Saturday, February 16, 2013

Basketball Recap: Illinois 79 - Purdue 59

On Wednesday night, it was so entertaining to watch Purdue basketball that I spent the next 12 hours vomiting.  No exaggeration.  Sure, it may have been only 1% due to how disgusted I am by the Boilers play on the court and 99% related to the norovirus, but the results are the same.

Norovirus = Purdue basketball
As I lay feverishly sweating, trying to figure out if I was dying, it gave me time to ponder the game.  Overall, it just grinds on me to see such poor effort from the guys lucky enough to wear a Purdue jersey.  I don't expect to beat good teams, and Illinois is a very mediocre one (as we've seen from actually beating them this season), with the talent and youth assembled, but to me there's never an excuse for lack of effort.  For the umpteenth straight game, a bad loss was as much due to effort as talent.

When you look at the stat line for Illinois, you see an interesting phenomenon:

  • 42% shooting, only 4% better than Purdue
  • 28% three-point shooting on 25 attempts, worse than the Boilers
  • Fewer steals and blocks than Purdue
  • Only five assists more than the Boilers
  • Four more fouls than Purdue, including their best player fouling out
That doesn't exactly sound like the production of a team that wins by 20 points, does it?  So what made the difference.  Purdue gave up 17 offensive rebounds (40 total) and also had 17 turnovers.  Most of those offensive boards were due to lack of hustle, boxing out, or simple court awareness.  Honestly, it was pathetic, as guys were just standing around.  When Ronnie Johnson is by far your leading rebounder, it means the other guys aren't getting the job done.

But Ronnie isn't out of the doghouse.  He had five turnovers, and the sloppy execution of the entire time made matters even worse.  Whatever the attitude problem that makes this team unmotivated and unfocused, it needs to be killed this off-season (it clearly won't be ended any sooner).  If that means players leave, so be it, and I still think Painter should bench every player that won't hustle, no matter who they are.  No number of Matt Painter ejections will fire this team up.

There were a few other things from the game that were almost as despicable as the play on the court.  First, the Big Ten Network broadcast featured Tim Doyle, which guarantees for some asinine comments.  Here were a few of his best:
  • DJ is the best shooter in the conference (or one of the best in the country).  Really?
  • Terone has the best floater in the country.  Really?
  • Hammons will be the conference player of the year next year.  Really?
Seriously, how desperate is Doyle for something to say?  All of those comments are ludicrous, and while maybe Hammons will be great next season, to give any praise whatsoever to DJ and Terone's shooting this season means Doyle hasn't watched much basketball.  DJ is shooting 37% this season (36% from distance), and Terone is shooting 39% mostly on his crappy floater.  

Another knock on the broadcast: Erik pointed out that BTN is reading this blog for things to talk about during the game.  Sure, they might get caught stealing notes from the more popular, longer tenured Purdue blogs, but a little site like ours is easy pickins.  Erik emphasized how critical Egwu would be in his game preview, and during the first five minutes of the game, they talked constantly about the same fact, even citing that he had four or more fouls in eight of his last nine games.  Thieves!*

Finally, I'll leave you with this quote from Matt Painter:
“When you walk into a program and you have guys like E’Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson and Robbie Hummel, sure they are good players, but they are hard-working players. They put in a lot of time and have the work ethic. We have a couple of guys who work at it, but my reference point is always the guys that we have had. Do we have somebody on our team who works as hard as Rob Hummel? We don’t.”
*This could just be a coincidence, but it's fun to think you're reading, BTN crew!

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