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Hall of Fame Tip-Off Championship: Purdue 85, Florida 70

Purdue wins the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Championship with a domination performance over Florida and move to 5-0 on the year.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Little man. Big heart.

The Purdue Boilermakers win their first tournament in four years, 85-70 over the Florida Gators in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Mohegan Sun Arena. They were led by their 5'10" sophomore P. J. Thompson who came off the bench to score 15 points along with 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a handful of hustle plays that kept a Purdue team from allowing a Gator team their second come from behind victory in two days.

Center John Egbunu and Forward Dorian Finney-Smith lead the Gators with 19 points and 17 points a piece, KeVaughn Allen was the only other Florida player to score in double digits.

Purdue was once against lead by a balanced attack, with five players scoring in double digits. Vince Edwards scored 14 points on 5 of six shooting including making 2 of his 3 outside shots. Isaac Haas was also 5 of 6 from the field for 11 points, while going 1 for 2 from the line. Swanigan scored 12 while continuing to show a nice all-around game, making one of two three point attempts. Rapheal Davis had 12 at half, and finished with a team-high 18 points for the game.

In a game where Purdue's sharpshooter Kendall Stephens failed to score, missing all 6 of his threes, the team still shot 11 of 26(42.3%) from deep. A. J. Hammons hit his first three of his career.

The Boilers edged the Gators in rebounds 43-34. The Boilers only assists on six of their first 15 field goals before finding better ball movement in the second half to finish with 15 assists for the game. Purdue turned the ball over 12 times while the Gators only turned it over 8 times. Purdue shot an even 50% from the field while holding the Gators to 40% shooting on just 9 assists.

A few observations:

  • P. J. Thompson was absolutely terrific. He has still yet to turn the ball over this year despite playing almost the entire second half against a long Florida team that was trying to press Purdue into turnovers.
  • As good as Thompson was, Johnny Hill was impressive as well, particularly defensively where he is a blur of long limbs and quick steps. Perhaps Purdue's point guard play isn't their only weakness, but one of their many strengths?
  • Swanigan had a team-high 5 turnovers for the second straight game, and was still a plus on the court. He's a freshman and he tries to do too much at times, but it was an absolute beast on the offensive glass in the first half, and really carried the teams at times. He got a couple touch shots to fall late in the game that should help with his confidence, and again, he looks very comfortable and confident taking shots behind the arc. He's also a very good entry passer, a thing we didn't have last year at times.
  • Edwards was his usual do everything self, quietly accumulating a little bit of everything on the stat sheet.
  • Kendall missed all his threes, but they were good shots. There's been talk about ball pressure and sight lines, but as long as he's taking good shots, they're gonna fall eventually. I have no problem with any of his attempts except maybe one. He'll be fine.
  • Dakota filled in for Stephen's cold hand with two made threes in a row, including a tough off a screen, against his body's momentum three - again. Good sign.
  • Isaac Haas barely looks like the same player as last year. He's making the right decision, and making some beautiful touch shots over the defense and being a menace on the glass...
  • And yet, Hammons is still our best big man. He controls the rim at one end, and nailed some absolutely devastating hook shots from a step or two further back than most big men would even attempt.
This was the test we were waiting for, against an athletic team with talent, and we couldn't have aced it anymore. The Boilers go into Thanksgiving with a lot of confidence, and us fans have a lot to be thankful for.

Purdue plays Lehigh next Saturday.