Incarnate Word hung around for awhile with Kyle Hittle hitting some threes, but this was another blowout where Purdue was completely dominant. Unlike against Vermont, Purdue got it done by banging down low and using its size advantage. That is what is so exciting about this team. In three games they have proven they can run if they feel like it, bomb away from deep if they feel like it, and use its massive front court as expected.
The first half ended in a flourish. Purdue finished shooting better than 70% from the field, had dominated the boards, and were blocking everything in sight. Even A.J. Hammons, making his season debut, was 3 of 3 from the field and added a pair of blocked shots.
What has impressed me the most through three games is the versatility and unselfishness of Purdue's offense. Once again, the Boilers had a ton of assists on made field goals, and that is a sign of the motion offense working. When it works, it is a thing of beauty where everyone can make the pass for an assist and not just a point guard. When it is not working it is a clogged toilet. Purdue has shooters now, and with both Caleb Swanigan and Vince Edwards capable of shooting from long range, midrange, or inside it opens everything up.
Now, I do realize that the level of competition is not the same as it will be later. At best, Vermont might squeeze into the NCAA Tournament as a 15 seed if they win the America East Tournament. This is still a team that has struggled to look good against the likes of Gardner-Webb, Eastern Michigan, and Bucknell in recent seasons. This appears to be a team where everyone is on the same page and it comes through in the box score.
Isaac Haas - Just like last year, Haas is starting hot and had another double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds (the second a career high). He also added 4 blocks.
Rapheal Davis - Everyone knows about Ray's defense, but very quietly he has been solid offensively as well. He has shown this year he can hit the three (He was 2 of 2 tonight) and he had a very quiet 14 points and three assists.
Vince Edwards - He has gotten a lot better and may have benefitted the most with the arrival of Swanigan. A line of 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks, and two assists is solid.
Kendall Stephens - A perfect three-for-three from long range. If we keep getting him open looks he is going to make teams pay dearly.
P.J. Thompson - He had a solid game and knocked down a three for nine points and three assists. We don't need double figures from him, but if he can just be a threat offensively that, too, will open a lot of things up.
A.J. Hammons - Oh yeah, A.J. played. He had 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks showing that he hasn't missed a beat.
Caleb Swanigan - So much for a double-double every game. 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists will have to do.
Grady Eifert - The other freshman got the first two points of his career by hitting two from the free throw line.
Stephen Toyra - The other senior added his first four points of the season and surpassed last season's total of 2 points.
Rebounding - Purdue out-rebounded IW 56-19, which shows that having a bunch of tall guys near the basket is a good thing.
Yes, there were still some things to work on. Purdue probably scores 110 if not for a very sloppy five minute stretch in the last 7 minutes. Incarnate Word hit a lot of second half threes. Purdue had 22(!) turnovers with Swanigan notching 6 of them. It is still a 35 point win.
On to Connecticut!