I watched the game again today, and it was just as bad as I remembered.
I’ve got plenty of video to go through, but I wanted to put out a few initial reactions on individual players.
Nojel Eastern - I’ve said this at least 12 times this year, but that’s the Nojel Purdue needs game in and game out. He rebounded the ball and pushed it up the court, attacked the basket without fearing a trip to the foul line, and was his general lock down self on defense.
Overall, he was the best player on the floor for Purdue last night. We don’t need him to score 20 a game, or even 10 a game, we just need him to be aggressive on offense and score when the opportunity presents itself.
Isaiah Thompson - He may look like a middle school player, but he’s a 100% fearless baller. At this point in the season, I have more confidence in Isaiah hitting an outside shot than any other player on Purdue’s roster. I wish Matt would draw something up for him late game, because he’s a clutch performer.
2nd Half Sasha - 2nd half Sasha hit some clutch 3’s flew around the court, and generally played with the reckless abandon that makes him a catalyst for the team. He was key in Purdue’s late game comeback.
Trevion Williams - For the most part, Tre has been the only player Coach Painter can count on from game to game. He didn’t disappoint last night going for 17 & 12 and beasting Badgers around the hoop at will. When he stays out of foul trouble and brings his intensity, there aren’t many better post players in the Big10...or the nation for that matter.
1st half Sasaha - 1st half Sasha was everything everything wrong with this Purdue team. He was lethargic, careless, and not good...at all. Purdue needs Sasha to be good.
Eric Hunter Jr. - Hunter seemed to be on a foul per 30 second pace and couldn’t find any sort of rhythm in the game. To be fair, 3 of the fouls were super soft but man, after a few games of looking like Purdue’s best scoring option in the back court, he was M.I.A. in a crucial road game.
Haarm/Proctor/Boudreaux/Hunter - These are 4 of Purdue’s starting 5. They combined for 6 points, 6 fouls, and 6 rebounds...this was obviously the devils work.
Matt Painter - Big Painter supporter here, but his decision to march out the starting lineup to start the 2nd half was bad. In that lineup, Proctor and Hunter have to score, and both struggled to do anything in the first half. I understand the concept, as they’ve been Purdue’s most consistent guard duo of late, but it didn’t work.
Furthermore, I’m not a big “the coach needs to get a tech” guy, but Purdue players were consistently hooked by Wisconsin players under the basket. Maybe he worked the refs for the hook and they refused to give it to him...maybe he didn’t, but it’s the coaches job to fight for that call, and Purdue didn’t get it once, even though (as I’ll show you in a moment) there were ample opportunities.
Players who are hot, tend to stay hot.
How does Aleem Ford put up 19 points on 5-8 shooting from 3? Why does some random guy off the street always seem to light up this team?
It’s because we’re dumb.
That’s about as simply as I can put it.
Let’s take a look at just how dumb Purdue was on defense last night.
Ford Three Pointer #1
I don’t really blame E-Bo for this one, he bumps the cutter and tries to get back outside and Ford makes the shot. He was shooting 33% from deep coming into the came, so I don’t mind giving him that shot early.
Three Pointer #2
How many times have we seen Wheeler totally lost on defense this year? The Badgers run a nice little set, but there is no reason for Wheeler to help Thompson with Anderson on this play and leave his man wide open at the top of the key for a warm up level difficulty 3.
What exactly was Wheeler afraid Anderson was going to do on this play that made it vitally important to leave his man?
A question for the ages.
Three Pointer #3
Oh Aaron, this isn’t good either bud. Nojel gets hooked on the screen, which was occasionally called, and often ignored by this incompetent officiating group last night, but buddy, your guy has nailed 2 3’s already and Brad Davidson doesn’t even force your hand before you jump inside and give him an easy passing lane out to Ford for yet another 3.
This is bad, and I don’t understand why it’s this bad, at this point in the season, and his career.
Your man is hot, guard him.
I missed one of Ford’s 3’s somehow, but don’t worry, this is almost an exact replay of the other 3 he hit in the second half.
