Cutbacks and a tough economy have made the entry to The Discount Arena less-extravagant
I have huge news...I know why our Boilers will beat an Ohio State University tonight at the Discount Arena. Sure, JJ will be tough for Sully to chase. But, on the other end, JJ isn't super-enamored with guarding a banger in the blocks. And yes, Smooge is back...but David Lighty is as good of a defender as about anybody in the league. Ryne Smith can bomb...but Diebler shoots it as well as anyone in the nation from distance. And LewJack is playing the best basketball of his career...but Buford is a tough match up with his length and all-around game. Purdue's a bit deeper in its rotation, but aOSU has two guys off of the bench that are a handful and would probably be starting at most schools in the nation in Craft and Thomas.
I guess these two teams are both pretty good. And if I was going to really analyze this one, and look at how Purdue would win, there's a number of things that should happen. I'd say Purdue needs to throw as many different looks at Sullinger as possible. It'd be good to use up a few fouls and have Marcius, Carroll and Bade use up a couple of fouls while making him work to get the ball. Then, they need get him in foul trouble and dare Matta to keep him out of the game for long stretches. Smith and Moore have to hit the open looks as the Buckeyes switch into zone and use LewJack to change the pace and not let them set up on defense. I don't think Purdue will win the foul battle...nor do we have any reason to believe they will have more rebounds than aOSU...so it'll come down to making the most of possessions, shooting well and scoring off of transition while not letting the Buckeyes dictate the pace of the game.
The main reason Purdue has a good chance to win tonight
More important than all of these aspects of the game, are the intangibles. And I've got one that makes Purdue a sure-fire winner: My brother. Granted, I'm crossing sports, but this guy is responsible for some of the biggest Boiler victories in the past 15 years. UND in South Bend- yep. Beating highly-ranked K-State in San Antonio? Uh-huh. The Boilers over Penn State in Happy Valley? You guessed it. Sure, you can give credit to Kyle Orton or Drew Brees or even Joe Tiller...if you'd like, but I know the truth about all of these games and who's really responsible.
So, with "KDZ" in the Discount Arena, Purdue will upset the #1 ranked team in America 70-66...and Ryne Smith will be the key cog to victory. The way I look at it, this is the victory that would be most-memorable for our Boilers, if we are forced to choose just one v. the Buckeyes during the regular BT season. The national stage, versus a team that the media is jelly-kneed for, what does Matty and Co. have to lose??
Sic 'em, fellas!
1. aOSU- They keep winning, they stay at the top.
3. Minnesota- Goldy is pretty hot right now...Can't wait until they visit Mackey.
4. Wisconsin- Bo Ryan's club is quietly stalking the rest of the league right now...they're not out of it.
5. MSU- Until MSU figures out how to play tough inside on offense, they're going to be in trouble
6. Illinois- This is a pretty disappointing season for Weber & co...and I think it's going to get more disappointing as the season goes on.
7. Penn State- Best 10-win team in America...not sure if that says much, but it's true.
8. Northwestern- They're teetering their way out of the NCAA tourney. If they don't get some quality wins in conference, they'll be on the outside once-again.
9. Iowa- They made their statement to IU loud and clear...they don't belong in the cellar.
10. Michigan- Find me a more-disappointing team in America...Can't do it.
11. IU- Oh wait, here's one. IU fans continue to deny what their eyes are telling them. I guess wins and losses no longer matter to those who wear candy striped pants...But they try hard...sometimes.