Some of you might have figured this out, but here's the deal. We wear our emotions on our sleeves here. When the build-up for a game is big, we try to weigh in on it before tip-off. Honestly though, if we're in the dumps, or just "meh" about it, it's harder to do.
This evening's early game is one of the latter.
Purdue is in the thick of a log jam at second place in the Big Ten, a game ahead of tonight's opponent. The Lions are a good team, but don't lead the league in any statistical category. They shoot and defend the three very well...this is probably a direct result of the fact that they have the best guard tandem in the league in Battle and Pringle. On top of those two guards, Cornley is in the top-10 in the league in scoring and rebounding, and in the top-5 in FG percentage. So they have talent.
But, they don't seem to do the little things that successful teams do- the biggest being hit free throws. Much like the very good Clemson team in the ACC, PSU simply leaves too many points on the floor. And the last time Purdue played PSU we saw the results of that. PSU couldn't put Purdue away because of poor free throw shooting and sloppy ball-handling.
All that said, without Hummel, we as Purdue fans simply don't know what we're going to get just yet. Life without Robbie has been, let's be honest, not good. And it sounds like the Ostrich might be sitting yet again, but is a game time decision. I'd love to tell you that a game at home is nearly automatic for our Boilers, but it's not. Painter's guys have lost two at home this season, and have struggled in some of the wins. So, nothing is easy to predict, at this point.
As we told you following the aOSU OT loss, our Boilers have been consistent in their W/L pattern this season. Purdue has now had three two-game loss streaks that were led by an overtime loss...then following each of the first two, they rattled off 6-straight victories. I'm not saying that's going to happen because they looked so ragged and tired v. Illinois; but I wouldn't bet against them. In fact, I wouldn't bet- I'm not a betting man, so you shouldn't take your wagering advice from me.
Tonight's tip-off at Mackey is at the unusual early BTN slot of 6:30...I look for Smooge to break out of his most recent slump, and Purdue to start another win streak...this time sans Hummel.