Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Way Too Early Look at Next Basketball Season

The end of the season was quite the representation of the Purdue basketball season as a whole. Purdue received their 5th commitment for the 2014 basketball class with Point Guard P.J. Thompson. After the exciting news, Purdue lost a close game against Ohio State (63-61) to get knocked out of the Big Ten Tournament and end the season.At the end of that week, the final nail in the terrible coffin, junior-to-be Point Guard Ronnie Johnson decided he was transferring from the team. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t ecstatic with Ronnie’s play as a PG, but what I was ecstatic about was the double digit points he averaged and the experience he brought to the team. That is now out the window, and it’s time to take an early peak into next season.

Purdue will be painfully young next year. A.J. Hammons is currently mulling the idea of jumping into the NBA; early reports have him as a high 2nd round pick. If AJH leaves for the NBA, that leaves 9 scholarship players, only one of whom, Rapheal Davis, is a junior. Luckily, Matt Painter is bringing in the third-ranked recruiting class in the Big Ten, and his third sequential fourth-ranked or higher in the Big Ten. The only problem is that the seat is getting quite hot for Painter right now, and he NEEDS results next season. 

Davis looks to be emerging as a much needed leader

With Ronnie and Simpson gone, that opens up two scholarships, and possibly three if AJH leaves. If that’s the case, Painter is going to have to test the JUCO/5th year scene to land some bodies. At least getting another big guy to rotate with Haas, another true 4 and either a pure shooter or a PG. There are a lot of things up in the air right now. When AJH makes his decision, the Boilers will solidify some of their needs. Of course with Eron Harris and Trevor Thompson (who Purdue is in the top 3 for) both transferring, and both wanting to come home to play ball. 

There is a lot of talent on the team next year and a lot of players who like to play as a team. With Ronnie gone, I think Bryson Scott will have to game come to him faster because he will get more than 10-15 minutes a game. With that being said, EVERYONE has to play like an experienced team if they want to get to the NCAA tourney again. I think they have the parts to do just that. The guys just have to buy into tough defense and playing together. If that happens, it will all come together and move forward.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Boilermakers Smash Hoosiers 82-64

            Heading into Saturday afternoon’s game with the Hoosiers, most Purdue fans just wanted the game to be competitive and pull out a win in the 201st meeting between the in-state rivals. However, in front of over 14,000 fans, Purdue did not do that. Instead, they completely dominated and dismantled a Hoosier team that is headed for a complete dumpster fire of a season. Purdue dominated in almost every facet of the game, at one point not letting the Hoosiers score for nearly fifteen minutes. 

Purdue was led by fifth-year senior transfer Sterling Carter, who put on a show for the Mackey crowd. Carter finished with 19 points including five from three-point range. The brothers Johnson of Terone and Ronnie scored 14 and 16, respectively. A surprise to me was that A.J. Hammons was a non-factor in the game. After picking up two early fouls, Hammons was out of commission. 

            Purdue played Matt Painter type basketball Saturday. They shot 76% from the line, 55% from three point range and 48% from the field. They also held Indiana to 32% from the field. This was all done while also out-rebounding the Hoosiers. Purdue’s defense had Indiana so out of sorts that Indiana was scoreless from the field from 8:05 of the first half until 13:08 of the second half. The only Indiana player that did any damage was Yogi Ferrell with 27 points. 

The turning point of the game was with 8 seconds left of the first half. Ferrell missed a three pointer that Basil Smotherman rebounded and drove down the floor to get fouled with 1.9 seconds left. Basil made the first, then missed the second. At that point, the rebound was batted back to Smotherman as he charged to the hoop, laying it in before the halftime horn sounded. This momentum carried to the second half where Cater scored 10 straight to push the game wide open. At the end of the day, the Boilers sent Indiana home with an 82-64 bashing, reminding the Hoosiers that they might have won 4 straight, but Purdue stills OWNS to series 113-88

Piggy-back rides! Photo courtesy of J&C
 This was the team I thought Purdue had the chance to be all year - better late than never I suppose. I’m hoping that this team has a taste for how Painter wants to play basketball and the success that comes with it. It’s no time for a letdown for our Boilermakers - they play 5 of the top 6 B1G teams during their last 5 games. Time to make a push towards to end of the season, and it all starts with an angry Michigan State team coming to town, who recently lost to Nebraska. Right now Boilermaker fans we cheer the beat down of the Hoosiers and look forward to Sparty.

He seems upset, was legitimately worried he was going to have a stroke

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hoosier Hate Preview

On Saturday, the team from down south comes to Mackey Arena to take on our Boilermakers. Now the Hoosiers are limping in to Mackey, and it seems the wheels have completely come off the bus for this team. This is surprising because not more than two weeks ago, Indiana upset then #10 Michigan at Assembly Hall. Nonetheless, this is an important game for both teams. Both teams are 4-7 in conference play and are a mere two games back of fourth-place Wisconsin, who sits at 6-5, and a first round bye in the Big Ten Tourney. In a nutshell, the Big Ten has beat the hell out of each other this season, and somehow the Boilers might benefit from it. Also, a loss by either coach will strengthen the calling for their head on a platter. The cry for Crean’s head has been especially loud since Wednesday’s loss to Penn State.

If the Boilers plan on ruining the Hoosiers’ day Saturday, they need to start by feeding big man A.J Hammons. The only true center the Hoosiers have, according to their roster, is Peter Jerkin who is seven foot tall, but out-weighed by Hammons by twenty pounds. The rest of the forwards on the Hoosiers’ roster are shorter than Hammons by at least two inches. Along those lines, Jay Simpson is bigger than most of their forwards. Feeding the big men down low will free up Kendal 'Three-phens,' yes I’m sticking with this nickname…it will catch on, and Sterling Carter as well.

Another issue of late is guard play. Ronnie Johnson and Bryson Scott have to play smart. Ronnie showed glimpses of it against Minnesota then lost it at Ohio State. Bryson has been off since Big Ten play started, so if there was ever a time for him to figure it out, it would be now.

Transition defense and rebounding has to be better. During the Minnesota game, Purdue was grabbing rebounds and playing average transition defense and it was keeping them in the game. They have to continue to do this against Indiana. Purdue was out-rebounded by Ohio State 30-23, and this was a direct reflection of the intensity of the team. If Purdue wants to win a very important game against the Hoosiers, they have to play with intensity on the boards and in transition.

My game changer for this game could be Kendal ‘Three-phens.’ I have this gut feeling he is close to having a statement game, and what better way to have on then against your arch rival. At risk of repeating myself, the only way Purdue will get Stephens in the game is by feeding it to Hammons.

I know this won’t happen, but how awesome would it be to see Painter come out in a 2-3 zone to totally ruin Crean’s day? Not saying it will happen, but boy that would be fun. Now I leave you with this: never let a friend go to Bloomington!

Boiler Up! IU SUCKS!

I leave you with this: