Thursday, March 14, 2013

Debacle in Chicago Puts a Stake in the Heart of the '12-'13 Season

The Boilers' season effectively (and likely literally) ended tonight in Chicago on Day 1 of the Big Ten Tournament in a 57-55 barnburner loss to Nebraska.

Not to disparage Tim Miles (who we like a lot) or the Nebraska basketball program, but you know you've hit bottom when you're losing to Nebraska. The Huskers are a bad team, plain and simple. They went 5-13 in league play and were the proud owners of a grand total of five victories in 2013. The Boilers beat them in their house on Jan 16 and the Children of the Corn rank 332nd nationally in points per game, 292nd in rebounds, 336th in assists and 299th in FG percentage. So as you can see, I'm not being a jerk (no more than usual anyway) when I say they're....bad.

And yet, somehow, the Cornhuskers shot over 50% in the first half en route to a two point lead at the break. I will admit I was actually not overly concerned. I've seen Purdue play cold first halves -- especially in the BTT -- and then come out with more life in the second half. Plus, as I said, this was a bad team the Boilers were overlooking playing.

However, the Boilers did what they've done all season -- when things go cold, they go astonishingly icy cold.

If Purdue is rolling and DJ is streaking in a positive way (not that way, ladies), then Terone usually finds his groove, too, and as defenses struggle to contain those two, other guys chip in and get their double digit points, too...and all is well in the world. See the Minnesota game just four short days ago for Exhibit A. Tonight, however, was basically the story that has played out in every game in which the Boilers struggled -- DJ and Terone were cold and with them went everyone else and the Boilers' dreams of ruining some other squads weekends.

Purdue wound up shooting 40% from the field, but they were dreadful for the majority of the game (as the 16% from three will attest). 40% isn't good, but it doesn't look atrocious, but the Boilers were pretty damn atrocious. Let's face it...they'd have to be to be down by double digits to this Nebraska team. They managed to come alive late and begin making shots, which is what pushed that percentage into the 40s. DJ led the way with 15 points in his likely final college game on 6/14 shooting. He was only 2/8 from three, though, with both threes coming very late to make this a ballgame in the end. I (and I'm sure many of you) will remember DJ fondly, as we discussed on the Handsome Hour last night. He had a rough night, but he still led the way, as I said, and I am proud to call him a fellow Boilermaker.

Terone had a stinker of a night, scoring 9 points on 4/14 shooting and, unconscionably, 1/4 from the line. Speaking of the line, the Boilers shot 50% there, so once again, the game often comes down to simple things. The Boilers didn't play well at all, their leaders didn't have good shooting nights....but if they made their FTs, it's a very different game and likely a different outcome.

AJ Hammons and Anthony Johnson were the other Boilers in double digits with 11 and 10 respectively.

Of note was the short bench, another Matt Painter March trademark. RayDay started (along with DJ, TJ, AJH and RJ) and played 29 minutes. The only guys who came off the bench were Sandi (who scored 4 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and was whistled for 5 fouls in 14 minutes), Anthony Johnson (20 mins, 0 points) and Donnie Hale, who only played three minutes.

Of course, it doesn't really matter now, as the Boilers squandered not only the opportunity to piss in Ohio State's Cheerios tomorrow, but they almost certainly missed their outside shot at the NIT and the opportunity to play potentially a few more games, which as Hank said on our podcast last night, is crucial for the development of such a young team.

This is a disappointing night on a lot of levels. For one, obviously the Boilers reverted to their bleak form from earlier in the season, after a sizzling finish that saw them scoring tons of points and beating or nearly beating good teams. As the saying goes, nobody wanted to see the Boilermakers in this tournament. Well, except for Nebraska, apparently. Of course, as with many Purdue losses this year, the Huskers kept trying to open the door and let them in, but the Boilers were too midwestern and polite, insisting on only stepping onto the porch but never actually kicking in the door and taking over the party. No, I have no idea where this metaphor is going. I'm tired and hungry and why are you even still reading about the '12-'13 Purdue basketball season?

Going back to postseason aspirations and whether or not this was indeed the last game of the season and DJ's (and Dru's) careers...We're not huge fans of the NIT, obviously, but for this year's squad, it would have been useful for the reasons mentioned and also would have been something of an accomplishment considering where the season was heading during the February swoon. The NIT no longer requires teams to be .500 or better, but they generally still wind up only taking winning teams.

