Boilermakers Off To Good Start in Non-Ballroom November Tournament, 92-70
(Photo credit of Matt Painter singing: John Terhune, J&C)
For the third straight game to start the season, Carsen Edwards was Purdue’s leading scorer as he poured in 25 on an overmatched App State team (man, do I love Apps – especially mozzarella sticks) in their quarterfinal game of the Charleston Classic, 92-70 in front of well less than the TD Arena capacity of….*checks notes*… 5,100.
What was inspiring for me was how consistent Purdue was in this game and how they did what they do when Painter teams are clicking – they put on a workmanlike performance that put them out in front early, avoided dead spots and ground their opponent into dust. Sure, App State wound up with 70 points which is maybe more than you’d like to see Purdue giving up, but it’s really more about how the game was flowing. Purdue was in control and there was no risk of them losing, so when you’re rolling up 92 points, you maybe don’t buckle down defensively as much as you would if it were tighter.
There was defense, let me be clear. In one two-possession stretch in the first half, Matt Haarms blocked three consecutive App State shots in about 15 seconds of game play. Purdue also had eight steals on the game from seven different players. Distribution! The only guy with more than one was Ryan Cline. Yes, Ryan Cline plays defense. And let’s talk about Ryan Cline.
RyCli, as I called him on twitter during the game, scored 21 points on 8/13 shooting, including 4/8 from deep. He also had two rebounds and three assists, plus the aforementioned two steals. Ryan had himself a game. And I think one of the things that gave us concern in past years was how sometimes you’d look at the box score and Cline would have two shots. He’d miss a three and then not shoot again. It’s early, but it’s looking like Ryan was just deferred to the older guys. Now he’s one of the older guys and clearly looks to be taking his responsibilities seriously.
In case you’re wondering, Cline’s 21 is a career high – he’d only scored in double digits nine times before tonight. Until this season, he’d never even attempted ten shots from the field in a game. Let’s hope Ryan stays hot. He’s going to be needed and through three games he’s performing as that dangerous outside threat Purdue fans have always envisioned him being.
Also in double digits were Matt Haarms, with ten points on a tidy 5/6 shooting (he had four blocks on the scoresheet), and Nojel Eastern, who went 5/8 from the field but missed his two free throws. Still some work to be done on Nojel’s offensive game but he’s still getting better every game in my eyes.
Purdue also had six guys score off the bench, as Painter got nine different guys into double digit minutes. It’s that time of year where Matty looks at what he’s got before he falls into his go-to rotations closer to the new year.
Purdue now gets the winner of the Wichita State-Davidson game tomorrow at 630 PM on ESPNU.