E-Bo, you’re dude is on fire from deep. He’s having the night of his life. If he threatens to drive the ball, let him drive the ball. Why are we falling for the jab step like he’s...well...like he’s Nojel...and you’re 100% sure he’s not going to pull up from deep.
Recognize who you’re guarding. If you can’t tell, he’s the guy on the other team that is about to burst into flames. The guy that’s going to tell his grand kids about the night he gutted Purdue from deep even before he hit this shot. Why aren’t you making him put it on the floor E-Bo?
This is embarrassing.
The missing 3 happened in transition when Ford jab stepped Sasha, Sasha bailed and Ford drilled a 3 in his grill. I can’t force my self to go back and find it. You’re going to have to trust me on this one.
Hook and Hold...Never Heard of Her
I usually don’t blame the refs for the outcomes of games. The game is played at an incredible pace with elite athletes, and sometimes you miss a bang/bang play. This game, however, was different.
It wasn’t a bang/bang play this crew was consistently missing, it was the hook and hold. Purdue is responsible for the rule being in existence, and last season, you couldn’t go up for a rebound without someone getting called for a hook.
This is what I hate about college officiating. If you’re going to call a hook on every play in the 2019 season, how can you not call any 1 of 4 obvious hooks in the 2020 season? Wisconsin got beat up by Purdue on the inside in the last meeting, and their solution in Madison was to hook arms and hold on for dear life against the bigger Boilermakers.
1 call, 1 single, obvious call would have put a halt to it early, but the refs didn’t make it and Matt Painter didn’t demand it.
It was all downhill from there.
This is it, this is the reason the Hook and Hold is in the rule book. Micha Potter hooks Haarms, rides him down the lane, and then pulls him down when he tries to jump.
If this rule is going to be in the book, it has to be a flagrant 1, and Matt Painter has to demand the replay. He lost a chance to make a run in the NCAA tournament on this exact play, and if nothing else, he has to defend his big man.
Not going to lie, I’m disappointing in Matt. He’s got to be better. Tom Izzo would have been beating on the scorers table demanding a review, blood red, with tears rolling down his cheeks.
Painter just sort of shrugged and called the out of bounds play. If you demand your guys to give 100% you can’t be complacent when something like this happens.
It’s unacceptable and Painter is better than this.
This one isn’t as easy to see from the view, but it’s another obvious hook by the Wisconsin player. Reuvers hooks Haarm’s arm and doesn’t let him jump for the rebound. The refs have a clear look at the play and decide you’re allowed to do that now.
This is the one that actually got reviewed, and it’s a little less blatant than the other 2. It’s a veteran play by Reuvers, who hooks Haarm’s arm as he goes by and then acts like Haarm’s grabbed him.
This is a play as old as basketball and should be easy to identify on replay, mainly because it’s clear Reuvers is hooking Haarms, but alas, Chris Beaver is a consistently terrible ref and D.J. Carstensen isn’t much better. ‘
Neither have the balls to overturn this call in Madison.
A pathetic job by this crew.
This is comical.
Sasha gets called for a foul on this play, but the only contact made is Pritzil dragging him down to the floor by hooking his arm. Unless Sasha decided the diving butt first away from the basketball is the most efficient way to grab it, there is no other explanation.
Throw in the fact that you can clearly see the hook on both replays, and Sasha immediately claims that he was hooked and I think you’ve got a pretty compelling case for a hook and hold on this play, and yet, it doesn’t even get reviewed.
Once again, what the hell is Matt Painter doing?
How does he not get the officials to at least look at this play?
I get the calm, cool demeanor thing he has going, and I’m not saying he should get a tech, but holy hell Matt, you’ve got to go to bat for your team on this play. It’s the 4th time its happen, and as far as I could see, you were mostly upset at Haarms for asking for the replay.
Your tournament life is on the line, and this is what we’re getting?
I expect better.
Let’s hope we get better on Saturday against Michigan.