Purdue Boliermakers Archive

The Minute After: Purdue


Thoughts on a 97-60 win against Purdue:

I. There was talk of the Hoosiers seeing beyond this one to their College Gameday matchup with the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday, that the Boilermakers may be overlooked. But such speculation was put to rest early tonight inside Mackey Arena. Indiana asserted itself as the agressor, as the better team. And there was little doubt the Boliermakers were in trouble from the tip. Cody Zeller went to work early on A.J. Hammons, saddling him with foul trouble. Will Sheehey got a a steal and a dunk. Victor Oladipo hit a corner 3 off a Sheehey offensive rebound. The lead was 10. And it would build from there. Sixteen after a Christian Watford 3-pointer. All the way to 20 by the time the halftime buzzer sounded.

We’ve seen the Hoosiers play a crisp first 20 in some Big Ten games, only to watch the opponent slow them down and outscore them in the second half. But not tonight. Not against this rival. The Hoosiers were not done. The lead continued to balloon. Twenty-five after a Yogi Ferrell 3-pointer. Up to 27 and then 28 after a Sheehey and-1, the theatrics were on full display as Sheehey flexed his right bicep to the Purdue crowd. The Hoosiers were smiling and having fun all the way to the bank tonight, and ended this one with a 37-point slaughter of this younger, inexperienced, little brother Purdue team after Derek Elston and Maurice Creek joined in the 3-parade late.

97-60, the statement made loud and clear: We’re ready. Bring on the Wolverines.

II. This was a balanced attack; the Hoosiers had five players in double figures — Zeller (19 points), Watford (17 points), Oladipo (17 points), Ferrell (11 points) and Hulls (10 points). Sheehey added seven to go along with a career-high seven assists. Watford (4-of-5) and Ferrell (3-of-4) were hot from beyond the arc. The Hoosiers, after struggling at times from the line this season, were absolutely money in that department as well tonight, going 19-of-20 (95.0 percent). After Sunday’s Michigan State game, Indiana was turning the ball over second most in the conference with only Minnesota being more careless with the ball. Tonight, Indiana excelled in that department, turning the ball over on just 12.3 percent of its possessions, while Purdue had some serious issues there (27.0 TO%), leading to 20 points for IU.


Film Session: Ball screens for Oladipo

With Verdell Jones out of the lineup, Victor Oladipo assumed more of a ballhandling role and scored a career-high 23 points inside Mackey Area on Saturday evening. And when Oladipo wasn’t scoring, he was making smart decisions and dishing to teammates.

A look at Oladipo’s use of six ball screens in the latest edition of Film Session.

NO 1) 

Cody Zeller sets a high ball screen for Oladipo:

Oladipo splits the defenders:

Lewis Jackson leaves Remy Abell to stop Oladipo’s straight-line drive to the rim. Oladipo passes to the now-open Abell:


Big Saturday for trio of Big Ten teams

With the Hoosiers idle this weekend, it was with love for both college basketball and the Big Ten in general that I checked out a trio of Big Ten teams come away with impressive wins Saturday.

Minnesota 70, Louisville 64: The knock on the Golden Gophers coming into a neutral court matchup with the Cardinals was an absence of a “signature” win. The response from Tubby Smith’s club was to dismantle one of the top teams in the Big East with stifling defense. Minnesota limited Louisville to 39 percent shooting and held freshman sensation Samardo Samuels to seven points. Look for the 10-0 Golden Gophers to be ranked in both polls come Monday. {The Gopher Report has a detailed recap here.}

Purdue 76, Davidson 58: As hard as it might be as an IU fan, I’ve gotta give Purdue credit for putting the clamps on one of the best players in the country. Stephen Curry took a ridiculous 26 shots in this game and only hit five. He finished with 13 points, six assists and six turnovers in 39 minutes. If that’s not the best defensive job a team has done on Curry this season, it’s gotta be close. {Boiled Sports says that mid-majors are not worth all of the hype.}

