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!!!!


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

Posted on: February 28, 2010 6:55 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2010 1:16 am

Purdue VS Michigan State 2/28/2010

First I want to say congrats to Michigan State for winning this game. You guys won, and should have. The most astounding number to me was the rebounding difference, and this was in part because Michigan State went harder for them, but also because of some lucky bounces. I also have to give a lot of credit to State’s defense which was physical and tight-nosed all day long.

Objectively, many Boiler fans will say “IF” Hummel played we would have won. I’m not going to say it, nor do I actually believe that. Today was solely the inability to make any shots on offense. Quite seriously, can someone PLEASE remove the sewer lid from the Boilermaker’s basket? This was the worst shooting performance of the year at least visually. Moore and Johnson combined for a less then inspiring 7 of 27 shooting. Let’s think about that number for a minute shall we? These numbers had absolutely nothing to do with Hummel playing or not playing. Over half of the shots Moore missed in this game where either the type of in the lane floaters, or ridiculous spinning in and out three pointers. Did any one else’s heart break on the last two 3 pointers he attempted which went 90% of the way in and rolled out? I know I did, I was just simply lost for words. Even JJ couldn’t hit his typical pull up jumper at the end when we trailed 48-44, a shot he has been consistent at since the word go. Also, where’s Keaton Grant? It’s kind of like where’s Waldo, but finding Grant is a tad more important for the Boilers. He only took 3 shots, only 3. He hit 2 of them and his stroke was looking good. This was his time to take more shots, we needed him and he decided not to be aggressive. And, this is a plead straight to Lewis Jackson, please SHOOT the ball. I know this kid can hit shots when he has his feet set and with room to shoot, but he simply wouldn’t shoot the ball or drive with it. The few times he decided to attack the defense off the dribble other guys where open because of the double team…we must have more of this. Also, I have to stress the Boilers need to fight harder for rebounds, and I will admit there were many NON-calls in favor of Michigan State for going over the back, but the refs where allowing both teams to physically play and unfortunately it played more to the advantage of MSU for the boards.

Now, I have ripped my team enough, and despite the negativity there where positives. The first one I have to state is about P. Bade. I have been on this kid the last few weeks, but he actually impressed me today. Forget his stat line which shows almost nothing, but this kid played smarter today. He wasn’t committing the stupid fouls like he was in the past and did a fairly good job of feeling in for JJ when he sat in the first half. I also feel horrible for Barlow who multiple times tried to pick the Boilers off the ground by driving to the rim and got hammered with out a call. Welcome to the Big10 kid! Another HUGE positive and the only reason we lost by as low as nine was our DEFENSE!!! It was spectacular and this was even with being out-sized all game long. Let’s face it when Kramer who is 6 foot 3 and guarding MSU’s power forward with at least the height of 6 foot 9 there is a size advantage. Even with this MSU could never pull the lead to double digits because as a team Purdue forced 22 turnovers. We also held them to 2 of 9 from down-town and 40% overall from the field. Considering we got out rebounded 44 to 16, a margin of 28! This is a sign we are still a force to reckon with. Any other team in the nation who would be out rebounded by this margin would get blown out of the water… If I remember correctly this is exactly what happened to Villanova last night. Turnovers are also a positive for us as we only committed 12 the entire game. The Player of the Game for the Boilers was non-other then Chris Kramer. He pretty much led our team in scoring basically 11 while JJ had 11 and Moore somehow ended with 12, led them with effort, and led them with heart. There was nothing else this kid could have done, and I bet you he will have about 50 bruises come this time tomorrow.

We have two games coming up which the Boilers have to win, and quite frankly should win. Today’s game came at a horrible time because of the loss of Hummel, but I have to reiterate the loss of Hummel did not destroy us in this game. When the shots don’t fall, they just don’t fall. Keep in mind we shot 15-50, only 30% from the field and got out rebounded by 28, BUT still only lost by 9 points against a top 15 team in Michigan State. Many people including Purdue fans will say this proves Purdue can’t win without Hummel, the season is done, or blah blah blah. It’s not the case; in this game the numbers tell the story. Luck was clearly not on the side of the Boilers and we left TOO many open shots out of the basket to win this game. Hummel or no Hummel this was a loss, and a loss is all it was.

I hope for the life of me the players and Painter realize we should have won this game and it fires us up to finish the regular season. I still see a good run in the tournament and at this point I have no reason to believe with Purdue’s ball-hawking defense, grit, heart, and experience a trip to the sweet-16 is out of the question with a possible run further.

