Guys and girls lets all take a step back and chilax, ya I said chilax! Now I do not comment very often I prefer to read reviews and everyone else's comments and after reading the Northwestern recap I am beside myself. We should all remember that these are young players and they will take time to mature.
Everyone's expectations where high going into the IU game and we got trampled, badly and by a much better team. So we hoped we could get an easy one at Northwestern, well if you guys don't remember how we usually play against Northwestern let me remind. We play badly against them. It took Robbie's last second shot to win there last year with a much more experienced team. We won by 10 at Mackey a couple weeks later.
The previous season with Moore and JaJuan we won at Mackey handily and never played them away. The 09-10 season in which we had the full squad of Moore, JaJuan and Robbie we lost by 8 away and never played at home. Then the Baby Boilers freshman year we won by 2 away and lost by 3 at home.
My point is that Northwestern always plays very good against us. There is something about their system that has always given us fits. I saw this coming based on our teams inexperience. Even our best teams in recent history had trouble with the Purple People Eaters from Chicago. But now is not the time to get down on our team and criticize the Johnson's and call for them to be benched. That is not the Purdue way. We all have the right to be frustrated by the recent performances but like it was said in the beginning of the season, this team will have its ups and downs and will leave us in amazed and bewildered at the same time but they are Boilermakers and we support them through the thick and thin. Let's be constructive not bashing.
So with that said let me give my input on the game and team. I think there are a few areas we can fix sooner to right the ship.
First, this team is out of shape. Our best players can barely stay on the floor for more than 5 minutes at a time. We are expecting RJ to run the point most of the game. When you get tired you get lazy and I think that is what we are seeing with this team. They are getting tired and it is causing them to be lazy and leading to more turnovers and head scratching moments. If this team gets in better shape and our best 7 players can play big minutes (like they should) then things change. Painter seems to have shortened the bench but the team was not physically ready for it.
Second, Free throws. Hit your free throws. Games are won and lost at the foul line. Look at Illinois as an example. How did they have a strong non-conference season and get ranked? They got fouled a lot and went to the line and MADE their free throws. It is easier said than done but the best shooters practice them every day, not 20 but 100s because that is what it takes.
Lastly, it has been said in other places but I do agree we need to be unselfish. That is how Northwestern beat us, that is how IU beat us, this is how Michigan beat us. The best teams make the extra pass, they drive the lane and kick out. We were doing that early in the BIG 10 season and in our big wins. When we play unselfishly we win. When we don't we get the last two results.
So in closing lets support our team not bash CMP and the Johnson's because they are all working hard and are human. We had been blessed with a great stretch of games that showed the promise of the players on the squad. We had the form and can find it again. Bashing players and coaches won't do that, lets support them like we always have. Thanks for reading my take and I'm sure there are plenty of grammatical errors and I am sorry for that.