Boilermakers Top Suspects in New Brunswick Massacre
I’m a tad conflicted here...
How do you not celebrate Purdue’s largest conference win of all time (50 points)? Or its biggest rebounding margin (+40)?
But let’s be honest, beating a team whose most impressive win is against Fairleigh Dickinson is hardly worth busting out the champagne for. But for as bad as we’ve seen Purdue play in past month, it's reasonable to enjoy such a decisive win.
Considering the talent disparity between Purdue and Rutgers, I am going to avoid drawing any conclusions or blanket statements, as tempting as it is. Rutgers is not just bad. They are bad and hindered with injuries.
Who Purdue really is and what they can accomplish is still a mystery… And will likely remain that way until at least February.
But it’s difficult not to feel good after witnessing 2 solid halves of dominating basketball. No second half letdown. No playing down to their opponent. Oh, and the fact that it handed Rutgers it’s worst loss of all time.
Purdue is heading into the home stretch of what was supposed to be the soft portion of its conference schedule. Up next is a very winnable game against Ohio State followed by a chance to inflict retribution on Iowa’s home floor.
Purdue has a clear path for NCAA seed redemption. If the Boilers can win the next 4 reasonably winnable games (OSU, Iowa, Minny, Nebraska), they will face the Maryland/MSU gauntlet with a full head of steam and a 6 game winning streak. With the way the Big Ten is shaking out, wins against Maryland and MSU will be the only ways to validate Purdue as a top 4 seed (assuming it avoids any additional bad losses).
Back to the game. Here are a couple of thoughts from Monday night’s massacre in New Jersey.
- It’s hard to find a game that epitomizes team basketball better than it did against Rutgers. Purdue’s highest scorer(s) had only 12 points. 6 players had 2 or more assists. Everyone involved on the boards. I’m not sure anybody could feel disappointed in their performance.
- For the second straight game we’ve seen a more aggressive Vince Edwards. This was the Vince Edwards we were hoping for this season. This was the Vince Edwards that caused Aneesh quit his job and start the fan club. Now lets see this type of performance against a real opponent.
- Jacquil Taylor only had 10 points and 8 rebounds for the season double both of those in his 14 minutes of play (12 points, 10 rebounds). He plays with a lot of energy and tends to always make an impact on the game in his limited minutes. Who knows what a few more years of development will turn JT into but I’m excited.
I know the highlights in this post seems a little short, but I am working very hard to refrain from drawing too much from this game. It feels great don't get me wrong, but Rutgers is bad. Really, really bad. And Purdue was a nightmare matchup.
Thursday’s game against The Ohio State should be a better indicator if this team is really turning the corner.