Alright, I'm one of the first to say that the media's love affair with mid-majors is a bit silly. From Gonzaga, to Butler, to St. Mary's, to Davidson...Generally, my first thought about these teams is- how would they fair if they had to run an entire season in the BT, ACC, Big East or another monstrous conference? My answer is usually, they'd be 5-7th in the conference and not much of a story...They'd get an invite to the tourney, maybe, but they aren't worth all of the hype; especially since these same media outlets who perpetually craps all over the conference of my alma mater. You know what I think, but since I've got this opportunity, suck it, EsPN.
All that said, Steve Curry is a special talent...we all saw that in the March last year. When he's hot, no one can stop him...and he has the rare ability to score even when you know how he plans on doing it. During his team's run last year, he looked unflappable...and seemed to play at a level that NCAA teams couldn't match.
Well, I got to Conseco early Saturday afternoon...so I got to watch Steve Curry warming up. Dude is silky smooth...things look easy for him. And in the entire pre-game, he didn't miss but two or three shots. It looked like he would get his points later versus our Boilers.
Coming into the game, I said to a friend- "Let Curry get his points and play lock-down defense on the rest of the Davidson squad. If you do that, and Curry scores 40, you'll still win by 10 points." Matty had a different idea...and his idea knocked one of the best in the game way off of his game. If you didn't get to watch it...enjoy this pictorial:
These photos were taken by a 2.0mp camera on my phone from the balcony...so they're not super-clear. Here's what those scores say, in case you didn't get to watch/listen to the game:
Purdue 12 Davidson 0
Purdue 21 Davidson 0
Purdue 59 Davidson 28
So, How'd they do it? Here's how- Matt Painter confused the All-American like he had never been befuddled on the college basketball court...and kept him uncomfortable for 40 minutes. In the first 8 minutes, each time Purdue would come out of a time out, Steve would see a different Boiler in his face...First LewJack, then Keaton, now Kramer, and finally the Ostrich. Each different than the last...all tough to figure out, even for a solid offensive player...and then for good measure, when Purdue would rotate round picks, Curry had JJ to greet him and alter his shot. Steve shot 18% from the field, and scored 13 points...19 less than his average. And while the officials did their best to look the other way as he kept his left elbow out to lead the way on his drives, it didn't help. Purdue, the four-headed defensive monster, and Matty, were in Dell's son's head.
Regardless of how EsPN spins this game, Purdue made damned sure that the CBS national TV audience knew who was the better team was at the end of the game...by a lot. Perhaps it was a bit of salve in the would left by K and Co. last month following the blood-letting at Mackey. I've said this before- Purdue desperately needed a resounding win over this ranked opponent...but, holy moly, did I need it too. I'm especially glad I was there to see it.
A few more quick thoughts about the contest...
-Welcome back, Keaton!
While KG didn't shoot as well as last season, he may have taken his first step to getting back to the very real threat that he was last season.
-Smooge looked out of sync again...especially at the point.
He seems to be gripping a bit right now. I'm not worried about his game, but instead a looking forward to seeing all of the offensive weapons blazing at the same time- it'll happen.
-Alley Oop, biznatches!
Not one, but two back door dunks by JJ seemed nearly effortless. His long arms and leaping ability and court presence seem to be the perfect combo, especially if a defense decides to extend in an effort to stop #4.
-Our All-American candidate.
Hummel looked great as he shot the lights out, and rebounded like a man possessed...18/14/4...not a bad line, if you're into that sort of thing.
-Shoot it, Chris!
Not a big gripe, but damnit, Kramer, shoot every now and again!
I was actually happy to see Duke beat Xavier. What's worse than Duke fans? Fans that want to be Duke fans.
Minnesota, Purdue and MSU all beat ranked teams. The BT is not second to anybody. While the ACC and Big East have a ton of talent, the BT has the best coaching in the land...and some talent of it's own.
A bit upsetting
This morning, before the Wooden Tradition, an icon of a crappy era in stadium architecture was reduced to rubble in Indy. I didn't think it was a big deal, until I saw the unabaited view of the Oil Can while heading South in downtown Indy. As I drove past the pile of rocks formerly called the Hoosier Dome/RCA Dome, I was reminded of all of the events I had attended under that mountain of aggrigate, rebar and aluminum fascia. I'm not sorry it's gone, but a lot of memories left as it fell down this morning.