Great WTF look by Painter. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Apparently we thought our resume for the NCAA Tournament was good enough going into the Iowa game. There was a lack of urgency there, but I chalked it up to playing a poor game against a motivated opponent. Then tonight happened. Kalin Lucas punched us in the mouth with some ridiculous shots and we chose not to respond.
Honestly, I don't know what is wrong with Purdue basketball right now. I have watched the last two games and I haven't seen exactly what we're missing. Shots are not falling on our end. Our opponents are hitting a few key baskets, but not playing all that great. We're moving the ball and getting open looks, but everything just looks off. This is not the team I have watched since November, and it is definitely not the team we watched in the month of February.
Strangely, I am not mad. Mostly I am disappointed. I am disappointed because I know this team can play much better than it has showed in the last two games. I am disappointed that the last two games may have unraveled months of hard work in terms of seeding. I am disappointed that this team can fall well short of its goals if it continues to play this way.
JaJuan Johnson and E`Twaun Moore scoring 38 points is great... if others help out. Nothing really stood out to me tonight offensively. I looked at the final box score and I was like, "Really? JJ and Smooge had 38 combined?" After the Iowa game I called our effort absolutely pathetic. After this one. I don't know what to say. I have to give the Spartans credit for taking advantage of the situation given to them. We were not ready, and they were. It's as simple as that.
Now that we have seen this in consecutive games we have to be concerned about this going into the NCAA Tournament. As fans, we have trumpeted our team all season long in the face of being torn down. Is this the time that it is thrown back at us by those that despise the program? Honestly though, we deserve it with a performance like this. We're performing like so many Purdue teams have done in the past: peaking at the wrong time and picking the worst time to play awful.
The frustrating thing I that there is nothing we can do. Only those players in that locker room can do anything about it now. In less than 48 hours we are going to receive our seed and assignment for the NCAA Tournament. It will probably be a three seed, and maybe even a four seed again. We can either fold, or we can go out and beat the teams placed in front of us. Our resume is complete. This season has always been about the NCAA Tournament. I am already receiving the mocking tweets that we will be the first 3 or 4 seed out of the tournament. If we play like this, we will be.
It is time to move forward. The goal is still Houston, and anything less is a disappointment.