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Basketball lives! Purdue 83, Eastern Illinois 55

Purdue stayed undefeated behind a career night from freshman Bryson Scott, and basketball actually happened despite all the whining about new rules

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not sure whether Purdue played extremely well tonight or Eastern Illinois is just that bad, but regardless the Boilermakers faced little resistance in their effort to move to 4-0 on the season tonight. Bryson Scott scored 14 points behind an 8-for-10 effort from the free-throw line to go with his six rebounds, leading the Boilers in both categories on the night.

Purdue had four players (Scott, Ronnie Johnson, Kendall Stephens, Basil Smotherman) reach double figures on the night. Three more (A.J. Hammons, Jay Simpson, Terone Johnson) were within one basket of reaching or surpassing double-figures. The Boilers balanced scoring attack reflected the fact that the Panthers just had no chance at stopping Purdue. Outmatched in nearly every facet of the game, Eastern Illinois's leading scorer had 11 points, but needed 11 shots to get there.

The only thing that could slow any of the Boilermakers down tonight was, yet again, foul trouble. Hammons saw his first half cut extremely short when he picked up his second foul early. Still, Hammons was the only Boiler to truly encounter foul trouble tonight, though Sterling Carter finished with four fouls in the second half.

Speaking of fouls (and because there just isn't that much to analyze after a blowout win like this), I'd like to share some stats with you, specifically those of you who are lamenting the common line of "the new rules have killed college basketball."

Here are stats from Purdue's first four games the last three years, in no particular order. Try to guess which year is which:





155 (38.75/gm)

185 (45.25/gm)


198 (49.5/gm)

150 (37.5/gm)


157 (39.28)

171 (42.75/gm)

FYI: The national average for fouls per game last year was 35.3

If you guessed that A is last year (2012-13), B is this year and C is two seasons ago (2011-12), you're right. "Wait!" you say, "you mean to tell me we've actually had DOZENS less fouls this year than in our last two games? But I keep talking about how "Defense isn't allowed" and how the new rules suck! Yeah, so what if I don't even know what the new rules are, they suck! I know that because internet writers told me so!"

Well, I'm not much of a stats guy, but look at the numbers. Free throw attempts (aka scoring chances) are up, but overall fouls are down. That almost sounds like it's exactly what the NCAA is aiming for!  Yes, Sunday night's game had a ridiculous amount of fouls in it, but guess what! There's been ONE game like that in the first four games of each of the last three seasons. It's almost like it has nothing to do with the new rules (that, again, I doubt most can name) and everything to do with it being early in the season.

It's not as if these new rules came up from nowhere. Schools have paid officials to come in and officiate practices and scrimmages all fall in order to prepare players for the "new rules." And guess what: The national coaches association actually had to approve these rules! Where were all the complaints we've heard from coaches this year when that vote took place?

My point is before you get in line and start protesting just because everyone else is, educate yourself. Every foul called this season isn't because of "those damned new rules." Also, give it a few weeks and see if we're still complaining. The stats don't lie; basketball isn't dead.