Our Boilers will play the University of Indianapolis tonight at the largest construction site on campus at 7:05. Like last year, this one won't be on TV, but can be watched for a fee on the Big Ten Network. If you're up for paying $7.95 for a month of Purdue online action, including both exhibition games, you'll be able to tune in on the lil' screen.
The starting line-up is:
No, we have no nicknames for Bade...hopefully we'll give them each one soon. From what I hear, Smith could be called The Rainman during practice once again this pre-season. Twitter rumors to word-of-mouth legend says Smith has been hitting everything during practice. Bade is picking up the baton that was left when Hummel went down. And his newly-sculpted frame should help him battle a bit and at the very minimum become more of a force on the glass.
I'm glad Smith is getting the start although many of the Purdue faithful aren't fans of the move. What else can you judge a guy by other than what you've seen in practice? Hopefully, he takes advantage of his new role and translates his ability to fill it up in practice to one on the big stage...We'll see.
Barlow will surely be a sixth starter, much like Keaton Grant in previous seasons. He will get the same or more minutes than the starting five, but will give Purdue a different look at multiple positions 1 all the way to 4 (according to Matty).
I think everybody is excited to see Terone Johnson play though...he's big and strong enough out of the box to be able to take some of the beating a BT schedule can deal out and athletic enough as well.
One of the starters was named to multiple pre-season All-American first teams. Johnson seems to be a guy that deserves to be recognized...but these accolades aren't worth too much. It's not where you are when you start, but where you are when finished, that counts.
In his career, JJ has gotten better each season. I'm sure most of you reading this remember him as the project player on the Baby Boilers four years ago. His slight build didn't help him a whole lot, but as his physique has improved, so has his skillset. Other than consistently post up on offense, he can do everything, when he decides to. I hear he's worked on about everything in his game...the most important part, in my mind, is between the ears and in his chest. If we see his jaw set each game, he'll earn a post-season AA award, most-assuredly.
Of course, the quiet man, Smooge isn't on the first team list. I'm almost positive that this will just fuel the fire of a guy who gets better every season...and has been pretty good when he got on campus.
Last year, we saw Moore become a defensive force as he clearly made it a priority to embrace Matty's philosophy of offense creating defense. This year, he understands that Purdue will need him to create even more on the offensive side of the court. I think both he and Byrd will look for their shot more than in '09.
Outside of Johnson and Moore, I'm sure we'll see the starting line up change as the pre-conference schedule moves forward. Matty tends to try to experiment well into the season and this year will be no different. As stated above, Barlow will be in the mix. But so will T. Johnson and Byrd...and unlike last season, depth will be something Painter can take advantage of. Look for Purdue's rotation to go 10 deep...at least.
In the wake of what's happened on the football field the last few weeks, I think everybody is excited for tip-off...even for a game that doesn't count.
Away we go...