Now, I'm a young fellow. In my 16 years on this planet I have seen some things in sports people can only dream of. I entered a world dominated by the Bulls, the Sox '05 run that just gives me the chills whenever I think about it, Blackhawks are all over Olympic ice, and heck even a screwed up franchise like the Bears almost got a title. God has been good to Chicago sports in my lifetime. Hummel's injury was devastating. This was about as bad, to me, as Kyle Orton's senior year when they played Wisconsin and Orton got flipped, fumbled, and taken to the house. This ended the undefeated season and the heisman effort. That season was thrown to the dogs after that game. Orton ended up with a hip pointer which led to a loss the next week at Northwestern, if memory serves me correctly. I thought this season would end in similiar fashion, I could have never been more wrong. Even though the Final Four still what seems like years away, it could still happen... right?
After getting home from youth group I looked up the matchup. Duke. Is it possible? Duke averages 77.6 points a game and only give up 61. Their big three all average over 15 a game and average around 39% from downtown. Both Plumlees are 6-10 and Zoubek is 7-1 which will cause huge matchup problems for the Boilers, and don't forget Singler is no slouch at 6-8. At first, I though it would take devine intervention for a win, but believe there is a chance.
This Purdue team has surpsised the nation. Simply put. Why not again?
How does Purdue win this one? Where do you start?
1.Depth, Purdue's bench has to step up. D.J. Byrd, Patrick Bade, and Ryne Smith have been huge. I believe Bade is growing up with every minute he is on the floor, just please catch the ball. Byrd has been huge with key tip-ins and a big three to turn an 8 point game to a 5 before halftime against A&M. Smith, just shoot the ball.
2. Defense, slow the game down. I believe if this game gets over 65 points it is a Duke victory. There are huge matchup problems, GET PHYSICAL. That is the only way you can beat height. Kramer is gonna have to figure out what kind of underwear Singler is wearing to keep him in check. Extend the defense to not allow a single jumper that is uncontested and take your chances on the boards and use the pressure to force Duke (who averages 11 turnovers a game) to be careless and panic with the ball. Plumlee and Zoubek average only around 6 points a piece which leads me to believe Duke doesn't get the ball in the post much.
3. Shooting, E'Twuan and Keaton, please find your stroke this week. 7-17 (1-5 3pt) out of Moore again and I just think we'll be watching Duke in the Elite 8. Chris Kramer has been superman as of late, keep it goin and maybe make a couple jumpers early to make the defense respect your shot and open up the lane for JJ.
4. Turnovers, take care of the ball. Keep the to's in single digits, its that simple.
5. Just avoid inept posessions. Ever since Hummel went down we have been getting better. Anyone remeber the Michigan St. game at Mackey? Every possession just went nowhere and the ball just either stayed in one person's hand or on the perimeter. Every game these trips down the floor seem fewer and farer between, just keep those to a minimum on Friday. Every possession will be key to keep this game close.
This isn't all it would take to pull off a victory, but it is my perspective. A win, although unlikely, would be stunning . This team has pulled off "upsets" over Sienna and Texas A&M, I think it is now time to pull off a real upset. If there isn't enough reasons to win this one, well here is another one... I want to keep watchin Chris Kramer play basketball! This goes out to you Boilermaker fans, BOILERUP!