It looked like a different team tonight in Mackey Arena and by that I mean, it actually looked like a team. Purdue beat a depleted Northwestern squad 74-43, a stark contrast from the first appearance in Evanston which was the second game in the Boilers downhill spiral.
Tonight was the Terone show. He shot 9-16 from the field, 4-5 from downton, had 6 rebounds, and a steal for 22 points in 28 minutes. Terone could have probably dropped 30 tonight, but unlike Clappy, Painter benches his starters when up 30 in the second half.
The Boilermakers have averaged just 10.8 assists since the curb-stomping in Mackey by the Hoosiers and just 13 on the season. Tonight they had 18 and put on the best passing performance of the season.
Purdue also shot very well tonight and well over the season average. The Boilermakers didn't have a starter shoot under 50 percent and shot 52.9 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from beyond the arc tonight.
The excellent shooting, the excellent passing, an overall better hustle on defense, combined with a poor shooting Northwestern, allowed for one of Purdue's best performances of the season and by far the best since the West Virginia game.
Unfortunately for the Boilermakers they had to play in front of a lack-luster Paint Crew, but that is partially their own fault for the effort given the past few games. That being said, it's still inexcusable to have that much of the student section missing. I understand that it's exam week, I have exams myself this week, but just take two hours out of your study and show up. Grab your beverage of choice, walk to the stadium and be loud. I love the Paint Crew and the ones that showed up were trying their best, but what makes the Paint Crew so intimidating is the mass amounts of people. Most of you will only be in school for four or five years, so take advantage of it.
Tonight I was impressed by the performance of the team as a unit, something that I haven't said often this year. DJ Byrd was passing off on shots that were not high percentage and Anthony Johnson was off on his shot, but kept trucking and making good passes. He looked like a point guard today.
Painter didn't start Hammons today, which I totally agree with. Chooch has played hard the past few games and deserved the start. Hammons only played 12 minutes tonight, a message was sent.
I must say even thought it was against Northwestern, I left Mackey happy tonight. I thought the effort was there and the team looked very good tonight. Hopefully this is something they can build on to propel them the rest of the season.
Tonight looked like Purdue Basketball, something we've all been waiting for. It really showed me that this team is going to be good eventually, we just need to have patience and have faith in Painter.
There are only two games left in Mackey Arena this season, both against program ranked in the top 10 at one point this season, so get to Mackey, be loud and CHOO CHOO MUTHAS.