You might be a little surprised this morning to see an article about something other than the earth opening up leaving us vulnerable to the dark fires and monsters surely to escape from the deepest parts of hell after last night’s earth ending loss to Iowa on the road, but the world actually did survive the uncomfortable upset last night. While none of us here feel particularly good about the loss, we also understand that this is January and weird things happen on the road in the Big Ten. So we shall continue with our planned almost mid-point of the season evaluations of Purdue’s players.
We’ll start our grading process with the transfer from Ann Arbor. As you’ll read, he’s missed a few games due to a back issues and it’s made grading his season a bit difficult to this point.
T-mill (Who, reports say, has booked a flight to areas unknown and has grown a beard like Tom Hank’s in Castaway with the intentions of never being heard again.): I give Spike an A for effort, but he is pretty clearly the 9th man right now. He might have a game where he splashes four threes, much to the adoration of the crowd, but right now he seems good for about a 4-5 minute stretch and 1-2 hustle plays per game. I just hope he enjoys the ride, really.
Andrew Ledman (jumboheroes): Spike would get an Incomplete with a prompt on his paper to see me after class. I like Spike Albrecht and I think he has a lot to add to this team but at the moment we just aren't seeing it. Anytime a player breaks his back I think he's allowed to look slightly off afterward. The problem now for Spike is that he has to get back into game shape during the season. That's tough to do especially after missing a big chunk of the non-conference season. Allowing someone to play into shape during B1G season is a good way to lose a game. Now, that being said I do think there will be 1-2 games where Spike will make his presence felt going forward. When you rely so much on a freshman as one of your top two point guards you will inevitably have a game where that freshman is in foul trouble or is just not effective. In those games having a calming influence like Spike to bring in could save Purdue.
Drew Schneider (thelegendofshawnmccarthy): C - The question coming into the season was, "Can Spike stay healthy?" It appears that answer is no, or at least that he's not a guy that can stay healthy soaking up major minutes. That said, we need Spike to provide some relief for PJ at the point. Spike does seem like a guy that could get hot in an important game and have a 5 minute spurt that might push us over the top. In order to do that, he has to stay healthy, and that means limited minutes, and probably limited practice. Painter lost nothing in rolling the dice on Spike, and it's still all upside at this point.
Andrew Holmes: I guess I'd have to give Spike a D, with the option to make up some assignments by doing well the rest of the year. He has had a few good moments at Purdue, but so far he hasn't been the guy we expected. It seems that his injuries have hampered him, even in the games he has played. His leadership off-the-court seems top-notch though, and I think he could play an important role down the stretch, potentially even without stepping foot on the court. We know he has the skills and experience to contribute to a tournament team, so I am optimistic, but he definitely hasn't shown enough yet to suggest he will survive a shortening of the rotation.
Juan Crespo: I'm still optimistic about Spike. Granted I'm also biased with Michigan as my #2 team. He came out well at the beginning of the season, but again his injuries have hampered him. Given Carsen's rise, we're actually #blessed at the point guard position for the first time in years, so Spike isn't as vital as we originally thought.
I still think we're going to get a 10-15 point game from Spike at some point. He has been a little cautious coming back from injury, but the potential is still there. Heck he had a great steal against Wisconsin in the 1st half, but it was wiped off because they called a foul on Haas as it was happening (I think).
But ultimately he provides a senior and veteran calmness that isn't there. Plus his play hard attitude works well at Purdue.
I give him a C/incomplete but with plenty of upward mobility.
Cryan here again. Something strange happened last night. I sent this out to six guys last night, as I normally do, and I actually got a response from all six - as I normally don’t. So instead of leaving the new guy to rot as the last response, consider this the fries to go with your burger.
Kyle Holderfield: I am going to give him an incomplete grade. Last night against Iowa, he looked the healthiest he has all year, he was moving pretty quick. But, I just haven't seen enough from him yet. He is a welcomed addition, as he has tourney experience. Injuries will plague him all year, some nights he might be okay, and others his back/hip/shoulder/every body part, will bug him. Again, we need the experience and the leadership from a Senior. But as for now, his grade is incomplete.