Thursday, March 7, 2013

Basketball Recap: Michigan 80 - Purdue 75

Wow - what a game!  Purdue may have lost, but the Boilers played one of their best and most entertaining games Wednesday night against the Wolverines.  It was awesome to have another game of pacing, jumping, and yelling in front of the tv, and despite the outcome, there's a lot of things to talk about in this one...

- If Wisconsin was "The Sandi Marcius Game", then this was "THE SANDI MARCIUS GAME!!!!"  Sandi has somehow figured it out and no longer looks like a bull in a china shop.  Sandi had a huge impact in just about every part of this game:
  • He had the first 9 points for Purdue and was the ONLY Boilermaker to score in the first 10:38 of the game.
  • His energy and scoring was vital in keeping the Boilers in the game early on.
  • He took a dump in the middle of the game.  This is a little bit of speculation, but 3 minutes into the second half, he ran over to Matt Painter trying to get taken out of the ballgame. Painter waited to take him out until Purdue got fouled later in that possession.  The first free throw was taken and Marcius BOLTED from the paint directly to the locker room.  5 (real-time) minutes later, Sandi came back to the bench.  BTN (who actually had pretty decent coverage last night) showed Marcius returning and I believe it was Stephen Toyra who asked him a question with a sly smirk on his face.  Sandi got a sheepish grin on his face and started laughing, but never denied whatever Toyra asked him.  He was back in the game within 2 minutes.  It clearly wasn't an injury, and he was gone too long to just have to take a piss.  Based on this, Sandi had to poop.  Badly.  I wish it had happened 5 minutes later, so that the next item wouldn't have happened.
  • Sandi's feeling a rumbling in his pants...
  • His injury was perhaps the biggest play of the game.  Michigan couldn't stop him and he was playing fantastic defense. Marcius went down - the Wolverines started their run a few minutes later.  The ankle roll looked gruesome and though he came back to play another minute or two, let's hope he's alright for Saturday - the Boilers need him!

- Can anybody tell me the last non-floater jump shot Anthony Johnson made? After doing some research, he did make a 3-pointer against Indiana on February 16th with nine seconds left in the game.  I'm pretty sure that prior to that, the most recent jump shot made was a 3-pointer against Illinois - the FIRST Big Ten game of the year.  So, if that's the case, WHY DOES ANTHONY JOHNSON HAVE THE BALL AT THE END OF THE SHOT CLOCK TRYING TO CREATE HIS OWN JUMP SHOT???  This seems to happen at least once a game.  Pass it to somebody else!  He's averaged 7 minutes in the last 3 games - think this has something to do with it?

- Rapheal Davis had a huge game (15 points, 9 rebounds) and played some outstanding defense.  That's why it was so frustrating to see him hack a guy from behind on a rebound only 4 minutes into the 2nd half.  This was his 3rd foul and I feel it really hurt his effectiveness in the 2nd half.  He couldn't afford to play as physical on defense - something Purdue really needed in the last 10 minutes.

- Has there always been a Bass Pro Shops "In The Net"?  What does that even mean?  It basically was just a way for BTN to show a replay of a made shot.  Ridiculous.

- Why was Purdue in position to win this game?  A great free throw percentage (86%!), great rebounding (outrebounded Michigan 38-25 even though both teams took nearly the same number of shots), and Ronnie Johnson never came down the court to take one of his stupid shots with 25 seconds left on the shot clock.  Ronnie played within himself and besides a potentially questionable decision to not give it up to Byrd at the end (Byrd was more open, although I understand his thinking since Terone had made about 40 shots in a row), he played excellent on the offensive end.

- Why did Purdue lose this game?  Bad defense and an unbelievable offensive stretch by Trey Burke and Nik Stauskas.  Statheads, pay attention - we may have seen some sort of record last night: 

In the last 9:44, Michigan had ONE possession in which they didn't score.  ONE!

That possession was a missed jumper by Trey Burke with 4:36 to go.  Amazingly, Purdue was only up 9 points at the 9:44 mark, and yet they still had a chance to tie it at the end of the game.  That's right, Michigan scored in 17 of their last 18 possessions, scoring 35 points in the process (a pace of over 140 points for the entire game!) and the Boilers still nearly pulled it off.  The scoring was so prolific that from the last tv timeout (at the 3:59 mark) to the turnover by the Johnson's with 3 seconds left, there was only one possession by EITHER team that didn't result in points (it was a Ronnie Johnson missed layup with 2:47 to go).  I really wish somebody with the resources would look up how unbelievable those last 10 minutes really were.  I honestly think it could have been some sort of Division I record.

How many times did you yell "NOW LET'S GET A [censored] STOP!!"  And how many times did you say "SOMEBODY GUARD BURKE AND STAUSKAS - THEY'RE THE ONLY TWO GUYS WHO ARE DOING ANYTHING!!@!@@!@!!!"?  I think I said them each about 18 times.  It worked once. Well, it actually worked twice, but Jim Burr made a horrible out of bounds call with 6:45 to go which gave Michigan a second chance at the possession.  Of course they scored.

- The first ten minutes of the game were a nightmare with horrible was getting to be embarrassing as the Boilers had 5 turnovers in the first 5 minutes.  The Boilers did come back and settle down to only commit 13 turnovers on the game, but man, there were three huge ones down the stretch:
  • 5:51 - Anthrop got a big offensive rebound, dribbled around for a couple seconds, and had the ball stolen for a fast break jumper by Burke.
  • 4:24 - Terone Johnson got the ball poked out from behind 30 feet from the basket, leading to a fast break layup.
  • 0:03 - Ronnie Johnson passed it to Terone who took his eye off the ball, meaning the guy who was 12-17 from the field would not get the opportunity to take a game-tying shot.
After the last turnover - check out all the reactions
- Terone may have had 5 turnovers, but he was nothing short of magical on the offensive end.  Floater after floater after floater - it was one of the most impressive offensive performances I've seen from a Boilermaker in a long time.  Every shot seemed to be double covered, yet somehow they kept going in.  It had to have been brutal to be a Michigan fan last night..."WHY CAN'T YOU GUARD HIM????"  It was fun to watch - keep up the great play, Terone!

- And finally, Tom Campbell had an amazing game.  Who?  He's the Gold and Black Illustrated photographer and he took some awesome shots.  Check out his pictures that we've featured on this post - great work Tom!  (Little known fact: Tom Campbell has actually taken a picture of Kirk and I that has been featured in Gold and Black Illustrated.  Maybe one day we'll post it here.)

Big Dog, Cardinal, and Keady laughing about Gene's new look - awesome!

Despite the loss, Purdue all the sudden has a lot to play for on Saturday and appears to be playing it's best ball heading into the Big Ten Tourney.  And on a personal level, I'd like to thank the Boilers for giving me the opportunity to write at least one more passionate post this year.

Boiler Up!

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