New Look Boilers Start Strong at Home
Photo Credit: USA Today
Last night, Dave told you about Purdue’s decisive victory…I wanted to tell you a bit about what I saw during my first trip to Mackey since last Spring.
The pre-game intro is better than ever as Mackey continues its on-going transition of becoming a high-tech marvel. Improved sound, additional lights, LED ribbon boards…this isn’t my Dad’s Mackey Arena (even though it still is). The Athletic Department has made the game a sensory overload of information, graphics and sound. Also, the wall wrap around the top of the arena looks good and modern…now onto the important stuff.
Best Show in Town
The Carsen Edwards Show puts the high tech lights and info boards to shame. He was wearing mint/pink Kyrie Irving kicks…his swagger is at another level…and his game looks to have improved too. He scores in bunches, he is conscience-less and has a trigger that is so blazingly-fast, even when defenses know he’s going to shoot, they can’t close him out. His range begins a step or two inside Mackey Arena…and while Coach Paint might hate some of Carsen’s shot selection, he knows it’s best to let Edwards be Edwards. They hype is real…Edwards dropped 30 with relative ease.
It’s weird to see Cline, Eastern and Haarms in their larger roles…I’m convinced they’ll get more comfortable with the increased minutes and the greater responsibility. But for now, they look to not be a complete unit.
Cline forced his shot a bit tonight; took a few off-balance looks that didn’t fall. BUT, his handle looks notably better and the extra dribble set-up will be deadly.
Nojel is smartly laying off shooting deep balls. He’ll make noise in the lane finishing. Also, his length/strength will create problems for opposing guards.
Haarms looked to be battling a hip injury a bit late in the game that seemed to hurt his productivity. BUT, he blocked two shots in one possession and reminded us why he’ll change the plans of opposing would-be driving guards.
They Get ‘It’
Tonight, when Carsen struggled with early foul trouble, or the Boilers were simply struggling to get started, Eifert provided a deep threat. He looks comfortable shooting the deep ball, was in the right place time and again grabbing boards, setting screens and keeping the motion offense moving.
Boudreaux might not look like a prototypical college basketball player, but he understands the game. He can score in a number of ways and will create match-up problems. Last night, when Purdue needed to calm down and simply get a stop, or get a bucket, it seemed the Dartmouth transfer was near by.
Another guy that looks to have HUGE upside is Eric Hunter. He understands spacing as well as anyone on the team and has a nose for the loose ball.
The New Look Boilers
The pick and roll is going to be an important part of this offense…the athleticism and quickness of this team is notably improved…a swarming on-ball defense will be appreciated by the Mackey faithful all season. This team looks good and, as Dave said, has plenty of room to improve in the few weeks before their first big test.
This team looked awful for the first few minutes of the game…and then again about half way through the second half. As Coach Paint works with line-ups and chemistry, the lapses should become less frequent. As this team’s defense goes, so will go the offense…and when they’re not attacking, they’re not successful. The half court sets that brought so much success the last few seasons, will be more of a last resort than the first option, this season.
It’s all new, and should be a ton of fun to watch as this squad develops. Next up, Ball State on Saturday night at 8:00p.