Boilers Tune up v. Canada in Carmel
It's 1:30a...I just wrote this entire post and didn't save it, so I'm kinda beaten up at this point. I'm not sure my second swipe at this will be as interesting nor in-depth. BUT, I liked some of what I saw in tonight's 94-86 win over Canada.
Purdue wore navy USA uniforms with a motion P on the back above where the names typically go on basketball jerseys...everyone except Haas (due to his shoe size), Boogie and Mathias wore a captain-designed version of the Nike Kyrie 3 that was navy, red and gold...kinda cool to see an entire team wearing matching shoes like college teams did back in the 80s/90s.
The atmosphere was pretty great as a packed large HS arena played host to what felt like a holiday tourney game more than an exhibition tune-up.
Canada had a couple players that looked like that could play for about anyone in the Big Ten. A guy named Conor Morgan (6'9" or 10 player reminiscent of Robbie Hummel or Layman from Maryland) bombed threes and took advantage of being quicker than Purdue's bigs in the first half and kept the game close as it looked like it might get blown open. Then a guy from Cleveland State, who had a manbun blew the doors off of Thompson and a few other Purdue guards time and again. Both of Canada's main scoring options finished with around 20 points. Along with them, Canada had a few other guards who were super-effective driving and dishing...but their bigs simply weren't large enough to compete against Haas.
Big Drago played well on offense, scoring 20 points and pulling down around 10 boards. He also blocked a few shots and altered a ton as he didn't have to stay locked up with his man since the tallest Canada player really wasn't a match for Haas' quick spin move, strength in the blocks and sheer size rolled into one.
Boogie Edwards looks stronger, still quick and still seemingly wanting to beat his guy each time he has the ball in his hands. He looks like the guy that we all read about on his other tour with USA basketball earlier this summer. He finished with 14 points.
Vince(nt) Edward had a long quiet spell during the game, but had around 13 points...but his best contribution was taking Morgan out of his rhythm early in the second half. Canada, after being down much of the first half, took the lead late in the second quarter...and held it for a few minutes into the third quarter. Purdue took the lead, but couldn't get it past around 10 points due to the inability to stop the dribble drive. The good guys also struggled a bit on the glass when a rebound would have slammed the door.
Mathias and Thompson both were coooooold from deep, but managed to ice the game away with some key FTs down the stretch. They both finished with around 10 points. Neither played awful, but neither played great.
Nojel Eastern looked like an instant impact guy...he drove and finished in the first two possessions he was in the game. He's larger than any point guard I've ever seen in Gold and black (or USA Navy/white with a motion P on the back). Canada figured him out a bit in the second half, and he tried to force a few drives...but he looks like a guy that will be an odd, effective change up to PJ Thompson at the point. He's almost Thompson's antithesis- he can't really shoot, is a great creator, looks to drive first, pass second and is just large.
Painter's sub patterns looked as confusing and hap hazard as they do in December...but it was odd to see Painter in a blue golf shirt and khaki shorts...the rest of the coaches wore the same as did Luce and Haarms (due to FIBA roster limitations, I assume).
This team looks like a group that needs reps to get to know everyone's role...this trip to Taiwan, and the many months ahead before basketball season actually begins will be invaluable for a team that looks different and will play differently than the one that Biggie helped lead to a B1G championship.