At this point, I'm honestly running out of things to write about this team. I mean, what do you say? For the first half of the season, all we said was "This team has no identity." Well, the deeper we get into Big Ten season the more clear it becomes that Purdue's identity is that it is a team that plays with little heart, that despises defense almost as much as it hates passing the ball. I'm not sure at what point it made the transition to that being the team's identity, but there's no denying it at this point.
I tweeted a thought during the game and I want to come back to it here: I really just don't think this team has a quick fix. I want to write more about this later this week and not in the game recap, but this team has so many problems that it's going to take a lot to change it. It's not just coaching; it's not just the players. Everyone on this team is responsible for it.
But anyway, about today's game. Purdue actually came out looking, well, not like the Purdue we expect to see, much less at 11:30 a.m. The Boilers hit their first seven shots and opened up a decent lead. Fear not, however, for the Purdue we've seen for most of this season showed up before long, giving up a 12-0 Penn State run that really set the tone for the rest of the game.
Purdue kept it close, but was never really able to get over that 5-10 point deficit hump for long.
As usual, no one that took more than three shots for the Boilers shot better than 50 percent from the field. A.J. Hammons did what he could offensively, going for 18 points, 12 rebounds and a block, but was still just 6-12 from the field and embarrassed at times defensively.
Sterling Carter got his first start for the Boilers and really was the star of the game for the Boilers, recording two steals, a block, three rebounds, two assists and no turnovers to go with his nine points. His defensive effort was most impressive, yet offensively he was still crippled at times by bad shot selection.
Terone and Ronnie Johnson both scored in double figures for the Boilers, with 10 and 12 points, respectively, but went a combined 8-for-22 from the field to do so.
Purdue shot 75 percent from the free throw line, but missed several front ends of one-and-ones down the stretch.
Purdue has now lost four straight for the first time in the last eight seasons, with eight of its next 11 games coming against ranked opponents and four of those are against teams in the top 15 nationally. The other three games are against Minnesota, who has already beaten Purdue, at home against rival Indiana, and on the road at Nebraska, which is sneakily becoming one of the toughest home courts in the league (that may be a stretch, but seriously Nebraska is good at home).