|Brent Drinkut/Journal & Courier|
The Purdue Boilermakers came into Mackey Arena looking for a big win behind a ruckus sell out. It was by far the loudest Mackey Arena has been all season. There was an electricity in the air and a sense of excitement among fans especially the students coming off winter break looking for a victory to cap of the first two days of classes, but it didn't happen.
OSU was just too much for the Boilermakers.
They were too fast, too tall and too athletic for this team to win the game some would say, but I would argue different. Chalk this one up to youth once again. The team missed key lay-ups the entire game and the same old story from the beginning of the season, couldn't make a shot when it mattered.
It seemed once OSU pulled away, the Boilermakers just couldn't get within more than 6 points in the second half. They were the better team.
This game was lost by fundamentals and inexperience. The missed lay-ups really stick out to me. Purdue was out-rebounded as well.
The inability to take good shots and get quality attempts just drove me off the deep-end tonight, not to mention Craft's excessive flopping and aOSU's ability to walk with the ball almost every possession. Purdue's inability to get off of ball screens was also making me crazy, at this rate I'll be bald in no time.
Inexperienced or not, credit doesn't need to be taken away from Deshaun Thomas. If I was an NBA scout I'd be looking at him as one of the top 5 picks in this season's draft. He is a monster and has the ability to step out and hit a J. He is simply unstoppable for a team like Purdue and it showed tonight. The best luck Purdue had on him was Raphael Davis who was able to body him up and stay with him on the perimeter. Thomas ended up shooting 8-13 for 22 points and 7 rebounds tonight. Pretty impressive.
OSU as a team shot extremely well shooting 56 percent fromt he floor tonight.
Although the youth of this team showed tonight, Purdue did some things well and had a few bright moments as well.
The long awaited return of Sandi Marcius happened tonight. He only played 11 minutes but played some very productive ones. I can only recall him getting beat really bad once defensively.
Raphael Davis once again was productive tonight, in fact he was perfect shooting going 3-3 tonight and didn't miss from the charity stripe.
Hammons had 13 and 8 tonight but was hampered by foul trouble throughout the game.
It seems as though teams have finally found the trick to Ronnie Johnson. OSU picked on him all night making his life hell when trying to go left with his signature finish and daring him to shoot a jumper.
What this team is missing is a player that can finish a game and shine in huge moments. I'm not sure there is a player like that on this roster, and if he is there he needs to step out. Shooting 20 plus shots a game isn't going to work for this squad, need more assists, need more passing. Purdue almost had a selfish feel tonight. Taking shots into triple teams and things of that nature, but that is also a sign of inexperience.
I still think come the end of this season Purdue is going to be a team no one wants to see, especially not in Mackey.
Purdue will grow and with a little patience, myself included, we will be able to watch a top tier team in the near future. The talent is there, it's just going to take a lot of growing up to begin beating top tier programs on a consistent basis once again.
The Boilermakers next take the court against the depleted Penn State squad in Mackey on Sunday. As a young team this one could be close, but it would be nice to see the Boilermakers come out with a vengeance and take control early.
Also a quick shout-out to the athletic department. The shirt idea worked beautifully tonight. It was really cool to see Mackey swagged out in the gold and black rings and hope this becomes an annual tradition.