Boilers continue domination of ACC, beat Wolfpack 66-61
Starters: Jon Octeus, Ray Davis, Kendall Stephens, Vince Edwards, AJ Hammons Finishers: Jon Octeus, Ray Davis, Kendall Stephens, Vince Edwards, AJ Hammons
Whew. Though Purdue played like the better team all night, NC State hung tight and fought until the final seconds ticked off. Eventually the Boilermakers got the upper hand over the Wolfpack 66-61. I’ll do a deeper dive with higher quality video/GIFs/Vince Edwards graphics later this week, so I’ll keep the analysis somewhat brief here.
Purdue opened the game dominating inside, opting with their usual concerted effort to get both bigs going (in spite of a few early fouls threatening any kind of rhythm from either Hammons or Haas). AJ finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks on 6-10 shooting, while Haas notched 13 points, 7 boards and somehow 0 blocks (I counted at least 4 redirected shots) on 4-7 shooting. They were essentially extensions of each other on the court, which kept Purdue in control for most of a game they would have absolutely choked away in 2012 or 2013. Having two high-production, two way, skilled, and gigantic human beings on a basketball is a great thing. Who knew?
With Bryson Scott kept in street clothes due to a sprained ankle, PJ Thompson was given free rein to hustle everywhere other than the stat sheet. He grabbed a handful of loose balls/tipped rebounds, kept the ball moving around the perimeter when the bench unit’s offense would start to lag, hit a dagger 3 pointer late in the game, and even took on NC State’s sharpshooting, cold-blooded Trevor Lacey. I hate to see people lose their role due to fluke injuries, but I think PJ leapt Bryson in the point guard depth chart.
(Side note: if you missed the game, please know that Trevor Lacey is an assassin that probably will have a couple of daggers against some talented ACC teams. He played his way into my heart.)
My boy Vince had another solid, well-rounded game. 16 points and 9 rebounds on 6-8 shooting…if Vince and Haas aren’t on every “Freshman to Watch” list in the next few weeks, write to your Congressman.
The game was over when…
NC State couldn’t put the round ball into the orange hoop for the last 3 minutes of the game, and AJ Hammons sunk the final two free throws to ice the game for the Boilers.
The Good: (as always, links are to Vines/Gifs/video clips of note)
- This newfound swagger overtaking AJ Hammons. Nothing makes me happier than when he hits an and-one, or dominates some jabroni on the block, or puts up the Great Wall of Hammons and rejects everything at the rim, and claps/bobs his head like he’s the King of the Universe.
- THE FACT THAT WE CAN PUT IN ANOTHER SEVEN FOOT BEASTMONSTER TO GIVE HAMMONS A BREATHER. Haas is a monster, Haas is Godzilla, Haas is amazing in every way. I love him almost as much as he and AJ love each other. (See the GIF of the Game below).
- The Paint Crew showing up for the first time all season. Nice to see you all again.
- Kid Stephens’ hustle during the last five minutes of the game, despite some absolutely frigid-cold shooting. He came up with a few loose balls that saved Purdue down the stretch, which is exactly what we need when shots won’t fall. This gene was missing last year…suffice it to say, I think it’s in full gear now.
- I was totally, absolutely, 100% wrong about PJ Thompson’s ability to instantly produce. Dude is a winner.
- Octeus Prime on defense
- Vince on the offensive glass
- Ray Davis’ shooting (1-8 from the field), including his decision at the end of the game to drive the entire way down the court and turn the ball over, rather than dribble out the clock with a 3 point lead. His defensive game was solid today, but that play had me fuming.
- *Opens last postgame* *Selects “Free throw shooting”* *CTRL+C* *CTRL+V*
- Early stupid fouls on the behemoth Beejay Anya
- 10 Purdue turnovers, which felt like 50.
- Mathias’ rustiness off screens
- The referees
- Basil Smotherman losing his man around off-ball screens
Moving Picture Thingy of the Night:
Tweet of the night:
"None of us are jealous. We all pick each other up. It's great to be a part of a team like this." Haas — Purdue Basketball (@BoilerBall) December 3, 2014
Featured image from @Boilerball