Coming into the game, Purdue was receiving votes in both polls that would place them someplace in the 30s. The CCR* for our Boilers was 36 before tip-off. Their opponent from the mighty ACC, Miami of Florida, has a new coach (Larranaga formerly at George Mason) and has some personnel issues they're trying to work through...in other words, this Hurricane squad is no world beater at this point.
They're kind of like a poor, poor man's aOSU from last season- they've got a bunch of guys between 6'4" and 6'6" playing different positions really just based on their girth and strength...with a couple of bigger guys sprinkled in. In fact, their starting line-up was so vertically-challenged that Matty decided to try to run the offense through Sandi to start things off.
In the first three or four possessions, the good guys threw it into 55 each time...and he was looking to shoot. One of the possessions earned him a a foul and one...another got him to the free throw line...then things got ugly. The smaller, more-athletic 'Canes started doubling down on Marcius and just knocking it away. He ended up playing only 11 minutes...and might not quite be ready to have the offense running through him.
|Not a foul.|
Hummel quietly led the team in scoring with 17 points, 5 rebounds and a block in 32 minutes...but hit 6 of 7 free throws; a few of those down the stretch that helped salt the contest away. LewJack ran the point pretty well handling the pressure well for most of the night. Most-notably, he was getting fouled each time he touched the ball in the last 5 minutes, and the refs simply refused to blow their whistles. As 23 weaved through double and triple teams, he managed to get the ball across half court, fight through arm tackles and not turn it over. He finished with 15pts, 4 reb, 2ast.
Barlow played solid again as he did a lot well. He had 7pts, 4reb, 2ast, 2stl, a block and 0TOs. When his head was in the right place, he was looking to attack Miami's defense...and finish at the rim. When bad Kelsey showed up, he was accepting the three pointer instead of making it difficult for the 'Canses. TJohn and AJ combined for 21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and a block without any turnovers. TJohn probably played his best game of the young season...and AJ continues to be rock solid; both off of the bench. Carroll had three rebounds and played tougher and smarter than in the last few games. Smith hit a couple threes early, but after cooling off seemed to decide it wasn't his night and just settled in to playing defense. Jacob Lawson continues to impress defensively as he had two blocked shots, two or three altered shots and a steal. Plus, he's playing important minutes each game and is averaging around 20/gm in the last few. He still hasn't even started scratching the surface of his potential...but his impact is being felt.
Purdue donned the long-rumored silver uniforms with black numbers/piping...and I really liked them. In fact, I like them a lot more than the white or black. They have a similar macho factor like the black unis from a few seasons ago as they are kind of no-frills, just business.
JJ was honored at halftime for his great career in God's Country...and although his number had already been added to the rafters, it was the night when he was formally recognized. He was walking around in the concourse before the game like a normal, anonymous 6'11" guy prior to his Mom escorting him onto Keady court.
I also saw and spoke briefly to Siller and All-B1G Tackle KK Short in the concourse...they also had a difficult time blending in...but Siller was gracious as always as I thanked him for a great career. Robert Marve was in attendance as well, but was followed by a crowd as he looked to go to grab something from the concession stand (I suggest the chicken fingers). Turns out I'm not the only person who is a fan of Marve.
At the end of the night, the B1G was up 4-2 on the ACC with Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern and aOSU all winning, while Michigan and Iowa both got beaten pretty soundly. It's kind of funny- a few seasons ago, EsPN couldn't help but break down the dominance of the ACC ad nauseaum pointing to the B1G's lack of athleticism and fall from grace in the college football world. But this year, as the B1G dominates, these are just individual games. Huh.
Honestly though, Duke v. aOSU is like evil v. evil to me...so I wish they'd both lose and my conference loyalty always comes back to my alma mater...I just think it's almost like the Entertainment network has some sort of bias in its coverage when dealing with their vested interests.
Suck it, EsPN.
Early Season Ranting
As my BS counterpart J sipped ice cold malt beverages out of frosty boot-shaped mugs in beautiful, always sunny** Houston, we spoke on the phone about our Boilers. As we talked, the winter storm that was sitting over Indiana began attacking the BS offices in Fishers, IN. The blizzard-like conditions intensified as the afternoon went on and I sent him a photo as the snow began to stick...and I thought aloud that the drive to God's country would be pretty lousy tonight...It was.
It usually takes around an hour and five minutes...but tonight, it was double that...but I never thought of not making the drive to see the Boilers play the 9:00 game v. Tha U (that's what the kids call 'em). But, once again, the expensive seats sat mostly-empty...yet again...as the rich Purdue alums and donors continue to embarrass the university on TV.
I guess that's not completely true...because the BTN has done their best to make sure no one sees this Purdue team play. That said, I've been to three games...and each time it's the same situation. 2/3-3/4 of the comfy, plush seats are empty. I'm glad those people give money to the program...but their lack of real interest in the product is obvious. On the boards and Twitter, the excuse of weather and the late-night tip-off were used. The weather was bad, no doubt. But, this is Indiana...I bet we'll see snow again prior to tip-off in December, January and February. Sunny skies, weekend games with a noon tip-off? Same garbage. Heck, the seats weren't full for the re-dedication of Mackey. Nice job, rich guys.
As is a tradition of mine, I attempted to move down in the arena and fill some empties (I've already done it twice this season) and enjoy a better view. This time, my lawless behavior was thwarted by the Mackey Event Cops making sure the pristine seats wouldn't be littered with disgusting cheering fans. Hats off to Morgan and everyone else who have decided to enforce this policy no matter what- It looked great on TV!!
By the way, I'm a small-time JPCer.
*CCR stands for Composite Computer Ranking
**It wasn't beautiful today in Houston