Well, that was terrible, just awful all around. I want a refund on the last 2 hours and 10 minutes of my life. Purdue came out flat, looked to take control of the game, let North Florida hang around, and got beat by a marginal team that had no business being within 10 points of the Boilermakers 70-73.
Purdue was anemic in the first half, putting up only 34 points, but were able to limit North Florida to 24. After North Florida sprinted out to a quick 6-0 lead, Purdue established Haas and Hammons in the post, and it was obvious North Florida had no answer for the two headed post monster. Purdue looked to be in complete control, but then North Florida put up a quick run at the end of the first half to close what should have been a 12-15 point lead to 8. Once again Purdue had a chance to seize the momentum going into the break, and once again, the offensive execution was reminiscent of a poorly coached J.V. girls team. I don't believe the P.J. Thompson drive to the top of the key, fall down, and then tip the ball out to North Florida for a fast break was the designed play.
Purdue's second half was nothing more than a comedy of errors. On defense, North Florida couldn't miss, and Purdue couldn't find the one guy on North Florida (Dallas Moore) that could beat them. North Florida continued to pour in 3 pointers and off balanced garbage shots, while Purdue found all new and exciting ways to either chuck terrible 3's or miss point blank shots at the rim. If that wasn't enough ineptitude, Purdue reverted back to throwing darts at the front or back of the rim from the line. Finally, just in case you hadn't reach the height of basketball frustration, Purdue either forgot to box out on missed North Florida free throws, or poked sure rebounds out of a fellow Boilermaker's hand.
If you were to just look at the stat line, Purdue wins this game going away. North Florida did everything they needed to do to lose. Purdue crushed them on the boards 50-39. North Florida shot an anemic 52% from the line. North Florida turned the ball over 15 times, which was one turnover than Purdue managed. However, the one stat that North Florida dominated, was 3 point shooting. The Ospreys went 10-22 from the line, while Purdue was an abysmal 4-19. What was Purdue doing shooting 19 3 pointers when they had such a huge advantage in the front court and could have probably fouled out the entire North Florida roster? You're going to have to ask the freshmen. Edwards, Mathias, and Thompson went a combined 2-11 from behind the arc. What about the Ray Davis will to win? Well, he had another one of his invisible games, putting up 5 points on 2-6 shooting. What about the new found A.J. Hammons confidence and clutch shooting? He missed numerous shots inside of 3 feet and bricked a crucial free throw when Purdue was trying to get back into the game. Issac Haas's new found free throw shooting ability? It disappeared, as he went 0-3 from the line. What about Vince Edwards ability to take over a game? It was no where to be found as the freshman phenom went 2-8 from the floor for 5 points.
If Purdue finds itself on the bubble, this home loss may be the one that pushes Purdue out of the field. It's back to the drawing board for Matt Painter. It will be interesting to see if this game turns into a rallying point for the Boilers or, as losses like these have done in the last few season, puts Purdue into a funk. Let's hope this Boilermaker team is resilient and a lesson was learned today.