The Clapper did what he does- he prepared his band of youngsters as well as possible for their game versus the seventh-ranked team in America...His tan looked fantastic, his pacing was frenetic and lasted the duration of the contest, his forehead glistening, his enthusiasm was infectious, as usual, and his Hoosiers almost earned a victory versus the much more talented, much more experienced Boilers on Thursday night...but they didn't.
Tom Pritchard out-performed JJ for a half, Verdell Jones, who seems to play very well v. Purdue, did so again, and Dumes and Hulls hit some long threes, but the best effort the Hoosiers could throw at Purdue simply wasn't enough...In the end, the Forces of Good prevailed 78-75.
The Ostrich had a solid night statistically, finishing with 21 and 7, but he looked scattered at times as he had some bad shots and poor turnovers. Smooge looked velvety-smooth at times, but never really got into a rhythm. JJ blocked shots like it was his job in the second half and made a lot of freethrows as he finished with 21 & 9, but, in my opinion, should have had more rebounds and points as he simply doesn't have an equal on IU's roster.
I was really pleased with Barlow's play, especially early in the second half as he kind of took the game over...at least for three minutes. Keaton was efficient and Kramer played ai-ight...but I would have loved to see either or both of these guys torch the Hoosiers and dance on center court like Todd Foster many moons ago.
I liked a lot of what I saw from both Hart and LewJack...both inject a ton of quickness, athleticism and energy when they're in. But, I still think LewJack might start this season as he continues to get his legs under him...Perhaps the Illinois game at Mackey? I guess it depends on what happens the next few games, but I wouldn't rule it out.
I think the 10-man rotation we are now seeing might become the norm as Byrd and Smith might not see a ton of action in most games, save Iowa, from here out. While I like Byrd a lot, I like the 10 guys in front of him a bit more at this point...and Smith, unless he starts hitting every 20 footer he shoots, a la Matt Waddell, is going not going to see a ton of action, in my opinion...there are only 200 minutes available each game.
The main positive I took out of this game was the rebounding. Purdue won the rebounding battle and subsequently won the game...it's not a coincidence. And while it's a good thing to win close games, IU doesn't belong in a close game with Purdue right now. For those of you who are IU fans and have stopped by to read this- it might sound like I'm dismissive of the Hoosiers...that's because I am.
I don't like IU. When I watch IU at Ass. Hall, I'm reminded why I don't like you guys. From the overly-demonstrative overhead clapping by you lemmings everytime Tom Pritchard's unathletic arse hits an ugly shot, to reveling in the Forehead's nervous habits, you guys grate on me. I have plenty of friends who graduated from the the school that boasts of a Folklore Department, and they're fine people...but when you congregate together in your poorly-designed arena, I lump you all together. I know some of you don't have UND T-shirts under your IU sweatshirts...but most of you do. I know some of you don't genuflect at the altar of Bobby Knight even though he's urinated in all of your direction, but most of you do.
Enough of my digression, you get my drift.
I'm already looking forward to March 3rd when Matty's boys can repay you schleps for almost beating his boys.
Next up the game that Purdue was looking through IU to get to- MSU.