The Purdue Boilermakers got their first victory against the Hofstra Pride today 83-53 in Mackey Arena. The Pride was just outmatched. The most exciting thing about their team had to be the player that was wearing sunglasses the whole game channeling his inner Ladainian Tomlinson/Amare Stoudemire.
The leading scorer of the game was Hofstra's Jimmy Hall. Hall is a talented freshman who wound up with 17 points.
Purdue looked decent today, but still made some young mistakes.
The Boilermakers started Sandi Marcius, Donnie Hale, Dru Anthrop, Ronnie Johnson and Raphael Davis. A different line-up than we had seen starting before lacking Byrd and Terone, but Painter is just trying to shake things up a bit and see different looks.
Purdue turned the ball over 20 times and finished with a -3 turnover rate, something that isn't normal for a Painter team. The turnovers came at inopportune times and came quick. Usually they occurred when the floor was full of youth. The freshman are going to get better at this, but the veterans need to work on it as well. Yes D.J. I'm talking to you.
The free throw shooting was much better today as Purdue went 10-13 for 76 percent tonight. A much better game from the line than their first outing. They shot 38 percent from beyond the arc, a number that could improve but is decent.
The stat that really poked out to me after watching the game was the rebounding. Purdue raked in 47 rebounds to their opponents 21, just wow. I guess we will all have to get used to having a bigger squad that can pull down rebounds at that rate.
Byrd didn't look good again today and it's almost to the point where Painter is going to have to start limiting his minutes. He finished the day with 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 turnovers. Byrd struggled to get much going today going 2-6 from the floor. A fan behind me remarked that they thought he looked scared out there. I'm not sure if that was the case. If you will remember back to the beginning of last season, Byrd averaged only 3.4 points per game in non-conference last season. Although the ankle might have had something to do with that, he still struggled to find a rhythm early on.
I was extremely impressed with Sandi today. He has showed improvement before but in this one he looked like a decent post player, something this team is going to need with the youth. Sandi had 11 points, 5 rebounds and a block today. He is still struggling with ball control like the rest of the Boilermakers as he turned the ball over four times today.
Ronnie Johnson continues to impress more me each game. I have to reiterate that this guy is going to be a Purdue great. Tonight the freshman point guard scored 9 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. Not a bad stat-line for a freshman that only played 23 minutes. Johnson has great vision, once he develops a bit and starts to limit his turnovers, he will be one of the best in the country.
Anthony Johnson had a great game as well. He was 5-8 for 14 points and four rebounds. The more I watch Anthony the more I realize what a great shot he has. His vision is great and his floater his deadly. This guy is fun to watch and will surprise a lot of people this season.
Overall I thought the team looked good for their second game. They struggled with ball control but other than that they didn't have any big time flaws that were noticeable. The defense was stout most of the time and the press breaker was working well.
I would say this was a game that we didn't learn much from as fans, but every game is going to be a lesson for this young squad.
The next time this team will be in action is in Madison Square Garden. The big stage against a down Villanova team, but it's a team that could give the Boilers some fits. It's going to be a great opportunity to see what this team is made of.