Michigan State 67, Texas 63: My pick to win the Big Ten is finally rounding into form. The presence of Delvon Roe and Goran Suton to go with Raymar Morgan suddenly makes the Spartans a team that can beat you inside or outside. And that’s exactly what they did to Texas. Suton scored 18 points in his second game back from arthoscopic knee surgery and Durrell Summers (14 points) and Kalin Lucas (11 points) held it down in the backcourt. Tom Izzo’s club shot 50 percent and Travis Walton limited A.J. Abrams to eight points. {Steve Grinzcel recaps the upset.}

Elsewhere: Michigan drops Oakland, 89-76; Ohio State moves to 8-0 with a win over Iona; Wisconsin holds Coppin State to 46 points; Illinois crushes former Indiana assistant Ray McCallum and Detroit Mercy.

Did that just happen? Yes, it did

whitesajarea.jpgFirst, the good things about tonight (or last night depending on when you read this.)

— Purdue lost. Some of their fans were sitting directly in front of us. I got to watch them leave Conseco Fieldhouse extremely pissed off. The night seemed to be off to a brilliant start. Admittedly, I was torn on whether to cheer for Purdue or Illinois. The latter got the nod.

— Since I was at the game, I was spared the Shon Morris experience. My condolences, Big Ten Network viewers.

— D.J. White was his usual beastly self. 23 points and 13 points. This kid deserves better. He consistently plays the game that way it should be played. Of all the players on this team, I hate what has happened to this team the most for D.J.

Now, onto the disaster that was Indiana vs. Minnesota. I’m going to try a different style with this recap, so if you’re looking for a more detailed account of what transpired, direct your attention here.

— The start to the game was all too familiar. Indiana plays inferior team. Indiana lets inferior team get confidence by letting inferior team take the lead. Inferior team thinks it can play with Indiana and does so the rest of the way. Let’s just be honest with each other. Minnesota had no business being up 24-8. Ultimately, this had little to no bearing on the final outcome, but it’s worth mentioning just because of how annoying it is to all of us. Another thing that was troublesome was how long it took Dan Dakich to call for a timeout while this early beat down was taking place. I’m sure Dakich is a nice lad and a decent coach in the right situation, but his brief stint at the helm in Bloomington has clearly been a disaster.


The Morning After: Purdue

sampsonlast.jpgThis is weird. Isn’t it? Isn’t it strange to be in this position right now? To gather, as I did last night, with friends at a bar, to celebrate another game with a Fat Tire and a sandwich, and to know all along that no matter what happens, your team’s coach is going down? He can beat your most hated rival (who just so happens to be the Big Ten’s top team) and still, against his will, it will be the last win of his tenure.

That’s two such wins now. The first was Saturday against Michigan State, a dominating performance that showed a resilient team rallying around their coach. The second was last night. Was it me, or did the focus seem to shift? Maybe it was because I was in a bar and couldn’t make out the commentary very well, but did last night’s audience — swept up in an important rivalry atmosphere — seem to forget about the sanctions for 40 minutes? I know I did.

It will be jarring to lose Sampson on Friday, but at this point, I’m not sure his presence is needed on the sidelines anymore. Stay with me here. It’s hard to complain about distractions after two very solid wins, but Sampson’s saga is a distraction. His assistants have been coaching this team all year; no doubt IU’s players feel just as comfortable with each of them as they do with Sampson. (Perhaps moreso, given the player-assistant-as-friends dynamic a lot of teams have.) It will be a difficult adjustment, seeing Dan Dakich running up and down the sidelines, but if the Hoosiers showed anything last night, it was a level of maturity and self-definition that gives me confidence in the coming games.

