For weeks, if not months, we've been hearing that Purdue needs a third scorer...well, one finally emerged in tonight's easy win over IPFW at Mackey Arena: E'Twaun Moore.
I mean JJ is going to get his points...so is DJ Byrd. So, it's nice to see Moore chipping in and picking up the slack. Right?
Like you, I'm pretty sick and tired of hearing the groupthink by the media that covers Purdue basketball. And I'm a firm believer that the third option by-committee will be enough if guys are willing and ready to take shots. We saw tonight how deadly Purdue's offense can be, even if for a few minutes, if multiple players understand their role on offense.
Our Boilers had a 9-point lead as they entered the second half, but after a five minute burst to
begin the second half, the game was over. Purdue's stifling defense combined with an offense that had purpose. LewJack and Smooge found JJ in creative ways. JJ demanded the ball and made a bunch of different shots. Smooge and Jackson both created opportunities for themselves and Byrd simply shot well and took good shots. Terone Johnson also got in on the act before tweaking his shoulder while diving for loose ball. I haven't heard anything, but it didn't look too serious.
This game started out like so many this season (and in previous seasons)- Purdue struggled to get into an offensive rhythm and looked a bit lethargic on offense. But, they forced IPFW to look even more out of sync. Some people think that's a bad habit to get into. But, I'd argue that it's a worse habit to rely on offense to carry you- that goes away...effort on defense, once it's the norm can be counted on time and time again.
Hart's return is now just week's away and Purdue doesn't play for another seven days...so the offensive options should look even better in the near future.
Here are a few things that were noteworthy tonight to me:
-JJ continues to feast on undersized bigs. But, unlike last season when he did the same thing, he seems to be more assertive and is absolutely more-dominant than ever. He finished with another double-double 24/13. But, the high-level of effort we've been witnessing might be the new norm for the potential All-American. He was a force, yet again.
-E'Twaun didn't light it up...but that didn't stop him from changing the game. He finished with 9 points less than his season average, but he was tough on defense as he had 5 steals and 1 block (I think he actually had another he didn't get credit for). And on the offensive end, he fed the beast and finished with 6 assists to go with along with 5 total rebounds.
-LewJack played very smart and had 8 points...but as usual, that's not the story. This is: 8 assists, 0 turnovers. Honestly, that, and his on-ball defense, is really all that's needed.
-DJ Byrd got hot from behind the arc and didn't really cool off. He was 5-of-7. If you visit here regularly, you know that I love his effort and we saw that again tonight. He finished with 15 pts, 3reb, 3ast and a steal.
-Barlow only had 3 rebounds, but he was generally disruptive to IPFW. I think we're going to see him dominate a game this year in multiple facets...If he decides it's important-enough to put the effort into it. I love his upside.
Next up: @ UM in 7 days.
sidenote: Lil' Boilerdowd had a problem with this game before it started. He thought the opponent's name was simply wrong- "They should be called PIFW...Purdue's better than Indiana."