Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
The men's basketball team makes a strong showing in their final exhibition game of the season by beating Newberry 109-68.
Thank God that we are only a few days away from the start of meaningful basketball because I've lost all interest in our football program. Thanks for that by the way, Danny Hope.
This game looked to be a blowout from the start since Newberry couldn't match up with our size at all. The Wolves' largest player was a 6'7", 205 pound forward. He never stood a chance against Donnie Hale, A.J. Hammons, Jay Simpson, or the rest of our big men.
Purdue fans have to be excited for the chemistry that the Johnson brothers have and the way they are playing. Terone Johnson had another strong game and looks like he will be our most consistent scorer going forward. TJ finished with 18 points, 3 assists, a rebound, and shot 8-10 from the field, 1-1 from 3 and 1-1 on FT attempts. Ronnie Johnson was right behind his brother in scoring as he finished with 16 points, 3 steals, 3 rebounds, and one assist while shooting 6-9 from the floor, 1-2 from 3. He did turn the ball over five times in the game, but that will happen with a true freshmen point guard.
Rapheal Davis bounced back from a poor scoring outing last game and finished with 16 points as well. Davis scored all 16 points in the half while ruthlessly attacking the basket. He is fearless when he starts his drive and loves the contact. If he can consistently do that and score,whether it be from free-throws or completing the drive, we will be in great shape; not only from his contribution of getting points, but also getting the opposing team in foul trouble. I do see Davis drawing a lot of charging fouls with his style of play, though. Davis finished with 16 points on 6-12 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. His defense against shooting guards and small forwards is going to help this team tremendously throughout the season. If you couldn't tell from my basketball posts where I mention Davis, I'm extremely excited about this dude.
Anthony Johnson had a strong game as well, and looks like he is learning to run the point quite well. Having him as a combo guard off the bench will be a huge asset when we have to play a guard with size. Anthony dished out a game-high 8 assists and didn't turn the ball over once. He also finished with 7 rebounds. If Anthony is having troubles scoring it looks like he's going to try and contribute in any way he possible can, as he did with his rebounding and passing.
As for the rest: D.J. Byrd found his offensive stride and scored 11 points; 6-6 from the line, 1-3 from behind the arc. Matt Painter has said that Jay Simpson will not be red-shirted this season. The player that Painter has spoke so highly of will get his chance to strut his stuff, and I'm ready for it. Although he still needs to get in game shape, Simpson looked much better Saturday than he did the first game. He was running and moving better and finished the game with 8 points, 4 rebounds, a steal and an assist.
Centers A.J. Hammons and Sandi Marcius played well in limited minutes. Hammons ended the night with 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks while the Chooch Train had 4 points and 6 boards. Donnie Hale contributed 6 points, 3 boards, and a steal in 14 minutes of play, which is about what all three of these got.
Jacob Lawson played much better than he did in the first exhibition game. I can't figure out Lawson. He's got all the athleticism in the world, but at times doesn't really seem to care or know what he's doing. As I've said before, his body moves quicker than his mind which leads him to do some really stupid things. This game he played with intensity and ended the game with 5 points, 6 boards, 2 steals and an assist. I think Lawson has the tangents to make him a great defender in the Big Ten, but is still incredibly raw. We'll see how he develops as the season goes forward.
The surprise of the night came from Travis Carroll who had 4 blocks. I don't see this happening ever again, but I'll take it. TC played well defensively; he also had 5 rebounds, 2 points, a steal and an assist. If TC can come off the bench in limited action and play solid defense for us and get some garbage buckets he can be a key role player when our bigs need rest or are in foul trouble.
With the end of the exhibition games we can now look forward to the season tip-off Friday. This season will be much different from the past years of Purdue Basketball, but I couldn't be more excited for what the future holds for this team.