Zach Edey: 33 points, 18 rebounds, 3 blocks
Fletcher Loyer: 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
Trayce Jackson-Davis: 25 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks
Jalen Hood-Schifino: 16 points, 4 assists, 2 steals
After taking the night to soak in this game, I have decided to break it up into the good, the bad, and the ugly (not in that order, however). Let’s take a look:
The Ugly: Purdue’s First Half
We’ll start here because this ultimately dug the hole the led to the loss. Purdue came out looking ok, going into the under-16 timeout down 11-10. Purdue had 6 turnovers by the time the next media timeout occurred and the IU lead ballooned to 21-10. It wouldn’t get much better for Purdue as the crowd was roaring and the youth of this team finally showed. There were 6 missed free throws in the first half by Purdue, including a front end of a 1&1. Purdue players looked rattled, as turnovers piled up, defensive rotations were missed, and easy shots weren’t even attempted, such as what should have been a wide open Gillis dunk that resulted in a travel. At the end of the first half, IU led 50-35 after their best half of basketball this season combined with Purdue’s worst.
The Bad: Dick Vitale and the Hall of Calls
I’m going to voice my disdain here before getting to the good stuff for Purdue because I want to end on a high note as the team did. First of all, I am of the opinion that Dick Vitale should never announce another game again. Beyond the clear agreement with the home crowd, Dickie V just sounds like your grandfather after one too many whiskeys. Here’s a tip ESPN: when half of your viewers instantly want to mute your broadcast because of an announcer, he should not be calling games. Secondly, I am not going to blame the referees for the loss, but again, some key misses loomed large in this one. Two of Zach Edey’s fouls were on TJD flops and gave the ball to Indiana, the second coming at a critical time in the second half. The fouls on Edey disrupted the flow of the game in the first half and forced Trey Kaufman-Renn in, where he got bullied on defense. Another miss was the technical foul that should have been called on TJD after coming in and shoving Mason Gillis after a hard, but clean, foul. Assembly Hall is the Hall of Calls and 3 misses isn’t the most it’s ever had, but every call matters in a game like this. Lastly, it was clearly a problem that fans were throwing objects onto the court. It got to the point where an announcement had to be made and a technical foul was warned. That’s pathetic on the IU fans as Matt Painter indicated that it happened at least 3 times. Do better, IU fans.
The Good: Second Half Comeback and Zach Edey
The second half was nothing like the first. Purdue started to feed Zach Edey in the deep post, took care of the ball, and hit some outside shots. On defense, Purdue stopped doubling as much and the straight-up defense was effective. Just over 10 minutes in, the IU lead had shrunk from 15 to 4 after a second David Jenkins three. With two minutes left, the lead was just 1 after a Braden Smith layup but after a few Race Thompson free throws, a turnover, and a Jalen Hood-Schifino layup, the lead was back to 5 with 25 seconds left. Purdue played the foul game and was down 3 with 4 seconds left before a long inbound and dunk by JHS that sealed it. Give Purdue a ton of credit for fighting back in this hostile environment and coming within a few plays of completing the comeback. After the game, a reporter asked Braden Smith about a turnover he had in the waning minutes, to which Braden said he had to do better. Braden was correct but Zach Edey was more correct by snatching the microphone and explaining that there are several plays that make up a game and it’s on the team rather than one player. This really shows who Zach Edey is as the unquestioned leader of this team who can go out and put up 33 and 18, then deflect blame from one of his teammates. Zach is clearly one of the best players and teammates in the country, and we are so lucky to have him on this team.
Purdue will take on Iowa in Mackey this Thursday and look to bounce back and extend its 2.5 game lead atop the Big Ten.