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Nebraska 76, Purdue 57: An Exercise In Effort

It is the same old story: Purdue got out-worked again.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the biggest surprises of the 2013-14 Big Ten season Nebraska is making a potential run to the NCAA Tournament. In doing so, Tim Miles is becoming the Big Ten Coach of the Year and it should not even be close. Since losing at Purdue to clinch an 0-4 Big Ten start they have gone 8-2 and have a legitimate chance to win their next three games against Illinois, Northwestern, and Indiana. They might even be the new best home team in the league.

How are they doing so? It is based on effort. They are a team of transfers and lower rated guys, but they are simply out-working opponents. Today was more of the same. After a slow start had both teams tied at 14-14 just over 12 minutes in the Cornhuskers out-hustled Purdue in every aspect of the game.

That is what is most troubling about our Boilermakers. This is a common refrain this season and this recap really could be a reprint of the losses to Butler, Washington State, Northwestern, Penn State, or Minnesota. There is no question Purdue has great talent. There are nine four-star players on the roster and two straight top 25 recruiting classes. We have seen almost every player on the roster have a great game and there are multiple stretches when Purdue has looked very good. Unfortunately, those are only stretches.

This is not a good team. It cannot sustain any run of success and continues to not learn from the same mistakes over and over again. For years Purdue has been known as a team that may lack individual talent, but it will play like mad bastards and out-work you on every inch of the floor. It was that was under Gene Keady and until last season it was that way under Matt Painter. For whatever reason, that is not the case.

Purdue is not going to get better until it plays Purdue-style basketball again. I have been saying it all season and it is painfully apparent to everyone but the players in that locker room. Now Sterling Carter, one of the few guys that seems to be aware a season is still going on, may be done. That is not good.

There really is not much else you can say.