USA TODAY Sports
Another painful loss at the hands of instate rival IU
The losses keep stacking up for Matt Painter's crew when Purdue traveled down to Assembly Hall in Bloomington to receive another blowout beat-down. This will be a tough write-up, because I honestly maybe saw five minutes of good Purdue basketball. The lack of unity amongst players showed, silly shots were taken, the whose-the-go-to-scorer question popped up again, and, what absolutely made me sick, was the lack of heart and effort showed by our starters. It was sickening to watch at times.
A.J. Hammons was a no show this game on both ends of the court and played just like he did when we went to Northwestern on February 2nd, D.J. Byrd was a turnover and bad shot machine, Raphael Davis fouled out after doing nothing, and the only guys who seemed to give a shit were Sandi Marcius, Anthony Johnson (even though he played terribly), the Johnson brothers (also played like turds), and Jacob Lawson. It was a pitiful show all around.
There were stretches where we were able to hang in against the Hoosiers, however. The middle of the first half and beginning of the second Purdue played some solid defense against IU, but were unable to score any buckets. After that stretch where neither team could earlly score, Will Sheehey went off where he hit 100% of his shots to score 22 points. After that, it was all history.
During that period, we saw some solid play by the Chooch train; he bodied up and played physical against Cody Zeller, rebounded hard, and played with heart and passion. Marcius finished the game with 7 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and an assist. Outside of Chooch, there weren't many stat lines to stand up about. Anthony and Terone Johnson scored eleven points each, but TJ took 12 shots to get there and Anthony took 8.
Purdue basketball is looking like it's becoming less and less fun and once the fun is taken out of the game, then why would anyone want to play in this situation? No one wants to be blown out at any level of competition. Purdue needs to get back to playing with heart and having fun. When you can do those things, other parts of basketball will come. If you aren't invested in the game and don't want to be out on the court, well, you saw what happened yesterday. That's just a theory I have, who knows if there is any truth behind it.
Regardless, this season becomes more and more difficult to watch. With only five games left, Purdue needs to focus on pushing out the negatives of the season and play these last five games like the season just started and records don't matter. We need to play with heart, passion, and keep prepping for the future. These games will most likely be frustrating, let's be honest. Hopefully Purdue can find the fun in basketball again; for their sake and ours.
Being from Bloomington, IN, nothing makes me more miserable than losing to IU in anything, especially in blowout fashion. So during the last few minutes of the game I turned to Youtube to try and keep my head up by watching a 61 year old man, who looks like a gopher, dance to Ke$ha. Thank you, Tubby Smith, for bringing some joy to my life after the game.