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Purdue Basketball: Where Art Thou Defense?

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The defense at one point in the top 5 in KenPom.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few weeks ago, we were all clamoring that Purdue was ranked in the top 5 in offensive and defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com.

But as of late, it seems like the defense has fallen off a bit. According to KenPom.com, we have dropped to 16th in the nation when it comes to defensive efficiency. This is still not that bad, but it is not where we once were either.

Why am I bringing this up? Well because it seems like the past few games we have had one guy that has absolutely killed us. The last one? Corey Sanders from Rutgers, where he scored 31 points - causing Purdue quite the scare where we only won 78 to 76.

So what is the problem? I think you saw Coach Painter get upset many times this weekend when we played Rutgers, particularly at Isaac Haas it seemed like. Haas picked it, as he had a couple of nice blocks in the second half.

It seems as if our team defense is lacking these past few games. Rotations and help defense has been average at best. Help side defense has been poor, in particular on the back side when a quick rotation is needed.

Even our rim protector extraordinaire, Matt Haarms has struggled as of late. Early in the season it seemed as if he was getting 3 blocks per game regardless. But now, his rotation is slower and is getting more fouls called on him in those situations.

Could it be that our Boilers are getting tired legs? That very well could be - as they have been playing since June when started practicing for the World University Games.

A lot of us have complained that the B1G Tournament is a week earlier than usual and NYC. It might be a good thing for our Boilermakers this year as it will give us a week of rest essentially before the Big Dance.

Regardless of what happens, we need to find our defensive identity again. I am sure Coach Painter has been addressing it during film sessions these past couple of weeks.

What are your guys’ opinion on this? How do we fix it?