With the victory over Maryland last night, Purdue went vintage. They had to. The offense was struggling, but the defense was pretty exceptional.
We did not score a field goal in the final 4 minutes or so, again. But if the defense is going to play like it did down the stretch, then it isn’t as big as a deal, like when everything that could go wrong, did go wrong against Florida State last week.
So, the offensive grades are not great, but we have some pretty good defensive grades for the first time this season.
Why: Carsen struggled with his jump shot again and had 3 turnovers. But, he did go 9 for 9 from the line, in a game where we needed every single point. Another game where he looked a little disinterested on the defensive end, especially early in the first half, but he picked it up late in the game.
Why: Cline simply wasn’t very good last night. His jump shot was MIA, he was 0-6 from three and 1-7 overall. It wasn’t pretty to watch. Defensively, he played hard but struggled to stay in front of the athletic Maryland guards.
Why: Nojel, our main ball handler, did a good job of not turning it over. He doesn’t score much and we come to realize that now, but we still need him for rebounding. Last night he had two offensive rebounds to keep the offensive alive. On defense he was a standout, again, he had two blocks and a steal. One block was on Cowan as he chucked up a last second three.
Why: Grady was limited on offense, but hit a couple of open threes last night, he doesn’t do much more than that on offense. Defensively, he didn’t have any blocks but he did have two steals. Grady continues to grit and grind in the starting line up.
Why: This is the Haars we have been waiting for. Going up against future NBA forward Bruno Fernando, Matt was 4-4 from the field scoring 10 points and having 6 rebounds. He also had 3 blocks last night. He gets a B+ on defense instead of an A as he chased a few shots that lead to easy offensive rebounds for a put back last night.
Why: This may have been Evan’s least effective game so far this year. He just did not flow well on either ends of the court and that is why he only played 14 minutes. He couldn’t guard Smith or Fernando on the block either.
Why: Wheeler was probably our best player on the court last night. He logged 21 minutes off of the bench, went 6 for 7 from the field and 3 for 4 from 3. Wheeler also logged two blocks and length effected many shots around the perimeter and the rim.
Why: Sasha could not score at all last night, but played within the flow of the offense, not forcing anything up. Defensively, he was gritty. He got thru screens well, had two steals and frustrated the young guards of Maryland.
Eric Hunter Jr.:
Why: Hunter only logged 8 minutes and has a long way to go. On defense he was blown by a handful of times. On offense, he struggled to handle the basketball with ease. We need more from the young guard, he needs to be our ball handler off of the bench.