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.