As expected, our Boilers rolled to an easy win over the Hawkeyes. With Travis in St. Louis enjoying free beer, courtesy of the Budweiser brewery, I'll do my best to recap the game. For those of you who are used to quality content or insight, sorry, the guy responsible for that is checking out the Arch. I'm the guy who calls re-watching Spinal Tap "research."
In general, the game went as expected. Purdue played aggressively, and on a night when the longer shots just didn't seem to be falling they attacked in the paint. Purdue came out motivated and they never let up. It seemed like this team wanted to make a statement. They will not play down to anyone, and no matter who you are they are coming for you. Painter was also very aggressive with the line up, and left the starters in for longer that necessary. I was sure that we would see the starters take a break when JaJuan had that nasty collision in the second half. I was quite surprised to see on him on the court even after the timeout. The Boilers were diving for balls and going all out, even with a lead that was never within range to be challenged. If they put up an effort like that in Columbus, which just a bit more shooting touch, we should win going away.
Positives and negatives for the game are after the jump.Positives;
JuJuanJaJuan Johnson - Another great game from the big man with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 big blocks. JaJuan was aggressive, fought hard in the paint, and was just attacking the basket constantly. He was also one of the few Boilers draining longer shots when he pulled up for his 18 footers. This whole team plays better when JaJuan is having a good game. His presence in the paint is a huge part of the teams success, and he is playing much better since the 3 game losing streak. Let's hope he can keep playing like this through March.
- Keaton Grant - Keaton Grant put up a lot of effort and hustle on defense. Offensively he contributed 7 points and grabbed 4 boards, which is pretty solid for a bench player. His real contribution was on defense, setting screens, and just generally being a solid supporting player. It was a quiet performance from Keaton, but a good one.
- Chris Kramer - Kramer put a few more clips in his hustle highlight reel tonight. We all saw the swim move more than one time, and he had 4 steals, 5 boards, a block and 7 points. Just the usual insane effort and disruption we have become accustomed to from Kramer. Kramer made sure that this game was the blowout it needed to be.
- General team effort - It would have been so easy to look past Iowa and phone this game in, especially with the game against Ohio State looming. Everyone came out and played a tough, very physical game. Painter definitely sent the message that we aren't giving any ground in the Big Ten without a knock down drag out fight.
- Perimeter shooting - The Boilers shot an abysmal 2-12 from behind the arc, and wasn't hitting much better from close in front of the arc either. It wasn't about shot selection, just nothing was going in. The Boilers can survive a shooting slump like this against Iowa, but in March this vanishing perimeter game is going to be a concern.
- Perimeter defense - It seems strange to say that defense is a problem when the other team is shooting 30% from the field, but from long range they shot 29% and most of those shots were completely uncontested and some led to easy put-backs (before Cole fouled out that is). The Boilers were a bit sluggish coming off of screens and getting back in position to contest jumpers. It didn't matter much in the game, since they were ice cold shooting as well. However, if a couple more of those threes had hit home at certain points, this could have been a different and closer game.
- GDB - 2 fouls, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover, 1 assist in 13 minutes. Not so hot there. To top it off, those fouls came in rapid succession as, once again, Kelsey got too aggressive and lost his composure. Today, the GD in his nickname was earned for the wrong reasons.
Sorry this was posted pretty late. The trusty old laptop went haywire on me. It is all better now, and there are Boilermakings on the way tomorrow.
T-Mill's take (making this a combined entry since we posted at the same time):
So there was a game this weekend? I just got home from a nice weekend in St. Louis and I still haven't seen any highlights, but I read the comments on the open thread and it seems like this is exactly what was needed. The outcome was never in doubt and we dominated a team we should have dominated at home to get another conference win. Boiled Sports had the best wrap of the proceedings by calling comparing it to a nap. Really, that is what you want with these games.
For a more Iowa-centric look, I give you Black Heart Gold Pants. With good reason, the folks over there have all but abandoned basketball to cover the exciting world of collegiate wrestling. Who can blame them when the Hawkeyes are #1 in the country in that sport? I think Penn State's own Black Shoe Diaries has done the same, with even more reason to do so.
So what did we learn yesterday? We learned that JJ can be absolutely dominating when he needs to be and will likely have a similar type of game against a helpless lower seed in round one of the NCAA Tournament. We learned that we can still play defense by holding a Big Ten team to 40 points. We learned that the road to a number one seed is now wide open if we can take care of business Wednesday thanks to Georgetown (somehow ranked 8th with five losses) losing today against lowly Rutgers and Syracuse being unable hold off (at home) a Louisville team that has lost to Western Carolina and UNC-Charlotte. We also learned that Wednesday's game at Ohio State will be incredibly difficult after the way the Buckeyes pantsed a hot Illinois team in Champaign today.
I think yesterday was critical for our defense because we haven't played very well on that side of the ball lately. We let Indiana make us look silly at times in Bloomington. Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan State were all able to make big second half comebacks against us. It appeared we had forgotten how to play clamp down defense and strangle the life out of teams. Though this was only against Iowa, we were back in that department for one game.
There were also some other good things to see according to the box score. Patrick Bade got five good minutes in, scored his first field goal of 2010, and was able to even take a few shots and grab a rebound. LewJack appeared to have a good game with five assists. Keaton Grant had his best scoring game since West Virginia. We were able to work on little things, which is always nice before a huge game like this Wednesday's.
With a win on Wednesday I think we have an excellent shot at a #1 seed because this is likely the final game in which we might not be favored before the tournament. The West Virginia win took a bit of a hit this week, but the Wake Forest one got a huge boost as the Demon Deacons are now in contention in the ACC. The Tennessee one also took a hit, but is still solid. As it is, we have wins over teams in the top three of the Big East, ACC. and SEC.
With that, the comments are open. What do people think about Wednesday night and the increased possibility of a #1 seed?
SPECIAL NOTE: We did it! Sure, it took an invasion of Syracuse fans, but today we reached 500 members at Hammer & Rails. Thanks everyone!