Boogie Time! Carsen Drops 40 As Boilers Top Illini, 93-86

Boogie Time! Carsen Drops 40 As Boilers Top Illini, 93-86

Ed. Note: With the 2019 NBA Draft coming up on June 20, and with a high likelihood Carsen Edwards gets drafted between picks #20-40, and because we love Boogie with all our hearts and wish him nothing but success and buckets and championships, we wanted to dig into the BS Archives for great Carsen memories over the past three years.

IT’S CARSEN EDWARDS WEEK. Come take a trip down memory lane with us.

We included this one because somehow Dave wrote about both of Carsen’s 40-point regular season games. Here’s the other one - unfortunately, it came in a loss as Boogie couldn’t beat Texas all by himself.

With Vincent Edwards likely out until the NYC Invitational, the Boilers needed a spark as they headed to Illinois to begin their final week of regular-season play. 

No, that's not quite right. Carsen Edwards had been a spark - 27 against Penn State, one less than his season-high 28 against Ohio State - but that didn't seem enough to get the Purdue offense going. With the defense scuffling a bit, they needed fire.

They got it.

Boogie did everything the Good Guys needed and then some, becoming the first Boiler to score 40 in nearly a quarter-century (the Big Dog put 44 on Kansas in a 1994 regional semifinal game) and adding 5 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals to lead Purdue to their first road win in nearly three weeks, 93-86. Yeah, Brad Underwood has got the Illini defense playing Big 12 ball, but road games are still tough ones to win, especially when one of your best players isn't suiting up, and the Boilers deserve credit for pulling this one out.

About that defense ... woof. Illinois posted a 123.3 ORtg, the second-worst allowed by Purdue this season (the worst, of course, came in the Michigan game in Mackey that Purdue won by posting a 141.3 of their own). Illinois shot .553/.429/.800 and turned the ball over just 6 times, a combination that in other circumstances might have been enough. But today was not that day, as Purdue's .680/.478/.839 was enough for a whopping 1.33 points per possession.

Good signs for the Old Gold and Black:

  • Dakota Mathias with his second consecutive 18-point game and a game-high 8 rebounds. Purdue's perimeter game usually needs at least two guys to hit to force defenses to respect them, and when Mathias had a cold stretch, it was hard to find two other Boilers who could light it up from outside.

  • Ryan Cline hit multiple threes for the second game in a row, the first time since the Wisconsin and Iowa games in January. A team-high 4 assists and no turnovers meant an ORtg of 169, a solid effort from a guy who's struggled at times this season.

  • Offensive rebounding. Purdue grabbed 6 tonight, which doesn't sound like much, but when you only miss 20 shots, that's a lot. (Illinois had 13 defensive boards, but Purdue's OReb% was .316, not .300. Not sure where the other one went - no team rebounds in that scenario.)

  • Last, but not least: 7 for 11 from two. 4 for 8 from three. 14 of 16 at the line. (With one more make, he'd have been the first Boiler to sink 15 free throws since Carl Landry did it against South Alabama in 2005. Yes, enough time has passed since then that Landry has gone to the NBA, played for nine years and retired. I'm not old, you're old.) At press time, that line was kenpom's #1 line o' the night, and deservedly so. A 146 ORtg on insanely high usage (43% of possessions, a number you normally see on MAC teams who have The Guy and a bunch of teammates) turned out to be what Purdue needed to stave off a resume-crushing loss.

Bad signs:

  • Sloppy ballhandling. Freshman Trent Frazier had 5 steals, enough to swing the game in the Illini's favor if it hadn't been for Boogie's superhuman effort.

  • The fading inside game. Haas' decline over the last four games or so was partly due to the higher usage required from him when the outside game wasn't there, and maybe partly due to getting banged up every game while refs are looking the other way because that little guy couldn't possibly be fouling that big guy, could he? Isaac had just 15% of Purdue's possessions, his smallest number since that Iowa game, and his 10 points on 6 shot equivalents were part of a 129 ORtg, highest since he crushed IU's bigs. With Haas at lower, more-efficient usage and Matt Haarms a non-factor (0 points and 3 fouls in 12 minutes), the Boilers needed more from the other guys and were fortunate to get it.

  • Technology to instantly heal a sprained ankle hasn't been invented yet.

Fortunately, the worst of the week is over. Purdue will almost certainly knock off what's left of Minnesota in Mackey on Senior Night, then head out to New York City to hopefully close out their resume with a quality win or two. Like the Penn State win, this one wasn't great, but it's still a W, and for a shorthanded team, that's a big deal. (Two of Villanova's three losses came while Phil Booth was out.) Not much else to say about this one - with a 1 seed possibly dependent on the Boilers winning the BTT, Purdue is in must-win mode until at least the semis, so from here on out, it's basically "nice win, next game."

But there's still a chance. Choo-choo, muthas.

Road games mean not many pics; feature image courtesy of BoilerBall, the official Purdue MBB Twitter account

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