In what was more or less a redo from their first meeting this season IU rolled all over Purdue at one point being up by 32 in the second half. A three in the last seconds by Anthony Johnson is the only think that kept the IU victory under 30 points. This Purdue team did absolutely nothing right and IU did, well, just about everything. After Hammons torched IU for 30 points in the first meeting he was double and sometimes triple teamed all game and vanished for the better part of his 21 minutes. IU still dominated points off turnovers (25-13) and fast break points (18-6). Sure that’s not the difference in the game but it shows you the great difference in style these two teams play. Crean wants his team to run until they can’t run anymore while Painter focuses more on a half court game. Crean’s style dominated the rivalry this year.
John Wooden Memorial Player of the Game (JWMPOTG)- I’ve only given this award to opposing players twice and I’m tempted to give it to Will Sheehey who was 9-9 for 27 points (a career high) today, but I can’t stomach giving it to an IU player. Instead I’m going with Sandi Marcius yet again. In a game in which no one for Purdue played particularly well I’m going with effort here. Sandi has stepped up in Hammons absence recently and performed admirably. He’s by no means more talented than Hammons but he’s more consistent and can be a better and more complete player than a disinterested Hammons.
I’m sure all of you watched the game so I won’t rehash it here. Besides I think what happened today is illegal in 28 states so talking about it without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball might not be legal either. Purdue had one solid stretch all game where just a few minutes before half they cut the IU lead down to 10 and it looked like we might have ourselves a ballgame. Unfortunately IU responded and Purdue wilted as has been the case for both teams this season.
I remarked on twitter that the most frustrating aspect of this team is their inability to make good passes. All too often they have an open man and fail to see him, or if they do see him they are unable to get him the ball in the right position. Purdue had far too many occasions today when they made lazy passes that resulted in a turnover and easy points for IU. IU is a running team so giving them these easy opportunities just plays right into their hands. Sure the defense is still a bit shaky and the shooting is well you know but to me the fundamentals just aren’t there. I know this team is young and they should be much better next year but in the meantime it is frustrating. It’s especially painful to see the IU players having so much fun and knowing that Purdue was there just a few short years ago. Make no mistake Purdue will get there again it will just take a fan’s least favorite thing, time.
While we watch the rest of this season You have to hope to see some sort of development from the young guys. It’s been difficult to see a guy like DJ Byrd struggle so mightily considering this is his last year in the program but sadly it might be time for him to step aside and let some of the young guys take his minutes in order to build for next year. I don’t think Painter will do that because it’s not really his style but it could be the right decision in the long term. For now though I go back to what I said after the Bucknell game. Purdue fans need patience. It’s a difficult thing to maintain as a sports fan but Purdue has to learn it for now. Plus we Purdue fans can always take solace in the fact that regardless of the outcome of a basketball game we are still Boilermakers. Plus, it 9:43 and IU still sucks!