Boilers Bully Cardinals 96-61
Starters: Johnny Hill, Rapheal Davis, Vince Edwards, Caleb Swanigan, Isaac HaasFinishers: Johnny Hill, Stephen Toyra, Ryan Cline, Grady Eifert, Jacquil Taylor
Purdue blew the pants off of the Incarnate Word Cardinals, 96-61. It wasn’t as close as the score might seem. Yeah.
Listen, when the other team’s tallest starter is 6’7”, Purdue should dominate every part of the game. Our Boilers didn’t play particularly well today, with 22 turnovers and allowing Incarnate Word to shoot 40% from beyond the arc…and they still won by 35 points.
So, you know, I can only pick so many nits.
The biggest storyline from this game was the season debut of Purdue’s best player, senior AJ Hammons. Ol’ Hambone was kept out of the exhibition and first two games, similar to his suspension in 2013 (except that year was two exhibitions and one regular season game). It was frustrating, as AJ could have used some more tune-up time with Caleb Swanigan before this weekend’s Hall of Fame Tip-Off, and Coach Painter never disclosed what exactly happened…but it’s over now, AJ is back and looking good, and Purdue’s frontcourt rotation looks to be one of the best in the country.
That being said, Isaac Haas was the most impressive big man tonight. Haas is so fun to watch when the trainers remember to attach his limbs, especially for basketball nerds who miss intelligent post play as basketball becomes more pace-and-space oriented. His ability to establish post position with his space station-like frame, create large targets for entry passes, and make quick and decisive post moves sets him apart from most post players in college basketball. Add his newfound rim protection abilities (well…at least he notched some blocks), and Haas is the perfect building block on the post for any team in the country. And Purdue will bring him off the bench for about 18 change-of-pace minutes when Big Ten schedule gets here. That one hell of a luxury item.
But come on, we all know what I was watching for.
Player of the Game: This one was tough, as there were two legit candidates…but I don’t have to be unbiased because this is my party so sorry Isaac but VINCE gets the nod. Edwards tallied 13 points on 5/7 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 blocks (it felt like he was blocking every Incarnate Word fast break). He’s a basketball machine built to bring a National Title to Purdue. #PGWTWDT
EDIT: THIS HAPPENED DURING THE POSTGAME PRESSER, SORRY VINCE, ISAAC WINS.
The game was over when…
…Purdue finished the final five minutes of the first half with a 23-4 run. Kendall Stephens, AJ Hammons, and Isaac Haas were way too much for the poor, innocent Cardinals.
- Purdue won the rebounding battle, 56-19. Good lord.
- 60% shooting, and 43% from three seems like some good percents. (The three point percentage was saved by Kid Stephens, who went a perfect 3-3 from three and is about to break all the way out).
- VINCE’s newfound athleticism (see the GIF of the night). Also, Vince completely demoralized Incarnate Word from the opening tip with his do-it-all midrange game.
- Haas’ shot blocking (4 tonight). He looked a lot quicker reacting to the ball at the rim, which was a pleasant surprise for all. Once he’s pulled more than 5 feet away from the basket, though…
- Oh my lord it was fun to watch AJ block shots and bully people in the post again. 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks in like 15 minutes of play. Hahahaha Purdue’s frontcourt is unfair.
- A quick follow up to that: AJ had more than one post move where he kept the ball high and went straight up, drew the foul and sunk the easy bucket. If AJ keeps his consistency up with this then oh wow we might as well end college basketball right now because #PGWTWDT.
- Official Twitter people referring to Incarnate Word as “Word”.
- Perimeter defense. Something tells me this is going to be a season-long issue, particularly when there’s no Jon Octeus-caliber defender to pair with Ray Davis to guard pesky wings. Thus, Kyle Hittle’s 17 points on 5-6 shooting from three.
- The 22 turnovers were an issue, particularly when most of them were errant passes where two teammates weren’t on the same page. That’s particularly true for Biggie, who tallied 6 turnovers (more than his first two games combined).
- Biggie’s double-double + 2 assist streak ended today. We had to settle for 10 points, 4/8 shooting, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Dang. What a scrub.
- Outside a few legitimately great moments from PJ Thompson, the point guard position still looks to be a point of weakness. This is particularly true defensively…one of these guys has got to step up when Yogi Ferrell comes to town.
- Biggie and Haas’ defense against undersized lineups. This could be a thing.
Moving Picture Thingy of the Night:
Future 1st overall pick in the NBA draft Vince Edwards.
Tweet of the night: