How can you find negatives when we top 100 points for the first time in almost three years? Yes, the following statement probably comes from a bit of an inferiority complex with the ACC and Big East. I don't care. I want to force my brand upon the college basketball world and make people respect us. If they want to see offensive dominance, fine. I give you a 101-65 win over Buffalo. We used defense to build a big early lead, then decided to say, "We can score when we want to, so here is what we can do."
How can you find anything wrong with that. Our "stars" (and you're ddamn right I used quotes when I know everyone has a team-first attitude) put in an effortless 11-12-14 performance? That is the JJ-Robbie-E'Twaun combo for the unintiated.Even out defensive ace Chris Kramer had 14.
I saw this game as being a mismatch on paper. Buffalo didn't have many strengths. They could be classified as weak strengths, and event hen they played right into our defense. Their weaknesses could be exploited by a team of our makeup. That is why we have a 36 point win where we topped the century mark and gave four freshman walk-ons at least five minutes of game action.
That is what makes this a very simple game wrap. We did what we neeed to do against a lesser opponent. The game was in doubt for a few minutes, and that was it. Since Boilerdowd had the Corporate Seats as we call them, I was out running errands and didn't get home until about five minutes into the game. That seemed to be the moment where the team decided, "Oh, T-Mill is watching. We can play now." When I turned on my TV they had a one point lead at the second TV timeout. By halftime we were up by 19. It was never in doubt from there.
We played every single player we had on the active roster. Only Stevie Loveless and Kyle Coleman didn't score. It wasn't for lack of effort, either. Loveless had a couple of shots from the field while Coleman got to the line for a pair but couldn't knock one down.
As a sidebar, Coleman reminds me a lot of myself if I had been taller. I saw Coleman play about a dozen times as a compliment to IU's Derek Elston at Tipton in high school. He did a lot of the dirty work inside and played the middle while Elston roamed all over the court. Coleman rarely got the glory, but was rewarded with a walk-on opportunity at Purdue. If I were in his shoes, this would be my reaction: "HOLY SHIT! I GET TO PLAY THE GAME I LOVE IN FRONT OF 14,000 FANS AT MACKEY ARENA!!!"
Can you blame him for missing a pair of meaningless free throws? I know it is my naïve mind, but this is often the scenario I envision for any walk-on. This is what happens when you are a 5'11" white guy from Kokomo with a sketchy jumper and rudimentary ball-handling skills.
I think that best sums up this game wrap. It is a very good thing when we are picking apart the performance of the walk-ons on our team. We all want to be in their position, yet we cannot. In short, we did exactly what we needed to do today. No more, no less. Expect a similar performance later this week against Valpo. The Crusaders have already played some of the top teams in college basketball, so we have a litmus test for what we should expect.