But that confidence doesn’t mean part of me won’t miss Sampson. He’s only been here for two years, yes, and even if this eulogy is premature (we still think Sampson’s going to be suspended Friday rather than fired), it will be a different place without him. He’s a frustrating coach, but if the past two years have taught us anything about his style it’s that his teams improve. They get better. They can make you miserable in November and December and even January, but come February and March they coalesce. They play hard together. They defend. And they’re fun to watch.

It’s a shame we can’t have a third year, but it’s a self-inflicted shame. And we know what we have to do. The dog might be cute. You might love the dog. But if the dog can’t control his bite, you put him down. It sucks, and it’s sad, but it’s best for everybody.


Hoosiers grab a share of Big Ten lead

djwhitestems.jpgEric Gordon scored 22 points, D.J. White added 19 points and 15 rebounds and Armon Bassett chipped in 16 as Indiana moved into a three-way tie in the loss column for first place in the Big Ten with a 77-68 win over Purdue.

The Hoosiers (22-4, 11-2 Big Ten) committed 23 turnovers, but hit 30 of 34 free throws and won the rebounding battle 46-30.

“We wanted E.J. and Armon to really drive it ,” Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said. “Play through D.J. as much as we could knowing that they would post double him, but just try to get to that free throw line. The turnover thing, like I said after the Minnesota game, sometimes you have to bring them in the huddle and remind them what color jersey you’re wearing.”

Much like the Michigan State game, the Hoosiers got off to a slow start. Purdue led 16-10 with 10:19 remaining in the first half before a 7-0 run gave Indiana its first lead.

The Boilermakers (21-6, 12-2) led 25-23 late in the first half, but Lance Stemler hit a three-pointer and the Hoosiers never relinquished the lead the rest of the way.

White, who was questionable due to a knee injury suffered on Saturday night against Michigan State, looked to be close to 100 percent and dominated the interior before fouling out with 10 seconds remaining.


Game Thread: Purdue @ Indiana

sampson219.jpgOpponent: Purdue

Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 | 7:00 p.m. EST

Arena: Assembly Hall (17,357) – Bloomington, Indiana

Line: Indiana by 5.5

All-time series: Purdue leads 107-83

Previous meeting: Purdue won 81-68 in West Lafayette on February 15, 2007

TV: ESPN (Brent Musberger, Steve Lavin, Erin Andrews)

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Todd Leary and Joe Smith)

Probable Starters:

  • Purdue (21-5, 12-1 Big Ten): Chris Kramer, Keaton Grant, E’Twaun Moore, Robbie Hummel, Nemanja Calasan
  • Indiana (21-4, 10-2 Big Ten): Armon Bassett, Eric Gordon, Jamarcus Ellis, Lance Stemler, D.J. White

Game Notes (Adobe Reader required to view):

Gameday Reading:

As always, your predictions and analysis are welcome in the game thread.

Handicapping the Big Ten race

handicap2.jpgWe’re essentially at the halfway point of the Big Ten season and that means it’s time to handicap the conference race and try to figure out how it’s all going to shake out.

I like to think of this as an opportunity for me to be called a genius at the end of the season (unlikely) or an opportunity for all of you to call me an idiot at that time (almost certain based on my track record).

Despite that last revelation, I’ve taken a look at the five teams with a real chance to win the league and provided their current league record, my prediction for their final record and Ken Pomeroy’s prediction for each team. If you’re not familiar with Pomeroy, I would suggest checking out his site at www.kenpom.com. It’s in the discussion for the best college hoops site anywhere if you like numbers.

Without further ado, my fearless Big Ten predictions:

Wisconsin: 8-1
Predicted finish: 16-2 (loss: at Indiana)
Pomeroy predicts: 17-1

Analysis: I flirted with picking a 15-3 finish, but ultimately I couldn’t pull the trigger on the Badgers losing at home to Michigan State or in Columbus to the Buckeyes. Even if Bo Ryan and company slip in one of the aforementioned contests (or perhaps at Illinois), a 15-3 record would likely assure at least a share of the conference title.