Purdue Beats Georgia State 64-56 And Oops We Burned All The Tape
Starters: PJ Thompson, Dakota Mathias, Vince Edwards, Caleb Swanigan, Isaac Haas
Finishers: PJ Thompson, Spike Albrecht, Dakota Mathias, Caleb Swanigan, Isaac Haas
Feature image from @PurdueSports, featuring Vincent Edwards, who may have been a ghost today but was captured by the slick Purdue photography staff.
Purdue soundly defeated Ron Hunter’s plucky Georgia State team 64-56, there were no bumps in the road, Georgia State hung around all game but it was never in doubt, I hope you have a great Friday and I hear there’s a really good restaurant that just opened you should probably go check it out especially if you’re a part of the Tournament Selection Committee ok it was great talking to you bye!
*IF YOU’RE A PART OF THE TOURNAMENT SELECTION COMMITTEE, DON’T READ PAST HERE*
Ok, I think the coast is clear.
That was a freaking disaster.
It was the UA-Little Rock game all over. Purdue started the game by easily breaking GSU’s press, establishing Haas and Swanigan in the post early, and looked like they were in for a night of bullying an undersized team. But Purdue kept missing easy looks at the basket…then missing wide open threes……then Vince(nt) missed a dunk………and things started too look devastatingly familiar from there.
GSU started swarming the post with 3 (or even 4) players, and Purdue couldn’t throw entry passes around GSU’s halfcourt trap. Biggie and Haas were surrounded, Basil Smotherman and Mathias turned the ball over roughly 834 times, and there was a lid on the basket that lasted well beyond halftime.
The first 32 minutes of the game, GSU’s Jeremy Hollowell (an IU transfer) and D’Marcus Simonds took turns being the best player on the floor. Purdue couldn’t find anyone to get the offense going, and Ron Hunter (a truly underrated coach, even without his son on his team) looked ready to walk away with a massive upset in front of a drowsy crowd.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
3 points all of free throws, 0-2 from the field, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal in 22 minutes of play. If you’re just looking at the box score, Spike Albrecht’s line looked odd but not special. But don’t let that fool you: Spike is the reason Purdue fans aren’t burning Mackey down.
Purdue’s largest offensive rut of the first half was ended after Spike, while being rushed by two GSU defenders at the top of the key, calmly swing the ball to Mathias who *finally* drilled a three with 3:45 left in the half.
Spike, along with the rest of the team, was fairly quiet for the first 12 minutes of the second half, as Purdue dug itself into a 13-point hole and zero positive moments to take away from the game. Spike and Biggie were the only two with any semblance of energy on both ends of the floor (to be fair, Basil looked fine defensively for a decent chunk of the game), and Spike’s drawn foul and three free throws cut the GSU lead to 10. (An awful box-out gave GSU a 12-point lead moments after that.)
Spike then notched two hockey assists via Biggie, one for an open three by Mathias (cutting the lead to 9), and the other to a posting Ent Haas (cutting the lead to 7). Then, *defensively*, Spike forced the steal and got Basil a beautiful transition and-one, cutting the GSU lead to 4 with five minutes left to play and GSU players fouling out left and right.
From that moment, Purdue looked back in control. They would end the game on a 20-0 run over the final 7:16 (which seems good), and got the W. That’s what matters in the end, and a scare without hurting tournament seeding a great. But it exposed a lot of the same flaws we’ve seen from this team in the Hammons-Davis-Vince era.
- I thought Spike Albrecht would barely play 5 minutes per game on this team, that Vince would take the leadership role easily and wouldn’t need a “vet” (who mostly warmed the bench), and PJ/Carsen wouldn’t need an experienced point guard to take the reins in chaotic situations. I was super super wrong. Spike is perfect and beautiful.
- Biggie Swanigan was super energetic all night. Sometimes he’d be 90 feet away from the ball, tying his shoelaces, drinking a protein shake, when a GSU shot was missed. He’d X-Man teleport exactly where the ball would be, elbow helpless jabronis away, and get the break started with an outlet pass.
- Bell’s Christmas Ale, which was a welcome addition to my viewing experience streaming BTN on my phone.
- Purdue’s awful perimeter shooting. The Boilers finished 5-22 (22.7%) from behind the arc tonight, which is less than ideal. How many times are we going to beg our “shooters” to make shots, before we stop calling them shooters? Mathias got things together (3-6), but the rest of the team was abysmal.
- Vince(nt) Edwards was functionally benched for the final 4 minutes of the game. He’d come in on occasional offense-defense substitutions for Haas, but Spike, PJ, and Mathais were clearly above him in Coach Painter’s rotation…and it was really justified. Vince hasn’t yet shown a complete game of sustained excellence we all know he’s capable of, and for a player with NBA aspirations he’s surely started his junior year off on the wrong foot. Don’t be surprised if Painter substitutes Spike in the starting lineup next week, just for a little kick in the pants to Vince. This team is his and Biggie’s, and it’s about time Vincent held up his end of the bargain.
- Purdue’s complete inability to throw an entry pass against an effective halfcourt trap. Ron Hunter came with the goods tonight, and Purdue wasn’t prepared. They’d better be ready to see that all season, particularly against undersized and well-coached teams.
- Isaac Haas’ lateral movement on defense is still a liability. Purdue seems to be defending like AJ Hammons is still on the team (be still, my heart), and it’s not working out well for the Ent. Haas’ timing and lateral footwork doesn’t compare well to AJ’s, and it’s his biggest area of improvement. But when he gets the ball in the post (and isn’t swarmed by 4 defenders), he’s going up decisively and either getting the bucket or drawing the foul.
- Smotherman’s entire night. He’d have wonderful defensive stretches against Hollowell, then he would float into no-man’s-land and allow a wide open three. He’d throw down a fierce transition dunk, but that was after he committed five turnovers and took a super weird 17 footer in transition with GSU on their heels. Smotherman has undeniable athleticism, he’s just got to pair it with some instinct for the moment.
- This game. It was ugly. It verified that entry passing against collapsing zones, perimeter shooting droughts, and the lack of an aggressive ball-dominant leader (yes, that’s your music Vincent) are all still huge issues for this team. But the 20-0 run is undeniable, and walking away with a win and a near-shocker might be good for this team. Or, you know, it might show exactly how to beat Purdue. Either way, we’ll see if they learned anything going forward.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Having UALR flashbacks, need a defibrillator.
VIDEO YOU SHOULD WATCH
How’s about some highlights, particularly Carsen Edwards *gorgeous* reverse layup 35 seconds into this package: