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Tag:Big Ten
Posted on: March 6, 2010 5:06 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2010 5:16 pm
 

Purdue VS Penn State 03/06/2010, BIG TEN CHAMPS!!

Simply put…… WE ARE THE BIGTEN CHAMPIONS!!!! First time since 1996 when we finished off a three-peat, and this one is extremely impressive because of the loss of Hummel. We basically won 3 of 4 games without Hummel so far with the win @ Minn, vs IU, and @ PSU. And, people can say this win wasn’t anything against a horrible recorded Penn State team, but they are nuts. This is a team who took MSU to the buzzer and lost by 2 @ MSU. This is now our teams 22nd Big10 Championship to lead all teams in the conference.

How in the world is Penn State as bad as they are record wise? Can anyone answer this question? I certainly can not answer the question because they look like they should be in Illinois spot in the Big10 rankings. Taylor Battle is always fantastic, and I wish him the best. It looked like he suffered a concussion by his own team-mate and I hope he makes it back for the Big10 tourney. Also, I have never seen any team hit SO many threes from 5 feet beyond the three point line! These threes kept Penn State close enough to strike, but they fell short. I think Battle will definitely be back next year and I have a feeling this team will be NCAA bound and in the Big10 race.

What can I really say about the Boilers? Maybe because I am too excited and happy over winning the title; I am finding it hard to find words. The Player of the Game for me is split for the first time. It has to go to both Keaton Grant and Jujuan Johnson without doubt. Grant scored 17 points and hit 5 three pointers which he will have to continue to shoot come tourney time; I can forgive him for the horrible free-throw at the end of the game since he is shooting close to 80% on the season from the stripe. JJ was remarkable scoring 21, adding 10 rebounds, and of course 11 of 14 from the charity stripe; he also added a handful of blocks, and impressed me with how he ran the floor on fast-breaks which is rare from big guys. Moore looked a little off today, but luckily we didn’t need his normal double digit scoring, and he showed his leadership at the end when he hit both free-throws to extend the lead to 3 points. I do believe this broke a 20+ game streak of double digit scoring for Etwaun, but hopefully he starts another in the next game (which I will be at). BTW, do you think Moore called the bank on his last shot, lol? Kramer’s scoring came down today to only 6 points, but he is still the heart of this team with his constant pressure and tough play. He never ever gives up on a play regardless of what’s going on. The play where he turned the ball over but intercepted the pass for a layup is a perfect example. He also did something extremely rare in the game today. On offense the defense gave him at least 8 feet of room beyond the three point line, so Kramer drove in, stopped, popped from mid-range and nailed it for 2 points. Also, I lost count of how many times Kramer stripped the ball from somebody today with his famous slap down move. Hart had some good early contributions, and unfortunately rolled his ankle in the second half. I hope he is okay and a few days rest is all that is needed. My play of the game was none other then Barlow’s monster put back SLAM off of Ljack’s missed three-pointer. If I had a link to show you the play I would, hopefully you are able to see it at some point.

Free-throws were again a problem for our team, but it was extremely weird. Barlow of course missed both of his, but the first two that Moore shot were off, and the only attempt by Grant barely nipped the rim. Grant and Moore are pretty reliable from the line, so I am actually not worried about the free-throws as long as JJ can keep hitting his. And, I know it is a slim margin but Purdue out rebounded Penn State 29 to 27, and what is impressive is Penn State has had a positive rebound margin for their season average. Of course we won the turnover battle again, but it was close at only 15 to 12. I think it will be key to make this margin even bigger when we play better teams, but this is Purdue so I am not worried about the defense. Purdue is defense, period!

Sorry for a some what short recap, but I will be around waiting for conversations.

Boiler-Up…..2010 Big10 CHAMPS!!!!

Grizz

P.S. I just bought my tickets today and I will be sitting in section 9!

Posted on: March 3, 2010 9:16 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2010 9:30 pm
 

Purdue VS IU 03/03/2010

Hello faithful readers, I am going to try something kind of different. On every game so far I have waited till the end to write the recap, but tonight I will write a first half recap and a second half recap with a final summary.

First Half: As always I will start with the opposition. IU hasn’t looked real sharp in terms of focus as Purdue has already forced double digit turnovers. However, they are starting to knock down some big shots including some pretty good long range shooting which has kept them as close as they are. There defense on JJ has also been real tight and when he gets it with his back to the basket they are double teaming every time. This is something Painter has to realize and get JJ to dish it quicker.

As for our Boilers there is a lot of good things to talk about so far here on senior night. Let’s start with the seniors Kramer and Grant. Grant still needs to be more aggressive tonight and the rest of the way, he has already knocked down a contested fade away 2 pointer. Kramer has been fantastic and is really stepping up with 9 first half points. He had the nice put in off the ally-oop and a beautiful fast break layup. I still think he needs to shoot the wide open 3’s when he has them; twice he either drove and passed it or just passed it and both times ended in a loose ball. Speaking of finally shooting, how about Lewis Jackson popping a wide open three. I have no problem when he takes a wide open set shot, but the second one he attempted wasn’t needed. Moore is rebounding off a horrible shooting performance against MSU knocking down some good range shots. He missed a couple wide open ones, but you can’t hit them all. The basket interference off of Barlow’s miss that Moore put back was BOGUS as the ball was clearly outside of the rim. Barlow has to work on his free-throws, it was painful to even watch. It was good to see other players stepping up and stretching the defense out, like Hart’s three pointer did. I also have to give props to Bade who is catching lots of flack right now. His second foul which put him on the bench was a horrible call as the smaller IU guard had a fistful of jersey and was pulling him on the offensive rebound; BLOWN CALL! Our defense was also amazing as it continues to be as we turned 10 turnovers into 13 points. We also crashed the boards which was key. One final note as the second half has started, Purdue continues to impress me on their intangibles, hustle, and basketball IQ all the ingredients we need to make our run in the both upcoming tournaments.

Second Half & Conclusion: I will say this for IU they are definitely going in the right direction. They were never in this ball game after the first couple of minutes, but I think Coach Crean has this program coming back and is only a couple years off. A plus for tonight’s game include their slight rebounding margin and the fact they were very resilient and never let Purdue stretch it to 30+ point margin.

SENIOR NIGHT, is a great night for the Boilers. And, I hope this game gets us back on our “train” tracks. The second half was as impressive as the first and it was lead by our ball-hawking defense. This team has increased its defense since Hummel went down, almost from the word go. How great was it that Kramer lead this team tonight. I have been screaming for him to step up all season long even before Hummel went down. Now I know it was Indiana but this was a rivalry game and team we only beat by 3 earlier this year with Hummel. Kramer drops a season high 18, a number of steals and forced turnovers, and the most important stat to me a team leading 6 assists. In my mind the Boilers were too selfish against MSU and forced the offense, today they finally utilized the pass and found some great looks. I also like that we pushed the tempo more then we normally do, as we became more of a transition team tonight. Moore rebounds great from a horrible MSU game and drops 21, and I think this was key because after losing a good friend in Hummel to injury a lot of pressure was squarely on his shoulders and he finally knocked that monkey off. I also liked that JJ showed some grit tonight. He was doubled most all night like against MSU, but instead of letting it get to his head he hung in their and contributed 14 points and numerous trips to the free throw line. I think if he and Moore would have played with this composure against MSU the results would have been different. I think we all knew Kramer would step up and help JJ and Moore, but non of us knew who else would step up. I think this game shows what the other players have to do for us to remain successful the rest of the way. Lewis Jackson dropped a season high 9 including his first 3 of the season and first free throws of the season. Grant only ended with 5, but he was far more assertive in the second half shooting when he had good looks. Hart, Bade, and Barlow all contributed a basket or two and played what I thought should be their roles. Any night where those three or Jackson can contribute an unexpected point total will be a great night for the Boilers. I think Kramer will continue to average around 13 points and 5 assists from here on out which is a pretty good third wheel to JJ and Moore.

I think Purdue finally had a chance to adjust to losing Hummel, and the MSU game just came upon them too quickly after it. The shooting improved from something like 15 of 50 against MSU to 24 of 49, 48% tonight. Rebounding is still a problem area as we were out done 33 to 24, but it was encouraging to see our smallest guy on the floor Ljack fighting for boards. It shows the heart and effort we were missing in the MSU game. As I already mentioned the passing was extremely better as we had 16 assists on 24 made baskets. And, a key stat for JJ and the Boilers were the 6 blocks in tonight’s game. I’m not sure if anyone noticed but we had ZERO blocks against MSU which I believe is the only game this year we didn’t have a block. I am extremely happy the maintenance crew removed those invisible plastic lids allowing Purdue to make some baskets. The last concerning stat to me was the free-throw shooting only 21 of 31. I know JJ missed most of those but this is 10 points we left out there and can’t afford against greater opponents.

If Purdue can go on to win @ Penn State we will earn our 22-nd Big Ten title splitting it with Ohio State, and lock up the #2 seed in the Big10 tourney.

Also wanted to say what a class-act Coach Painter is for getting Mark Wolford in the game at the end on senior night. I watched the OSU and Illinois game last night and there was at least one senior who didn't get on the court. Obviously my POG (player of the game) on senior night is Chris Kramer. At this point you know why, and while Moore led us in scoring Kramer led this team tonight. And, how about his call out at the end of the game.... "Never thought this night would come.... 4 years later here we are 40 minutes away from a Big10 title.....and if we win EVERYONE better be at the air-port when we get back!" Did I forget to mention this 2010 class of Wolford, Grant, and Kramer is now the most winning class of all time with 99 and counting. I am glad to see all three go out with a home win!

*TIE-BREAKING RULES: I do have a question for anyone who knows better then I. This is in regards to the tie breaker rules for Big10 seedings. (I will post a link to the rules after I finish typing) If I understand the rules right the rule says you compare head to head records and if this is even you look at the best record common in-conference team and compare each teams head to head against them. If this is correct then I understand why Ohio State gets the #1 seed regardless if Purdue ties them. This is so because MSU would be the highest common opponent and Purdue is 1-1 while OSU is 1-0 against them giving the edge to OSU (it sucks I know). This would also mean we own the tie breaker against MSU if it ends as a tie because after having an even head to head record we compare what was done against Ohio State where Purdue is 1-1 and MSU is 0-1.

Where I am confused or at least wondering is the situation with Wisconsin. If Purdue where to lose against Penn State and Wisconsin where to win tonight against Iowa and then pull the Upset @ Illinois we would be tied on our records. I think this would give Purdue the tie breaker for what I would assume to be the 3 seed with MSU getting the 2. If I have figured this correct it works this way because both Purdue and Wisconsin are 1-1 against OSU and MSU, HOWEVER Purdue is 2-0 against Illinois and the best Wisconsin can be is 1-1. PLEASE tell me if I am wrong and if you can explain it better I would be more then happy to read it, THANKS!

Here is the link:

http://www.bigten.org/sports/m-bask
bl/spec-rel/100606aae.html

Boiler-Up!!!

Grizz

Posted on: February 26, 2010 5:40 am
Edited on: February 26, 2010 5:42 am
 

Hummel-Less Boilers...... Keep HOPE!

To start this off, this entire entry will be deep from the heart and soul and will be a reach out to Boiler Nation to keep STRONG, keep FAITH, and more importantly keep HOPE a live for the rest of the season.

There is no doubt, losing Hummel is devastating news and a player we just can not replace. What he does for this team extends from leadership, sharp shooting, rebounding, defense, and one of our few low post presences. There is nothing I can say negative about Hummel, who is a true testament for the Boiler program. His season has come to a close early, but I guarantee he will come back next year even more focused and ticked off with the way his season was unfairly ended. I know Hummel well enough to know this injury is killing him worse then any one will ever know, as he is having the thoughts of letting his friends/teammates and coach down.  He has done nothing to let any one done; this was something completely out of his or any ones control. However, I promise you he will be there each and every game cheering, coaching, inspiring the rest of the Boilers as they take the court to try and finish this epic season and its lofty yet reachable goals.

All the nay-sayers and pessimists will point to this and say that the Boilers season is done. I say they are wrong. One thing Purdue prides it self on is playing as a whole, as a team. No one player is more important then the next, the sum is truly greater then the parts. Keep in mind the reason the Boilers looked so out of whack when Hummel went down was because the game plan was clearly thrown out the window. There is absolutely no way to plan for an injury like this, and understandably it put the Boilers out of whack. However, after they finally settled down and gained focus they looked just as sharp as the possibly could be. This is speaking offensively, because defensively I haven’t seen Purdue place that much pressure on the ball as they did in the second half against Minnesota. Now, Painter has the chance to game plan for the offense to replace Hummel’s points and rhythm. For those who don’t realize this, that game planning is a vital part to the way a team like Purdue plays. Painter is one of the best in the business when it comes to planning for the next game, and I know he will have the best playbook possible for each opponent with who we have left. Now, here’s where people are starting to crack me up. Especially Gary Parrish who said that people will say this injury gives other players the chance to step up, but it is not going to happen. This is far from true, and I will tell you why. It can be simply put as Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant.

Everyone who isn’t a die hard Boiler tends to forget Kramer was our third wheel of offense before our current big 3 back when Carl Landry was playing, Grant and Kramer where key contributors and that was a team with less talent then our current squad, with or without Hummel. And guess what, Kramer and Grant still have what it takes. It’s not like they have forgotten how to step up and be leaders on the offense, they just simply haven’t had to do so. Grant has already been reborn this season after a horrendous start to run off three consecutive games with double digit scoring, and some mighty heroics at the end of the last dramatic win. And, Kramer is an offensive threat when he gets it in his mind to be one. So, Kramer if you read this then get your mind set to start scoring. This kid has a pretty stroke from down-town and will have to start making the zone and lagging defenders pay from there. His ability to drive to the basket is also going to be key, and with his muscle this will be no problem. Mighty Mouse, also known as Lewis Jackson has to start knocking down some shots and gaining confidence. We all know jump shots aren’t his greatest strength, but this is certainly the time for him to gain the confidence to take some of these shots. And, not to sound cliché but this is the time for Hart, Barlow, and Bade to grow up and play with more of an experienced mind set, as mistakes will be more critical then ever now.

Please, I beg you; please don’t forget we still have 2 awesome star players left in Jujaun Johnson and Etwaun Moore. Let’s remember something, the talk even before this last game was both of these studs would be on the Big Ten all first conference team. Moore is still our leading scorer and assists man. And, JJ is well, JJ. I mean we see what happens if he takes a game or two off, so he has to continue to play at his normal level. What more can really be said about these two players. This still gives us at least one more star then most teams have, and for some it still gives us two.

I will admit Purdue isn’t the deepest of teams, especially in the big man department, but if Bade can mature and just give us solid minutes with sound defense and rebounding it will pay huge dividends. Now, like most Boilers Bade has yet to impress me; however, he has just looked to eager to something special when he is on the floor. In other words, when he gets a few spare minutes he looks like he is trying to prove how good he is by forcing everything. He needs to let the game come to him, relax and just stay in rhythm with game. Most importantly remember to stay in control even when trying to out hustle the opponent, and not to give away obvious fouls. I think he can honestly do this, and I hope Boiler fans will fuel his growth at Mackey this weekend.

I know there are those who probably disagree with what I have said, and I’m sure there are even more who think I’m crazy for saying Purdue still has a great shot at a National Title. This is fine; I know it is hard if not impossible to keep a positive outlook when things are going horribly wrong and seemly crashing down around you, BUT this is when Boiler Nation has to come together…. Become ONE; truly be that sixth man for our Boilers on the court! Keep STRONG, keep FAITH, and most importantly keep HOPE for this team and be positive great things are going to happen.

Boiler-Up!!!!! And, I will be going to my first Purdue game of the season come round 2 of the Big Ten tournament, dressed in all black and holding up 4 fingers for Hummel.

Grizz

P.S. Because I want to inspire Hope I will be changing my avatar for the first time since I can remember with a creation of my own, hope you like it.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 25, 2010 12:03 am
Edited on: February 26, 2010 5:04 am
 

Purdue VS Minnesota 2/24/2010

Now that my heart has finally stopped beating through my chest I will be able to recap an exciting and gut-wrenching game. I will admit when Hummel went down I had a horrible feeling. That injury looks bad, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is none serious since he was walking around during the second half. When the Gophers went on that 14-0 run to start the second half, I thought the game was over. I knew we came back against Alabama in the second half against a larger deficit, but that was with Hummel. We all know how it turned out, thanks in large part to out senior leadership; Kramer and Grant.

The Gophers were very out-manned before Hummel’s injury because there were just too many scoring options for the zone to cover. But the big guys Iverson and Sampson III kept them close enough to strike the lose nut when Hummel went out. And, strike the nut the Gophers did. They looked like a completely different team when the momentum shifted. Before the injury Purdue was dominating the boards defensively, but something changed for sure because I lost count of how many second chance opportunities the Gophers gave themselves and took advantage of. The zone defense was murder on our offensive rhythm in the second half and kept us off balance. I fear these Gophers though, and I am thanking my lucky stars they didn’t play us like they played Wisconsin because if they had, and us without Hummel, we would have been crushed.

Not all credit can really go to the Gophers defense for our struggles. The offense was understandably out of rhythm with Hummel, and for a good portion of the second half, Barlow missing with injury. Where was Moore in this game? This kid has been our true star for weeks carrying us from the guard position, but tonight he was quiet until the final minutes of the game. His hustle and hounding defense more then made up for it as he was constantly up against Hoff and Westbrook for majority of the game. JJ was our lime light and most obvious choice to carry us when Hummel went down, but with 2 almost 7 footers on him he had a very rough time finding any daylight after the early going. Bade, and I know he is a freshman, just isn’t ready for this stage yet. There were two instances which could have cost us the game in the final 60 seconds which were young mistakes. The first was fighting JJ for the defensive rebound and losing it, and then making the situation worse when he committed the stupid foul when he couldn’t have stopped the shot. Other young mistakes are his too aggressive style of play underneath without control. I know it is extremely rough to just give up on an offensive rebound, but when you are completely blocked out, don’t try and go over the back and pick up a silly foul. This happened twice on back to back possessions sending the Gophers to the line both times for a 1 and 1. However, with everything seemly going wrong this was a true old style Purdue road win. The defensive pressure in the second half was mouth drooling, and kept us in the game just to give us a chance to comeback. My Player of the Night has to be split for both senior guards Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant.  Kramer was our heart and soul when Hummel went down: emotionally, defensively, and offensive rhythm. And, who better to have on the ball on the final shot, he was in the head of the shooter even though he got a decent look at it. His defense was no surprise, but when he saw the rest of the team struggling to find an identity on the offense he stepped it up. Speaking of stepping it up, where would Purdue be without Grant these last 3 games….and especially tonight? Not only nailing a tough game winner, but hitting key baskets to keep us close….namely the rainbow three after the Gophers pushed it to a 4 point lead late.

The key is clearly Hummel’s health for the rest of the way. It would be huge to have him back for the Michigan State game this weekend, but it is more important to get him back for the tourney runs. I think Purdue can over come IU and Penn State without Hummel, but it will have to be a HUGE team effort and HEART filled game to beat the Spartans (Being at Mackey will help).

My prayers are with the Boilers and Hummel, and I hope something is known soon. A huge emotional and team lifting win for the Boilers, and let’s get them Sparty’s on Saturday.

Boiler-Up!

Grizz

Posted on: February 17, 2010 8:48 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2010 8:54 pm
 

Purdue VS. Ohio State 2/17/2010

What can I say but..... WOW!

This was a great game, and for all those who say the Big10 isn't worth watching you are missing out on the best basketball in the nation. This game was physical, pounding, and precision all night long by both squads.

I am very impressed by Purdue, and the fact they never once trailed in the game on the road n a center we had never won at, and haven't won in Columbus since 1998. And, how about Coach Painter being only the thrid coach in the Big10 to ever win at everyones home court including his own! Purdue didn't show the same fire in the second half as the first, however they showed their talent and grit to hang on when clearly the Buckeyes had ALL the momentum! How about Keaton Grant finally showing up like all Boiler fans knew he could do at anytime. Did he ever pick the right time to show up! Kramer missed a key free-throw, but his defense is back to his high standards after hurting his ankle, and what about that block at the end... BTW Kramers head has to be killing him, did anyone else see him smash his head after that one layup? OUCH Jujuan Johnson was AWESOME and I am certainly glad he showed up this time unlike the first matchup. The only bad thing to say about JJ was the long distance shot he fired up late, which I thought was not needed.

Evan Turner in my mind is clearly the BEST player in the nation, and I am not being biased for Big10 country. He reminds me soo much of Kevin Durant when he played for Texas, and Ohio State will be a force to reckon with if they can get soem HELP for him! I am not an Ohio State follower so I can't critique them too much, but they showed plenty of heart and grit in both games agaisnt Purdue this year making remarkable come-backs in both. Just falling short in this one.

Both teams have only ONE lose @ home this year and how picture perfect is it that they did it to each other. Personnally I do not want to play Ohio State again, but I wish much luck come NCAA tourny time!

Boilers need to enjoy this win on the way home, but we have to stay focused on the game this weekend agaisnt those pesky Fighting Illini as they are still in the hunt. TIME TO PROTECT THE HOME COURT! The boilers have now beaten 4, that's right 4 teams in the top 10 rankings of the AP poll including Tennesse #9, Michigan State #10, Ohio State #9, and West Virginia #6. Tenn was on a neutral sight in the Paradise Jam. West Virginia was at Mackey, but was a complete domination. Both MSU and OSU was on the road in places where the Boilers hadn't won in over 10 years. Let's not also forget the the Win over top 25 ranked Wisconsin and Wake Forest this year, with the addition of what is now a HUGE road win @ Illinois before the Illini where considered in the Big10 race. Not exactly great wins when it comes to the RPIs, but Purdue also has 2 key road wins at Bloomington agaisnt IU and down in Alabama agaisnt the Tide. I honestly think Purdue deserves to be mentioned with Gary Parrish's favorite teams of Kansas, Kentucky, and Syracuse. But, if they continue to get less love, all is good becuase nothing can rattle Boiler Nation!

This has been a fantastic season, and by far the BEST Purdue team I have ever watched in my 20 years of being a fan.

Grizz

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com