The Seniors at Illinois had never beaten Purdue. But on Wednesday night, they dreamed the impossible dream and made it happen.
Purdue dominated quite a big chunk of the conference before this season...but nothing's normal this season.
I've been imploring for Painter to try the Gene Keady tactic for a while- just get a tech and see how the team reacts. Well, this one was already out of hand, so I'm not sure it mattered...but at the very least, I liked the fire.
Matty's general frustration finally boiled over tonight; the first time he's been thrown out as a coach occurred with about 8 minutes left in the second half as he got whistled for back-to-back techs. Sure, EVERY official that works B1G games deserves what Painter put out tonight...but Painter has never been one to dish it out. He got his money's worth tonight...and probably deserved three or four techs.
In fact, after being booted, he continued to chew on whats-his-name as another official held him back. I'd say that the officiating wasn't too bad tonight...Purdue was, but the officials didn't bother me. Perhaps Painter was as sick of watching Purdue get dominated on the glass...something that Purdue had held its hat on this season. Perhaps he was tired of seeing a motion offense that has no motion. Maybe he found it frustrating to watch a defense-centric team give up all sorts of baskets; deep shots, slashes, mid-range jumpers...Purdue couldn't stop anything tonight (something we've seen quite a bit this season).
Hammons looked like a Freshman as the double team affected him and kept him from getting in position deep in the blocks...and when Purdue can't run the offense through him, there is no offense at all. I figured out what Purdue seems to be running earlier this week- The play is simple: If Hammons isn't involved, it's like Purdue is a team who is tied with their opponent, and playing for the last shot...but on every possession. It seems they're not too bothered if they don't hit the shot, but they want to keep the ball out of the opponent's hands for a few more seconds. Oh yeah...and they don't have any timeouts to figure out what to do...and they're perpetually on the road...and everyone's a Freshman...and it's December.
As I type, J is doing a post-game wrap-up...I just thought I'd add a little texture. Panda traveled to the game and got to see the train wreck in person; I'm sorry for him, but it's not a very long drive and Illinois' fans have never bothered me personally, so I can't see the interaction with them being that bad.
I don't remember a ton of good things about the game...and really don't want to check the box score tonight- Byrd broke his nearly two-game streak without a bucket with a long three. BTN genius Tim Doyle responded by saying Byrd was one of the best shooters in the league. I'd bet Byrd would argue with that...but Doyle is a moron who says moronic things. He later said that Byrd would almost have to be a good shooter since he has that last name and is from the state of Indiana. (pssssst- Timmy, those are different spellings.) But we knew he was going to have a great game as a color guy when he started by saying, "Purdue is getting better every game."
Huh??? I guess I've been watching a different product. Oh well.
Carroll had a blocked shot that stunned me a bit...Marcius played hard and had a nifty up and under move...and Purdue actually hit some free throws. Not sure there's much else to report. Oh yeah, Purdue dropped to 12-13, 5-7 in the conference...their shot at a number one seed might be fading*.
Next up, the number one team in America, at their house.
I simply don't think Purdue should be playing this poorly, this deep in the season...but right now, our Boilers are exactly who their record says they are.
*sarcasm, in case you haven't noticed, is one of today's themes.