If there is, we saw it tonight. Purdue looked pretty awful for long stretches of the game this evening. Lewis Jackson had at least two, if not three turnovers in a row on more than one occasion, but followed up the turnovers by pushing the ball up the court and feeding the agile but lanky JaJuan Johnson. JJ had one of the best-looking dunks that I've seen in a while as he pulled back a two-handed tomahawk well behind his head before finishing. Johnson also had a few drives that showed his skill level...UAPB simply didn't have anyone who could match up with 25.
Chris Kramer saw the resounding victory as important to the team's psyche...but I think focusing on getting better needs to be the order of the day. Make no mistake, our Boilers still aren't a very good team. Matt(y) Painter keeps telling the media that his squad isn't a very good defensive team right now- he's not just blowing smoke. They don't rotate well and as a result, Purdue's opponents have feasted from behind the 20.9 line.
There was about a five-minute span in the second half in which the Boilers really found a rhythm...and that period was impressive. Steals led to transitional buckets or solid set offense. That said, Purdue played a team that was literally weaker than many exhibition opponents from the previous seasons. But, it's a victory- a resounding one at that...one that saw Bobby Buckets playing a ton of minutes and scoring points, one that every Purdue player (sans Hummel) scored at least one point...And a game in which foul trouble forced LewJack to play a lot of minutes...which is nothing but a positive for a guy who is still learning the collegiate game.
Next up, Ball State in Muncie on Tuesday (a game televised no where)- Hopefully Hummel's back won't be ailing so he can try to attain a bit of the momentum from '07 that he hasn't yet grabbed a hold of.