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...And That's How It's Done

Purdue 88, UW-Parkside 48

The Boilers cruised to a win in their first exhibition game last night, and the issue was never really in doubt.  They were the better team, and they played like it, and they won easily.  Take notes, football team.  Anyway, since this is my first recap, let me explain how this'll (hopefully) work.  First is what I'm calling the "Helmet Stickers" section for now.  I know it doesn't fit, but I can't think of somehting better (ideas?).

Player of the Game: Drey Mingo. The Maryland transfer was excellent in her Purdue debut, scoring 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting and grabbing 7 boards.  She also picked up three steals and drained a three-pointer late in the game, something that will give a lot of teams pause about sagging off later in the year.  Even more impressive, she did all this in just 21 minutes.

KK Houser: KK was exactly what she needed to be tonight, running the break well and knocking down her free throws.  She ended up with 16 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds in 27 minutes.  This was a rinning game, and several of those assists were on beautiful outlet passes downcourt to set up breakaway layups.

Brittany Rayburn: Ho, hum.  17 points, 3 assists.  Nothing to see here, same old, same old.  And that is one of the highest compliments that can be paid to a player.  She shows up every night, and doesn't need to take every shot to score.  Brittany didn't dominate this game, but she picked her spots well and still got her 17.

 Next comes some quick-hit thoughts about the team as a whole:

  • This is a deep team.  Coach Versyp played eleven last night, and everyone got meaningful minutes, as opposed to garbage time.  No player played less that 13 minutes, and none played more than 27.  That'll be key given the next two.
  • Coach Painter would be proud.  The Boilers were in full "40 minutes of hell" mode last night on defense.  It was actually more of a defensive than offensive run midway throught the 1st half that put the game out of reach.  There were at least half a dozen layups created by turnover/steals, and those are the easy points every team needs.
  • We're going to get out and run.  A lot.  Off our defense.  Off rebounds.  Off made shots.  Pretty much whenever we can.  Now, this is difficult to evaluate against a D-II team, but we looked very fast and in control, even on the more difficult breaks (3-on-2, 4-on-2) and late developing plays where the defense is still scrambling to set.
  • These new girls can play.  I already mentioned Drey, but the two freshman and Howard were good as well.  Courtney Moses in particular looked like there will be very little adjustment period into college.  She was playing at Big Ten speed already, and picked up 3 assists.  Several of her passes actually caught her teammates by surprise, or she would have had more.  Dee Dee Williams looked good as well, going 4-5 from the line and coming up with 2 blocks.
  • The turnover woes that caused so many problems last year weren't there last night.  I stop short of saying they are gone entirely, but they weren't a problem tonight.  14 turnovers sounds like a lot, but it was a fast-paced game and compared to 19 assists and 24 TOs forced, that's pretty good.

    Ordinarily I'd mention areas of concern next, but there really weren't any this game.  So, on to the final analysis.

    In sum, this was what an exhibition was supposed to be.  Everybody played and played well, we destroyed a lesser opponent, and no one got hurt.  We got past the first-game shock, and now we're into the swing of things for the real season.  And that's how it's done.