Boring Ain't Bad
We all like a good, exciting basketball game. Two teams at their peak, evenly matched and going at it. Trading buckets and defensive stops, both fans on the edge of their seats until the game is decided in the waning moments (with Purdue coming out on top of course).
But I'd say that as fun as that can be from time to time (I say that as someone who, in those moments, will stand inches from the tv with my best murderface on), I'd posit that a nice, boring game is good from time to time. Sure, there isn't much thrill in the boring games, and my mind will tend to wander (as will my eyes to my phone), but when Purdue is on the right side of a boring game, well, it's just good to get the easy win.
Rutgers is a bad team. Yeah, they caught Michigan State on a bad night and made it kinda close, but that game wasn't in doubt, not really. And the rest of their performances were middling at best. They did get within five points of Florida State, but when your best performances are spoken in terms of by how little you lost, you can make no credible claim to be a decent team.
And when you, as Purdue or any team with high-ish post-season aspirations, encounters such a team, you will pretty much only be judged based on how badly you beat them. The win matters only in its magnitude. A loss will be devastating no doubt (unless of course, you're an anointed blue blood with a rich history of academic violations who can survive a loss to Wofford and still find yourself knocking on the door of a top-10 ranking), but a win is just something you need to get.
And got it Purdue did. After some very early basket-trading, Purdue clamped down the defense and started generating some offense. Carsen Edwards was dynamic in transition, Isaac Haas was a monster below and the rest of the love was spread almost evenly among the starters and Ryan Cline.
This game in many ways was Purdue at their best (albeit against a soft opponent); the type of performance that could see them make an impression in March. The team was efficient (for the most part, Carsen Edwards did go 4-13 from the field, though he made up for it with five rebounds and four assists) and flexed their muscle on a weaker opponent. Purdue and Michigan State are the two best teams in the B1G this year, and the drop-off after those two is considerable. While I hardly expect each team to run the table this year save their one match-up at MSU, it's important that Purdue, if they want to keep pace with MSU, keep the dumb losses to a minimum. They keep pace with that goal tonight, destroying a hapless Rutgers team in a stress-free, boring manner. Can't ask for much more.