-While Purdue didn't have to control the glass to win this season, rebounding was always an indicator of this team's focus. Purdue lost this battle 44-35
-I've heard a ton of fans venting and blaming JJ and Smooge as the reason for the loss. Let's first look at JJ:
25 pts (11/20 shooting), 14 boards, 3 blocks
In other words, he did what he's done all season. A fair gripe would be the 4 three point shots he took (only hitting one) were generally rushed and not the best option...like nearly everyone's shooting tonight. Partially because he shot so many jumpers, he didn't get to the line like usual (2/3).
10 pts (5/15 shooting), 8 boards, 6 assists
Not horrible numbers, but clearly, he's in another slump. But, he did get involved in other ways. The real problem I have with this slump, like the big one at the beginning of the season, is that he just wasn't finishing the easy shots around the rim. On one specific play, he double pumped a layup attempt when the defender's hand wasn't even near the ball.
They had two turnovers each.
I think the hardest thing to watch was as the game got out of hand, it seemed these two just didn't get visibly angry...they just faded. I don't question their effort. They've never been vocal leaders or fiery personalities...but in games like this it's awfully tough to watch that type of player lead a team.
Now the Juniors:
20pts (7/9), 3reb, 1blk
He found his stroke after shaking the cobwebs loose against SPC. Much like in '10, Smith came to play at the best-possible time. Defensively, he struggled at times as did everybody.
10pts, 7 ast, 2 reb
Didn't apply the on-ball defense that we've come to expect...the guy he guarded defined the pace for the game and he couldn't stay with him.
Rest of the team:
6pts, 6ast, fouled out
He had a couple big shots...but I like the last part of that stat the best. He looked angry and was physically doing whatever he could to try to slow down VCU. Can't wait to see him playing a more natural position in '12.
Quiet game...like the rest of the guards, took some bad, quick shots and couldn't get back on defense.