Two sick kids and a wife not feeling great made for a quick change in the B'Dowd home. LBD and Mrs. Boilerdowd weren't able to go, so I got to go watch our Boilers beat Midwestern State 78-58 this evening. Here are my thoughts:
-Terone Johnson's boxscore was impressive...but in person, he might have been even better. In 15 minutes, he was 6 of 7 with 17 points and 5 boards. He's silky smooth and has the ability to change speeds while keeping his head up. On more than one occasion, he kept his dribble while pushing the ball on a late fast break and shredded the defense. He's good...and he'll get better. I'm not sure how he can be kept out of the starting line-up too long.
-JJ was pretty sluggish. He played a team high 26 minutes, but only mustered 8 points and 8 rebounds. The rebounds probably bother me more than the points. But, he had 3 blocks and pretty much made the MSU players soil themselves over and over as they saw him between themselves and the basket. It seemed like this was a night that he just wasn't exerting himself. As we've said for four years, when he decides to be great, he is...when he doesn't...
-Ryne Smith was busting his hump, but seemed to be spinning his wheels and getting nowhere. He didn't shoot a lot, but he really couldn't create enough space to do so, it seemed.
-Smooge was what you'd expect- 22 minutes, 15 points, 7 rebounds. But, he didn't shoot well (3 of 9). He drew a ton of fouls and hit 8 free throws, but needs to be shooting above 80%, at minimum, to really make teams pay for fouling him. Like JJ, I it wasn't his most-inspired performance.
-I really like the way DJ Byrd played. He didn't shoot well (1 of 6), but had 4 assists and a steal. But, like our pal Paul said after the Indy game, he seems to sell out and move at a similar pace to Kramer...that sort of effort is contagious. Smith also works hard without the ball, but doesn't have the athleticism that Byrd does. The Byrdman almost had a spectacular putback dunk...almost doesn't count though.
-LewJack was pretty quiet, but played pretty well. His quickness wasn't matched by anyone on the MSU roster as he drove through the lane a few times and actually hit the finishing lay-ups!!! I think we'll see plenty of that this season. In 14 minutes, he had 8 points, 4 assists and he continues to rebound well (5) in spite of being the smallest guy on the court by a lot...it's about position and will, in my opinion.
-I thought Barlow had some of the most dramatic plays of the day as he looked like Magic Johnson a few times while threading the needle from a long distance...he only finished with 2 assists. But, that was in large part the fault of the shooter on the other end of the pass, not him.
-Bade had 13 points in 19 minutes, but only two boards...none on the offensive end. I like the offensive output, but, like JJ, he's really needed on the glass. His body control and decision making are vastly-improved from last season.
-Anthony Johnson looks cool under pressure. He didn't have a "loud" game in the boxscore, but I think he will have one this season. You can see that he has a good shot, but I think he's still getting used to the fact that defenders just don't give him the space he's used to.
-Hart shot poorly (0-6) and seemed rushed for much of the night.
-Carroll looked kind of like Bade did last year...both physically and in his output.
-Marcius didn't play (continues to look massive in the huddle) and Anthrop looked pretty horrible in limited action...Hopefully he'll be able to spell some players as the season progresses, but it doesn't look like it, based on what I saw tonight.
-My handsome nephew, my brother and I were on the big screen tonight in Mackey...for those of you who were there, now you know what I look like.
-Purdue's team defense is a work in progress. BUT, at times in the first half, MSU's guards were very frustrated with Purdue's pressure. Plus, Purdue was very scrappy and dove for a ton of loose balls during the game...always a good thing.
-Purdue didn't dominate the glass like they did v. UIndy...but, they did outrebound Midwestern State by 5, and nearly got to 50 (47).
-Purdue's impressive unimportant game versus UIndy caused Andy Katz to launch Purdue up his top 25 from 23 to 14. Katz continues to be little more than a clown with a megaphone.