HOLD THE PHONE In the midst of everything I forgot to mention one all important accomplishment by Chris Kramer. He has now become the ALL-TIME leading steal man for this program. Considering Purdue has prided its-self on defense through-out its history this is an amazing accomplishment for Kramer and I am happy he was the one to do it.



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.


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 20, 2010 7:12 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2010 7:16 pm

Purdue VS Illinois 02/20/2010

This was a grudge match for the Illini after the Boilers took game one from them in Champaign just a few weeks ago, and they showed it all afternoon long. This game as Lavin said was like to brothers going at it in the back yard because Painter and Weber are so highly connected from their days at Purdue under the man himself, Keady. A win for Purdue set’s them up perfectly for an end of the season run for their first #1 seed since ’96. For Illinois the game meant keeping pace with Michigan State (and now Purdue) for the Big10 race and revenge.

The Fighting Illini where relentless in the first half, shooting the lights out from every where on the court and causing Purdue to shot close to their season low for field goal percentage at Mackey. And, how about McCamey and the job he did leading his team for the initial 20 minutes of the game, not making a single basket but dishing out 11 dimes. That is amazing, and even more amazing is the overall shooting by the Illini the entire game from down-town. At one point they were 8 of 10 and hit 6 straight matching everything Purdue would do at the other end. But, like the Lavin pointed out early in the game Illinois had to avoid there common stretch in the game where their offense took a nap and it just happen to plague them in the final 4:30 minutes. Whether it was the Boilers picking up their ball-hawking defense or just sloppy play the Illini couldn’t keep their rhythm till the end. Another key chip in the armor for the Fighting Illini was there lack of concentrated effort to take the ball to the hoop and draw contact. I saw maybe 4-6 attempts all game long, and the rest was settling for jump-shots. Even though the Illini where shooting like mad men it is important to drive the ball to get to the line, regardless of how bad they have been at the line this year.

What a proud time to bleed BLACK & GOLD in and out of the state of Indiana with the Boilers moving to an impressive 23-3 and 11-3 in the Big10. The shooting was absolutely horrendous for the first 30 minutes of the game, and the only thing which kept Purdue in the game was grit, hustle, and effort (The reason all Boiler fans are proud of their teams). Purdue won the battle on the boards 32-25, at the charity stripe 24 of 28 compared to 3 of 5, and at one point we were +14 in second chance points, and MOST importantly was the turn-over’s which we won 14 to 5! According to Lavin we had ONE turn-over in the last 24+ minutes of the game…..WOW! HUSTLE, hustle, hustle all day for what was a scrappy Purdue win. Amazingly the Boilers shot the same percentage from down-town as the Illini and hit more going 9 of 18 compared to 8 of 16. It’s weird but everyone: Grant, Moore, Hummel, and Hart all where hitting 3’s but no one could consistently hit the close range shots. Jujuan Johnson just had his worst game since our 3 game slide posting only 5 points and 6 rebounds. This is the first time we have won in the last 12 games without JJ scoring double digits, and a great sign because we can’t expect him to be a monster every night. Moore continued to play his excellent style of ball without what I feel is proper recognition scoring 18 and more importantly leading the team in dimes with 4. And, Hummel restoring faith after a disappearing act in the Ohio State win with 22 points and getting the player of the game award. However, my MVP for this game and for this week is none other then the senior guard Keaton Grant and his 15 point 6 of 6 free throw performance today. He is stepping it up at the right time for the Boilers and quite honestly playing like we all knew he could. COULD, he possibly be our fourth wheel and pivotal player to go the distance???? It’s great to see such a rotation being used with Ljack, Barlow, and Hart the last few games playing the one with the hotter hand. This is really adding to the depth of Purdue, a very key factoring we were missing early in the season. And of course I can’t end this without talking about my boy Chris Kramer. This kid is a true smash-mouth, ball-hawking, momentum shifter if I have ever seen one in Boiler Nation. Key plays for him was his hard-nosed drives to the basket using his muscle for the hoop, the 5 second defensive call at half court, and taking a monster hit to the body on a shoulder lowering pick…..did I forget to mention he dang near had his nose broken in the first half on one of his layups??? A true tough and gritty kid, and someone you just have to love unless you’re the other team.

Our first game next week is one we CAN NOT over look @ The Barn in Minnesota thinking about Sparty because the Badgers just got rocked in this place!

Boiler-Up and let’s keep the train rolling!


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