Quick Thoughts on the New Look Boilers
If you're like me, you feel dirty and used...you caved, gosh darnnit. You didn't wanna do it, but you did it anyway. You and I paid the BTN $10 to watch Purdue's pre-conference games on the interwebnet...well I did anyway.
Sure, the production value is horrendous...and the stupid subscription wouldn't allow me to watch it on my computer, only my phone since I paid from my phone...but thanks to a new, larger screen, I could make out a thing or two.
And as I look back on the long exhibition season for the new look Boilers, here are my thoughts:
AJ Hammons looks like a new man. He's even leaner...he's more animated...and he has a jumpshot. Sure, he's playing guys that are a head shorter than him, but he looks very patient. His footwork is improved and he's more aggressive on the glass. I think my favorite thing about watching him play is his excitement to play; we haven't seen that in his previous two seasons in metallic beige and black.
PJ Thompson is a good addition. He made it rain last night from long distance...but generally is looking to facilitate. But his shooting...man, do you think his predecessor could have hit that many three pointers in a row in a gym by himself? I'm not so sure he could. No matter- while Thompson isn't as quick as the guy who played before him at PG, he is efficient and smart with the ball and doesn't shoot the floater.
Octeus (Prime) is kind of a badass. Yeah, a point guard who can rise up with quick ups and dunk on a forward? Kinda neato. He's quick, smart with the ball and is a gritty defender who takes losing individual battles personally. In other words, he's exactly what this program needed. As Hank said on this very site, less than a month ago, Purdue got really lucky in this case. Prime is a good fit...and in LESS THAN A MONTH, he seems to have already has nailed down the starting job.
Bryson Scott seems to be a 2 guard, not a 1...thankfully, the new additions to the line-up will allow him to be a guy who drives first and passes second.
Haas (The Green Giant) isn't a project. He moves well, is strong and seems humble enough to want to learn from Hammons. Purdue is in a great position with these two players on the roster.
The zone works. Purdue doesn't look like a man-to-man team playing zone when they do it, they look like a team playing solid zone defense. AND, much to old Matty Painter's chagrin, playing zone defense seems like it will be a very good thing for this Purdue team.
Mathias and Stephens can shoot. Sure, The Kid's shot looked awful versus Carroll. But he can score. And unlike last season, when Stephens is off, there's another guy that can come in and hit a few three pointers. Purdue hasn't had this since Smith and Hummel played together. Also, Mathias looks like he might be a basketball genius. He's just really smart and efficient with the ball. When he's in the game, he's not only looking to bomb, but to move the ball to find the soft spots in the opponent's defense.
Watching Edwards in #12, I get flashbacks to Barlow. Watching PJT in #3, I get flashbacks to RonJohn...and watching Jaquil Taylor in #23, I'm reminded of Jay Simpson as a Boiler. Prime (wearing 0) doesn't remind me of TJohn due to the different build. I look forward to watching each of these guys create their own identity as Boilermakers.
I like what I've seen from this team in limited opportunities...I actually like that they're young and don't know much. The last few years are forgettable; time to move on.