Haas Remains the Cats Meow; Boilers Win 73-69 Over NW
(Photo: Purdue Basketball)
Isaac Haas continued his excellent week with a monster performance versus the trendy pick Northwestern Wildcats in Mackey this afternoon as Purdue celebrated the 50th anniversary of Mackey by giving us a heart attack in the closing seconds with the clock simply freezing for 13 seconds.
Okay, so Purdue is now 8-2 overall and unbeaten aside from those two fart noises in the Bahamas two weeks ago. More importantly, though, the defending Big Ten champs are now 2-0 in conference with the next conference game coming in one month, on Jan 3 versus Rutgers. (Followed by another home game vs. Nebraska…yeah, I’m excited about the potential start, too – let’s talk about it another time.)
Northwestern, ranked ahead of Purdue to start the season, is now 5-4 with a 1-1 conference mark. But this is a pretty good team and I can see why they got the respect they did. They did not appear intimidated by Mackey’s atmosphere and laid some good runs on Purdue in the first half. Purdue was up by double digits halfway through that first half, but the Cats came storming back and we had a tie game at the half, even at 33.
This was an even game in a number of ways. The score stayed close for the entire second half, the teams both had 33 rebounds, they shot within 1.5% of each other for the game… but Purdue made 16/24 from the line (with some weird misses by otherwise reliable guys) while Northwestern only went 3/5 from the stripe.
At one point, Carsen Edwards was hounding Scottie Lindsey around midcourt and caused Lindsay to lose the ball. In the scramble to chase it down, Lindsey hit Carsen with a forearm shiver and essentially knocked him out of the game. Edwards stayed down and Vincent committed a foul to get the game stopped. The officials then stopped the game to take a look on the monitor….and decided that Lindsey “didn’t mean to injure” Edwards, at least that’s how they explained it to the BTN crew. Which….who cares what his intent was? It’s such a Collins/Duke mentality, just foul the hell out of other team and dare them to call it on you. Of course, that didn’t stop Collins from making a remark after the game about Purdue getting a huge FT disparity despite being “the most physical team in our league.”
So what went well?
Isaas Haas, as mentioned, was a BEAST again today, missing a double-double by one rebound. He had a season-high 26 points with nine rebounds and went 8/13 from the field and 10/14 from the line. His misses from the line were in the first half and kept him from a 30 point game.
Matt Haarms continues to be a beacon of energy and to shooters I think he must look like one of those wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men. He finished with another four blocks and is now being regularly subbed in for Haas on the defensive end of the floor in late game situations. He chipped in four points on 2/2 shooting and four rebounds in just 12 minutes of action.
Ryan Cline has finally arrived for the 2017-18 basketball season. Maybe it was shaving off his scraggly beard, maybe he was still jetlagged from the summer travel, who knows? But he was bombing today, going 3/4 from deep and 5/7 overall, for 13 points. Cline had season highs in minutes (25) and points (previous season high was five).
Vincent was the only other guy to get into double figures, but his game wasn’t overall that great – 12 points on 4/12 shooting, empty from deep and two of Purdue’s seven turnovers. He had a great steal late in the game though as Bryant Mcintosh made a bad decision and a wild pass.
What went less than well?
Purdue is a shooting team and they definitely need their shooting to be on to be a serious threat this season. However, they only shot 33% from deep (6/18). Tonight, Isaac Haas did exactly what you need from your 7’2” center in that he put the guys on his back and took the workload easily. If that happens every time the shooting touch isn’t there, this team is going to be very difficult to beat. So we’ll see.
I’m just gonna say this because it needs to be said and we’ve said a lot of nice things about our boy Isaac…but man, he needs to be a better rebounder. In addition, he had zero blocks today which also feels like it shouldn’t be possible.
Dakota was somewhat quiet on the scoring end with only nine points on 3/8 shooting, but he also grabbed five rebounds and had five assists, continuing his excellent season even when his scoring game isn’t top notch.
Carsen was really rattled by the Lindsey hit and actually had blood drawn from the (non-foul) hit. He still dished out four assists but was otherwise very limited in his 22 minutes.
Just before intros, Purdue showed off their new video projection system on the court with a terrific presentation. I remember when those started popping up in NHL arenas and people went nuts. Mackey may be 50 years old but aside from the clock, it’s pretty current and cool.
As noted, Purdue has now started the Big Ten season 2-0 and should probably be ranked tomorrow. That’s pretty immaterial right now (the ranking) aside from keeping Purdue in the selection committee’s consciousness throughout the season. Of course, they’ll probably be punished for the WKU loss forever.
The Boilermakers next play this Thursday at home against Valpo. The Crusaders will come in hot at 8-0 so keep Mackey loud, everybody. The train is rolling.