Goodbye Gordon & Boilers Become Bowl Eligible

I started off my Saturday at Mackey Arena where I heard the bad news of Gordon Watt's bone-headed move on early-Friday morning. For those of you who don't know it, Purdue PF, Gordon Watt was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. As a result, Matt Painter kicked him off of the team. I'm not sure if Watt will be back next year for his final year of eligibility or not, but this is a pretty big loss to Purdue.

Hats off to Painter for holding Watt accountable. Watt had been warned that any further offenses would result in him being booted...I hope the party was enjoyable and the Goose was good, because Gordon's team now has to deal with his insurrections.

Onto the good news- Purdue's basketball team, while young, is talented. Along with probably 2-3,000 other Purdue fans, I got to watch the Baby Boilers practice. Kramer is once again silky smooth and seems to shoot better than he did last season. Both Martin and Hummel seem to be able to shoot from about anywhere and are good defenders. Calasan will create match-up problems with his range. Moore wasn't as impressive as I thought he'd be...I don't know if he was off, but he wasn't controlling the drills as I would have liked to have seen. JaJuan Johnson looks like he has big upside, but is simply too slight to be able to complete at a high-level for the coming season...this is where Watt's loss will hurt the worst- It will force Johnson to play more than he probably should be this early in his career.

Without Watt, I'm a bit less-optimistic about our Boilers' season, but still have a lot of positive thoughts for what's to come down the road. I am also very hopeful that Purdue can snag Tyler Zeller (who looks like the most thin human being this side of Kenya, in person). His size would help out next year.

Convincing Win

J, Tim & I all discussed the remainder of the season at length Friday night. We all were in agreement- Purdue could lose out and Purdue could win out...and neither were really out of the realm of possibility. We all believe a win on the road versus Penn State seems to be a stretch (to say the least) I guess winning double-digit games for the first time in nearly 30 years would be more shocking. But, Purdue started the last third of the season the right way, Saturday and our Boilers are once again bowl eligible for the 11th time in 12 seasons. Here's to not settling on just good-enough.

Despite the fact that the offense started a bit slow, Tiller's team beat an over-matched Iowa team easily at Ross-Ade. A defensive line that really hasn't put pressure on any opponent all season was in Christensen's face all afternoon. While Christensen is extremely mobile, he is simply not that great of a quarterback, at this point in his career. That said, I counted three dropped the first possession alone by Hawkeye receivers. Iowa had some pretty big run plays, but Purdue's lead forced Iowa to completely go away from the run in the second half.

Dorien Bryant made some extremely impressive catches and nearly made up for the big smelly eggs he had laid versus both tOSU and UM in previous weeks. Even Selwyn Lymon caught some balls. Painter, despite one very ugly interception managed the game well, especially in the second half. Coach Legg called a good game too; the offense really mixed it up well, running inside & outside, passing underneath, in the flat outside and vertically. All that said, I was most impressed with Jaycen Taylor. Taylor is clearly Superman, but also makes Sheets much better as he presses him to be better. On one play, in fact, Sheets could have stepped out of bounds, but decided to lower his shoulder and knock a DB on his arse and get the extra yardage. He simply doesn't run that way when Taylor's not in his rear-view mirror.

So, was anybody surprised? Tiller continued his dominance over sub-.500 did Painter. A few real tests lie ahead in the form of Northwestern, Michigan State, Penn State & IU (both on the road). Before the season, many, myself included, thought UND, OSU, UM & Iowa would be the toughest four-game stretch of the season. Turns out, the next four will truly be that stretch. There is still plenty to prove for Purdue.

After the game a couple of things impressed me- First, Joe Tiller showed a bit of fire when dealing with the media following a question that he didn't like...and moreso, I really liked Terrill Vinson's answer to a question. He was asked if becoming bowl eligible took any pressure off the team. He answered (and I'm paraphrasing),

"A lot of Big Ten teams are bowl we still have work to do. Our goal isn't to just go to a bowl, it's to win 10 games."

What???? A big goal?

I am extremely pleased that while Tiller isn't mentioning anything but consistency & smaller goals to the media, he's talking about big, difficult goals to the team. Purdue needs to get 10-wins this season to have momentum going into next year. Hopefully, the players and coaches alike believe they can beat all remaining opponents.

Post-implosion dissection

Still Idiots