Keaton Grant continues looking like a dead-eye shooter as the Boilers season progresses. Grant is reminding me more and more of Cuonzo Martin the way he is shooting from behind the three-point line. Is he the offensive threat that this Purdue team desperately needs? Perhaps.
Purdue beat a not-so-great Michigan team in a game in which they couldn't put the Wolverines away...But there are some real positives in this one. First, the Baby Boilers continue to learn the importance of free throw shooting. Without shooting for a high percentage from the charity stripe Saturday, they wouldn't have won. Second, the Boilers handled a 1-3-1 defense pretty well (at times)...and most importantly got the "W". Purdue struggled mightily against both Clemson and Missouri's 1-3-1. Part of the reason they did so much better is because of the shooting of Grant and others. You must be able to shoot to beat a zone. Furthermore, unless you show that you can shoot, teams will start to key in on the fact that Purdue simply can't succeed v. zone defenses...this win might make them think twice and will definitely help the Baby Boilers stay confident as they continue to learn how to win.
Hummel continues to be the best all-around player on the team. His defense took UM out of their rhythm when it looked like they'd overtake the Boilers and his offensive tenacity on the glass kept the ball alive on a more than one possession in the second half. I'm still awaiting E'Twan's coming out part (I think he'll break out for a 25-or-so point game this season).
I'm not going to say this game is anymore than a win over a less-than-average Big Ten opponent. But, it is the best start for a Purdue team under Painter...If the Baby Boilers can put together a stretch like the end of the '06-'07 season, Purdue might sneak into the dance again this season. We shall see. Regardless, it's better to be 1-0 than 0-1.
(Disregard the video below...I screwed up)