Before anything, let me thank ChicagoBoiler again, this time publicly, for the tickets. My 4 year old got to go to his first game because of ChiBoiler's generosity. He and his Dad really enjoyed the game.
What'd we learn tonight? We learned that Kramer, when he wants to, can tear folks up...offensively! We learned Smooge knows how to bust out of a slump. We learned LewJack is a bad, bad man, once again...and we learned that the even greatest clapping doesn't make a horrible team better.
The forces of all that is decent and right in the world struggled on the glass...this might have been a bad thing had our Boilers not been playing a deplorable squad. But, they had better figure out QUICKLY how to win the rebounding battle again. If not, it'll be a quick exit from the BTT for the good guys.
Matty's trying to figure things out, obviously. He's trying to get his squad back into rhythm and help them regain their identity while defining a new one. The good news is tonight was a step forward. Purdue couldn't shoot or rebound v. MSU...tonight, they just couldn't rebound...Perhaps v. the National Champs, they'll win both the battle on the scoreboard and the rebounding battle. Me thinks rebounding needs to be the focal point of practice the next few days. The twin tower lineup of JJ and Bade might be a good thing to see every now and again just to get a few boards...but regardless of what's done, something needs to happen in order for things to get back to where they need to be...and clearly Matty's trying.
Let's make this clear one more time- IU is simply awful. J called them average on the Twitter feed...and that's waaaay too kind. They're fundamentally unsound as they force shots, manage the clock poorly dribble into double teams and seem to forget that pump fakes are legal at times. They might have the worst frontcourt of any D1 team this season...and the Forehead, while effort definitely isn't the problem, is in desperate need of DWade. Without him, he's at best a marginally-successful coach...at worst, he puts teams on the court (like tonight) that become bored for long stretches of the game and simply can't compete. In other words, keep up the good work, Clapper.
The Paint Crew was impressive...and I had the opportunity to watch part of the game from the greatest student section in all of the land. They were on the same page and, not surprising to anyone, reminded IU of the caliber of team which they've become in a myriad of ways. I even got to pick up the pre-game PC sheet and thoroughly-enjoyed the read...especially the Onion-esque headline from the IU Star- "Indiana gears up for moral sweep of Purdue."
Sadly for them, the real Star's sports editors won't get to publish such a headline tomorrow as they weren't even close to a moral victory tonight. Purdue needed to get mentally-healthy quickly...and the Hoosiers were the perfect salve in the relatively-fresh wound of Matty's squad's collective psyche. In the end, it was too much intensity and too much talent for the lowly Hoosiers...Good guys win by 19...it only seemed like more. Final score- 74-55.
-Kramer isn't coming back to play football (as we found out via JJ's video) because he simply is ready to be done with school. As a four-year-and-out college grad, I can relate with the sentiment. Kramer also calls his broken nose, and quick return to the game v. Michigan last season his defining moment of his Purdue career.
-Hummel says his knee feels great right now...and the swelling has gone down. There are a few rumors circulating right now about his surgery- sounds like it might be happening very soon. Regardless of when it is, let's pray it goes smoothly.
-JJ might be the most soft-spoken person I've ever talked to. I think it's pretty easy to understand why he sometimes fades into the background during games. I also think it's more-important than ever that 25 gets mean here during the next few weeks...As he goes, so will go Matty's squad in the tournaments.
-In person, Matty's squad seems like a bunch of good dudes.
-My son might be on The Journey on BTN on Sunday talking to Kramer...I had to sign a waiver in the case that his exchange with Kramer makes the final cut. I hope it does- it's a great show.
-Evan Turner, or one of his pals messing around with his account on Twitter, got into it a bit with J this evening. "thekidet" can't understand why Purdue fans, specifically the staff of BS, don't think the 7-loss Buckeyes don't deserve a #1 seed. As J explained, it's supposed to be the entire body of work...not the last ten games (one of which was a loss to the lowly Boilermakers).