As for the next step down, the CBI, we're not fans of the Boilers participating in that. I don't think they necessarily would, but you never know. I do know that in the CBI, you pay to host games. So I guess in theory, if you guys are into the idea, we could field a team and host it in my driveway.

Let me know, okay?


Unknown said...

Having watched Morgan's "leadership" which seemed to chase away great recruits to other B10 teams, we have a lot of other teams' recruits to steal.

We are owed, and in the mean time, Morgan has allowed the Loosiers to rise.

I am not just angry, I just want to know what the leadership on campus is going to do to make us constantly top 3 in the conference every year.

Let the other schools wait; it is their turn!

strawmy57 said...

I wouldnt accept a CBI bid if they paid a million dollars. This team needs a swift kick in the ass more than any other squad in the country. No one looks like they want to work for anything. This is the big ten, not the MAC. Talent wont win over toughness. No one stepped up to be a leader. Same old crap everyone has been saying since day one. I expect all 3 of the incoming freshman to compete for major minutes, because they all work harder than anyone on the current team. Expect at least one transfer, maybe 2.

170 days to football.

BoilerWhat said...

Strawmy is right. Hit reset on minutes next year. EVERY position is up for grabs. If you want to play then display a commitment to improvement. This season was a complete mess and tonight summed everything up in one horseshit 40 performance.

CalTravelGuy said...

I so called this one... This season is a real black mark on Painter's resume and it's ALL on him. He's got the fans, he's got awesome facilities, he's got a winning tradition... This guy is getting paid millions for RESULTS. It's that simple. I forgive him and I'm ready to move on. But let's not let anything like this happen for the next 10 years or so. Onward.

Michael R. said...

I kinda predicted this outcome during the 2nd half of the Bucknell game. I left Mackey stating the season is over.

U-P Boiler said...

All coaches get a Mulligan or two. Painter gets his this season. Thank GOD it's over.

Heard there is some personal stuff that Painter is going thru that, hopefully will be done by next year.

Meantime, returning players had better get their heads on straight. And decide if they want to stay and actually PLAY.

To me, Hammons is a big part -- if he gets it turned around, Purdue's got it's best big man since Joe Barry.

Kodiak33 said...

Last night was disgusting...especially the end when Nebraska gave every opportunity to Purdue to win the game.

How many times can Purdue just not show up to games? I've seen this happen multiple times in two years, it's getting ridiculous.

Wilson06 said...

As much as I wanted to see my Boilers make a run in the tourney....I'm glad it's over. The same early/mid season team came back. Ice cold shooting, selfish mistakes, not doing the fundamentals.

I also don't understand CMP's substitutions in this game. Why not use the bench? Mainly talking about Hale/Lawson. Always looking for a spark and intensity and the only option is Sandi? I can't stand the way Anthony plays 90% of the time, selfish heads down play. I feel like Hale has proven himself this year enough to be able to play, and he does the little things. I don't really care for the saying, but I have heard and even said that Hale is a poor man's Robbie Hummel.

All said, I am still extremely excited to see this team in the future. Boiler UP! and as always POTFH!!!

SDBoiler said...

I agree with Wilson. WHY didn't we use the bench more yesterday? The starters were not getting it done, they were playing lazy and sloppy, but were rewarded with more playing time. Painter's post game comments were frustrating as well, specifically mentions Anthrop and Carroll working their asses off, yet he didn't play them. Live by the Byrd die by the Byrd.

KevinB said...

Why is everyone on here so anti the CBI tournament? I would say at this point continue to get as many games as you can, get the younger guys more minutes and let them practice. I don't when I ever thought of Purdue as too good to play more basketball games.
The figures I saw showed that it cost $25K to host the first round of the CBI. You sell 5K tickets at $10 a piece, and you already make money. Let's all get off of our high horses here and get the boys more practice.

zlionsfan said...

a) Mackey Arena isn't free to operate. Purdue's total game-day expenses for men's basketball in 2011-12 were just under $1.4 million; unfortunately that is not divided into useful categories like home vs. away or fixed vs. variable costs (and that is no accident - we also don't know how much is charged against men's bb and how much against the athletic department as a whole), but if the cost for each game were equal, it would cost Purdue just under $40K to play a home game in addition to the CBI fee. (There's also little information on how much revenue, if any, they got from actually playing in the game. In 2008, teams supposedly kept 50% of their gate receipts from home games, but that was the CBI head saying this.)

b) Pitt's attendance in 2012 was under 4000 ... for Game 3 of the finals. They didn't even sell 2000 to their first-round game against Wofford. Butler-Pitt in the third round at Hinkle was under 4000 as well. Granted, average ticket price may be more than $10, but you're talking about drawing people to a mid-week game in a third-rate tournament. This isn't like even an NIT matchup, and it's coming off a bad loss to a bad team.

