laying 15-foot bricks and look for better shots, that might have been enough to get defenses to back off Byrd, and there would be your two outside threats. (So maybe part of it goes back to players listening - he's been telling them not to take a long two, and they don't listen.)

Mark said...

OK, so no one is asking the obvious question:

Why aren't the shooters developing? Even Ryan Smith wasn't that great of a shooter.

I think I know the answer, but I'm interested in others' thoughts...

WinamacBoiler said...

Doesn't smith have the highest 3 % in the history of Purdue basketball?

zlionsfan said...

Ryne is fifth among Boilers with at least 100 attempts (.408) behind Cuonzo (.451), Troy Lewis and Everette Stephens (.447), and Woody Austin (.439).

But that's not much of a difference. 40.8% over 414 3s is really good. (Zo shot about that many, Lewis about 3/4ths, Austin maybe 60%, Stephens less than half.)

WinamacBoiler said...

Thanks! Now what is the airspeed velocity of ... Oh, never mind.

zlionsfan said...

African or European?