Tonight's basketball game was supposed to be the day's bright spot following a painful surrender of the Old Oaken Bucket.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be the poisoned nightcap to depressing day for Purdue Sports as the Richmond Spiders dismantled Purdue, 65-54.
I'm not sure there's a drink in the world strong enough to erase the painful memories of today. (You can count on me finding out after I finish this recap!)
So let's get right down to it...what went wrong?
It's difficult to pinpoint the exact game element that sealed Purdue's fate. If anything, it was the perfect storm of breakdowns. It could be any of the following:
- The Boilermakers were man-handled on the boards, 31-41. They allowed 13 Richmond offensive rebounds, hampering Purdue's many attempts to cut the lead.
- Purdue shot 30.8% from the field and 25% for 3 point range. (17% and 0% in the first half)
- Purdue forced only 11 TO's
- Purdue only passed out 6 assists on 16 field goal attempts.
- Purdue was incapable of playing help side D down low....at all....period.
- Purdue had no answer for guard Kevin Anderson, who scored 28 points. (To his credit, he's a talented guard and has a bright future ahead of him)
- The screams and ramblings of BTN commentators Tom Hamilton and Shon Morris were loud enough for the Boilermakers to hear. It might have distracted them enough to get off their game.
Don't get me wrong, Richmond was a talented and well coached team. They simply stood their ground and never let up. They forced Purdue to play very uncharacteristically on both offense and defense. Every Purdue run was stomped dead in their tracks by second shot opportunities and singly difficult shots.
The Richmond Spiders were not afraid of Purdue's #8 ranking, nor did they cower in fear when they matched up against Purdue's two preseason All-Americans. They simply took them out of the game.
They also crushed Purdue's top 10 ambitions and exposed serious flaws that need to be addressed if Purdue wants to have a prayer to compete for the Big Ten title.
Purdue has just been served a very difficult lesson: The Boilermakers cannot expect success on the backs of JJ and Smooge. Nothing will come easy this season if the bench doesn't step up and provide some help on offense and defense.
Now we will find out what type of team we really have. Will they have a short memory or will they let their first loss derail them?
How this team handles adversity may foreshadow how things will go down in the Big Ten conference schedule.
We'll find out soon.
I apologize if this recap is a little short and shallow, but these painful memories aren't going to erase themselves! We'll have further analysis and insights later in the week.