It's not a matter of high horses, it's a matter of being realistic. Even with a better finish, it's questionable whether or not another game or two would do this team any good - the way the last game went, I think there's a better argument to just end the season, let Painter deal with personnel issues in the offseason, and start fresh with next year's team.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Zlion. This season has been uber-frustrating. Why prop up and dress up dead body? Even scrimmaging against one another in a practice setting SHOULD be better expereience than playing in a barely noticed tournament. I mean, the players that had trouble getting up for the B10 Tourney are going to be excited for the CBI?? Doubtful.

BoilerBloodline said...

I waited a few days so my post wouldn't be so doesn't matter....I still am. This year reminds me a bit of an NFL player finally getting the big $$$ and then falls asleep on the field. Painter gets his payday and everything he wants, then he proceeds to commit adultery and create a stink of a season. As much as I want to blame Anthony Johnson for everything, (because he is horrible and should hang it up) this season is on Painter and his staff. Yes, we had 4 true freshman and 1 RS freshman playing a lot of minutes, so do a lot of other college teams that actually compete. Painter's recruiting has been VERY suspect in over 50% of his time at Purdue. He is giving scholarships to players that aren't even good enough for co-rec pick up games. Marcius? Really? A total waste of a scholarship, coaching time, money. Carroll? If not on Purdue's squad, there's no way in hell he'd be playing D1. He's terribly slow, can't jump and can't play defense. And why is it that Painter finds it sooooo damned important that he find players who "fit the program"??? Clearly Painter needs to look in the mirror to see if he fits his own damn program. Half the team that HE HAS CHOSEN don't seem to be panning out to "fit the program". Again, Painter's fault. As much as I have backed Painter throughout his playing and coaching career, I really believe he's gotten stale. He's had more players either transfer or get kicked off the team in 8 years than Keady did in 20. Again, how is that "getting players that fit the program"? I don't know, maybe I'm losing it. Maybe I'm crazy. But I swear I saw such little or no emotion out of Painter this year that I wonder if the embarrassment of his personnal life has done him in. AND I can't help but wonder if Gary Harris knew of the mess and decided he didn't want to be a part of it. Doesn't anyone else wonder why a man that has no problem getting down and dirty in his personal life, won't do the same in recruiting? Hell...everyone else does. I'm just so sick of losing. Maybe some of my rambling will ring true to some and not with many. Either way, it was therapudic.

jbrunner said...

You can't be serious, BoilerBloodline. My brain hurts from that post.

Marcius is a waste of a scholarship? Um...have you watched this team?

conk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
conk said...

Painter gets the free pass this year, but I am pointing the finger directly at the lackluster talent between the Baby Boilers and this current frosh class. Since Barlow was a dingaling, Byrd is the ONLY player we've had since the Baby Boilers (until this class of course) who was a true Division 1 power conference talent, especially for a program who is consistently in the top of half of the B1G. Ask yourself, could this roster win the MAC, Sun Belt, or Horizon League?: A. Johnson, Carroll, Marcius, Ryne Smith, LewJack, Bade, Anthrop (was on scholarship so he counts), John Hart, Wohlford, Bobby Buckets. That's a pretty good chunk of the players we've seen wear the black and gold between 2 stellar classes, and the reason why we had this kind of season. Heck, we'd probably have been in this boat last year if Hummel....well, you know, . If all freshman stay and next year's frosh are as good as advertised, we'll be right back up next year. BTFU!!!

BoilerBloodline said...

Jbrunner, REALLY? A FOUR year scholly to a B10 school for a kid that has around a COMBINED 50 career points and plays terrble defense and has an overall lack of basketball knowledge. AGAIN, not the kids fault. There's a reason nobody else wanted him and if you believe he was a good recruit, you need to look no further than his career stats.