I'll have a more comprehensive post tomorrow looking at the three Thursday Big Ten tournament games, but I have been unplugging for the most part. It's a marathon, not a sprint. After going to four games last week and watching a bunch in the interceding time I needed a bit of a break. Still, here are some quick hit Boilermakings for today.
- JaJuan Johnson named first team all-Big Ten - The big man continues to develop and should be a beast next year. Let us make sure no NBA scouts get within 300 feet of him so they whisper he's ready to make the jump now and continue his development in the League. He also made the all-defensive team with Chris Kramer. I felt he had a chance to be defensive player of the year with his ability to erase anything within five feet of the basket. He was a league leader in blocks and I honestly felt he influenced misses on twice as many shots just because he was there.
- E'Twaun Moore named second team all-Big Ten, Robbie Hummel third team - Don't just assume that Byrd, Bade, Robinson, and Barlow are automatically going to come in as a talent upgrade from our departing seniors and automatically hand us the Big Ten title next season. There is some serious sophomore talent in the league that still has two more years on campus. Kramer also received honorable mention all-Big Ten team honors.
LewJack named to all-freshman team - An appropriate honor for him. I think we can all agree that anytime he gets a steal from now on should be referred to as a LewJacking. I can already hear the student section chanting, "YOU GOT LEWJACKED
- Jason Werner expected to be full-strength for Spring Practice - Honestly, I'll believe he's going to play when I see him on the field making a tackle and the fans are cheering at this point. Even if he is dominant in spring practice and throws blockers out of his way with one hand I still won't count on him until he is actually on the field in game situations. He has been the savior of the defense and "a week or two away" for three years now. No offense to the kid, but I just don't trust anything the media says about his health anymore.
- Elliott, Taylor, and Adams also healthy - Let's face it, injuries absolutely killed us last season. The O-line never had cohesiveness and that disrupted the passing game. At one point we had to play 4th string walk-on Chris Bennett at quarterback. The first step towards getting to a bowl game is getting healthy, so at least we have accomplished that.
- CFN has Purdue 10th in the Big Ten heading into spring - No surprise here, but their reviews aren't exactly glowing for the rest of the conference. The opportunity is there to make some noise, but the same is true for everyone. We're only ranked ahead of IU. I don't know know if we're going to run a ticket marketing campaign similar to theirs last year, but it would cost twice as much. We'd have to buy 1 minute spots as opposed to 30-second ones, and even then I don't know if there would be enough time to cover all the scoring we had to secure the Bucket back.
- Ranay Harvey and Josh Hembrough headed to National Championships - The Boilers are sending a pair of athletes to the indoor track and field championships this weekend at Texas A&M.
- Big Ten co-pitcher of the week - Suzie Rzegocki earns a nice honor after getting 4 wins in 22 innings of work this past weekend at the Buzz Classic down in Georgia. She will be a critical part of Purdue's success once conference play starts. She is now 9-2 on the season and Purdue is 11-5 with a win over perennial power UCLA.
- Byrd, Robinson, and Bade advance - Sectional week was good to the future Boilers as three of them moved on to the regionals in the state tournament. I touched on Byrd in the feature on Sunday, but Lawrence North's Jeff Robinson helped the Wildcats to a sectional championship over 2010 recruit Terone Johnson. Lawrence North could face Patrick Bade and Franklin Central in the regional on Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Bade had 12 points to give the Flashes another sectional title this past Saturday night.
- Purdue recruit leads Ben Davis to National Championship - There was some excellent girls basketball played at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday, capped off by Purdue recruit DeeDee Williams and Ben Davis nipping South Bend Washington at the buzzer for the Indiana 4A title. The game was significant because both teams were undefeated and ranked in the top four of most national high school polls. Ben Davis will now likely be the mythical national champion as well.
- Future women's basketball player Courtney Moses falls - All the news wasn't good for our women's recruits as Courtney Moses and Oak Hill fell for the second straight year to four-time champ Heritage Christian in the 2A title game. Oak Hill's only losses this season were to Heritage Christian and Ben Davis, both ranked in the top 10 nationally.
- Small-Farm idea wins Purdue award - Not sports-related, but I just thought this was cool.