Purdue showed great resiliency today in a great come-from-behind win during the final edition of the Crossroads Classic. No, really! Look it up. Purdue trailed for 18 seconds after Bryce Golden started the game with a layup on Butler’s first possession. At the first media timeout Purdue only led 9-8, but from there they hit the gas and never looked back.
It is safe to say that it was a cathartic way to finish the Crossroads Classic. Purdue entered today with only three wins in the event, beating butler by 15 once and Notre Dame by five once and 10 last year. For the most part the event has not been kind, but today everything worked. Jaden Ivey was 6 for 6 from three and finished with 22 points in just 24 minutes. Zach Edey had a first half double-double off the bench and finished with 14 and 11. Trevion Williams battled foul trouble, but had a 10-6-2 line in his first start of the season.
Purdue completely disrupted Butler on both ends. The Bulldogs had no answer for Edey’s physicality and defensively Purdue held the Bulldogs to a dismal 4 of 28 performance from three. Butler was also 6 of 14 from the line.
It is safe to say this is one of the worst Butler teams in a long time. three projected starters were out today, and if not for 17 from Golden, who held his own inside against Williams and Edey, this would have been even bloodier. Purdue got ahead by as much as 36 before teh walk-ons went in with 2:30 left. 17 on 27 made baskets team assists was also very nice.
I have to say it was a lot of fun to be in the building today and get a nice, relaxing win. This was my first in-person Purdue game since February 27, 2020, so it felt like a special treat. It also means that Purdue very likely will finish the non-conference portion of its schedule at 11-0 with three ACC wins and two Big East wins. Yeah, Villanova and Butler are struggling, but those names will help on the team sheet in the committee room.
Now we have tune-up games against Incarnate Word and Nicholls before the 18 games left in Big Ten play. if today is any indication, there is not a lot of tuning needed.