Well, I may as well make my debut to H&R by breaking the bad news right away. Fellow Boilers, I have a dark confession to make. I am a student at Indiana University. There, the cat’s out of the bag. That said, I graduated from Purdue in May and am currently pursuing a career in dentistry. Seeing as Purdue doesn’t have a dental school, and with the perks of in-state tuition being what they are…well, here I am. Fortunately, I’ve only been reassigned to Indianapolis; I can keep my distance from that other Big Ten town in the state. As for the remaining pleasantries, I’m John and I am also a founding member of the Boilermaker Heroes with Jordan and Keith. I spent three wonderful years in Boiler Brass and have developed a physical dependence on Boilermaker Basketball. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to voice my thoughts on the Old Gold and Black on this site, and I hope you’ll all enjoy reading my assorted musings. I’ll be chiming in from time to time with my thoughts on the state of the program, game breakdowns, and other related Purdue tidbits.
Now, on with the show after the jump.Tonight was the first chance that I had to watch the Old Gold and Black in person. The general themes of the game, from what I saw, were sloppy offense and solid defense. Purdue did a good job out on the perimeter, making it difficult for the Mustangs to operate their offense. The Boilers forced alot of bad shots, 23 turnovers, and cleaned up the glass fairly well, more than the +5 rebounding margin would suggest. Lots of guys on the floor fighting for loose balls as well. On the flipside, Purdue shot an underwhelming 37.1% from the field and 27.3% from behind the arc, as well as an abhorrent 63.4% from the charity stripe. The free throw struggles were particularly alarming, as Midwestern State's gameplan seemed to involve fouling like mad in the first half. In short, not a good night for Boilers putting the ball through the hoop. Even with these difficulties, Purdue was still able to put the Mustangs away fairly easily. Final score: 78-58 good guys.
Overall, the game indicated to me that this team is still a work in progress. Luckily, the schedule favors the Boilers moving forward in the near future, giving the team ample time to tighten the screws. I think they'll get there in due time.
- Patrick Bade - Definitely an entirely different player than the one Purdue called upon last year. Leaner and stronger, he now has the look of a bigtime college basketball player. He consistently made solid basketball plays all game and looked tons more comfortable now that he is playing his natural position at power forward. Oh, and he was foul-free in 19 minutes of play. While not a worldbeater (yet), I am confident that he will serve as our "Robbie Lite" going forward. 'Atta boy, Patrick.
- Terone Johnson - A few freshman mistakes aside (bad passes, missed free throws, etc.), Terone had a terrific evening. He has the physique of a guy who has been in the Big Ten for years, and he's not somebody that Purdue will need to worry about bulking up over the offseason. Zero the Hero led all Boilers in scoring this evening, and had moments of smooth, effortless offensive brilliance. He is going to be a bigtime contributor both this season and moving forward in his career. 'Atta boy, Terone.
- D.J. Byrd - Okay, his stats aren't that impressive. But DJ was a hustler tonight and began to show glimmers of Kramerosity. He had a tremendous sequence within a minute of a big offensive rebound, 3-pointer, and assist to JJ. I thought he was solid tonight, despite what the box score says. 'Atta boy, DJ.
- Lewis Jackson - LewJack should be the starting point guard going forward, in my opinion. He can push the ball like no other on the team, and had a solid outing tonight, highlighted by long-awaited finishes at the rim. He scored alot of style points, and seemed to carve up the Mustang defense at will. Color me impressed, and 'Atta boy, LewJack.
- Ryne Smith - Ryne wanted to make sure Keady Court didn't feel lonely due to Chris Kramer's departure. He was hitting the deck often, and was actually bloodied up in the second half. He didn't have much of a stat line to show for it, but didn't see alot of open looks either. But, for sticking in there and showing toughness, I have to say 'Atta boy, Ryne.
- JaJuan Johnson - Tonight was not JJ's best effort. His jumper was off, his thunderdunks were absent, his normally automatic free throws were off-target, and he didn't seem to have the command of the glass (8 boards in 26 minutes) you'd expect from him against a team with no physical answer for him. Hopefully this was just an aberration, and we won't see JJ disappearing like we did in some of the rougher stretches last season. Better luck next time, JJ.
- Kelsey Barlow - To me, Kelsey seems very reckless. We all know he can be great, but his inconsistency is a little frightening. Hopefully he can cut down on the mistakes and be the positive contributor he showed flashes of being last season. For now, better luck next time, Kelsey.