Welcome to a Tuesday’s edition to Five Guys and Why’s. Through three games, Purdue has already ran the gambit on types of outcomes: they’ve dominated against Mcneese St., they’ve achieved a good loss against defending champs Villanova, and they had a bad win against Georgia State. While it is too early in the season to hold too much to any of those games, we’re asking the question today: After the performance against Georgia State, has your perception of Purdue changed going forward?
Not at all. It's a fallacy to think Purdue matches up well with small teams. In reality, Purdue matches up much better with bigger teams. I thought Purdue would pull away a little sooner, but I wasn't surprised that it was close.
The performance against Georgia State doesn't really change my outlook on this team. Every season we are going to have a few games where we can't seem to get out of our own way, almost every team does. I was glad that our defense kept us in it and we will still look great in Cancun against USU and Auburn/Texas Tech. Cline should be back for the second game and I think he can help when our offense struggles. However, I don't expect to see us struggle both inside and outside on offense as much as we did against Georgia State. The train didn't derail, we just fell asleep at the controls for 3/4ths of a game. We are still a top tier team in the Big Ten.
I think it proves that we're going to have to be awake against everyone, but this is the type of game like a Gardner-Webb that would have been a disaster in the past. They did at least show the maturity needed to come back, but it still took virtually every post player for GSU fouling out and an epic cold stretch to avoid just an awful loss. Hopefully it just turns out Georgia State is really good and they earn an at large bid or something.
With the Ga St. game, it doesn't change my perspective too much, you are gong to have those non-con games. What I saw as frightening from that game is that Haas had a big old egg in the rebounding statistic. He is going to have to rebound better or we won't win many games if Spike is our 2nd leading rebounder. Having Cline back will help with spreading the floor out, but Spike has filled that role pretty well, his suspension is worth it, and in my opinion should be longer. Utah State will be fun to watch, hoping to see us rebound and have a convincing win. Expect another double double from Biggie and maybe better guard play.
The answer is no though there’s a certain clarity I got from watching us struggle against Georgia State. In the past, Purdue survived off defense. Defense is a consistent. If you’re a great defensive team, you’re not gonna get blown out very often. If you’re a team that leans on your offense, you’re going to have more variance. Shots won’t fall, other teams shots will fall, and some nights you just won’t look like a good team. This is an offensive team. Purdue’s lucky to have two behemoths who offer a certain consistency most teams have, but there are still going to be nights where nothing is falling. So I’m more convinced than ever that this Purdue team has a higher ceiling than we’re used to, but it also has a lower floor.