Solid Play Beats Trash Talk

JJ wondering which move of his moves to use

I have had a couple great moments in the United Center. One of them is any time you hear the National Anthem during a Blackhawks game. Hearing it during a crazy standing room only crowd before a Red Wings game is awesome. Another great moment was watching Jordan drop 55 on the Bullets in 1997. It was game two of the playoffs, and the Bulls were not playing well. Michael just put them on his back to lead them to the victory. That was my first Bulls game so I picked a great one to attend. The best moment in the Madhouse though was watching the Sox clinch the World Series on the jumbotron. I wanted to experience the game as though I was there, and the party that ensued was great. Today was just another addition to that set of memories. Continue reading

Purdue Boilermakers NCAA Practice Gallery

I was lucky enough to be at the United Center today for the Boilers practice. Last year I saw them play three games in two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, but different things prevented me from seeing them practice. Since they were so close this time I thought that I would see what it was all about. I got to the United Center early so that I could watch some of the other teams as well. When Purdue was not on the floor the most exciting thing was watching the tourney games on the TV’s located on press row. Luckily they had a few games going at once so it was like I was at the coolest sports bar in the world. Continue reading

Notre Dame vs. Georgetown Photo Gallery

Here are the pictures from the Notre Dame game against Georgetown. Since you cannot take pictures during the game these are only from pregame, halftime, and during a few timeouts. This was the first of what I hope are many games I see this season with two ranked teams.

One of the Georgetown players dunks pregame

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Irish Start the Big East Season Off With a Big Win

Tim Abromaitis during the pregame intoductions

Last night I went to Notre Dame to watch the #15 Irish take on 9th ranked Georgetown. It was part of my four games in four days drive to end the year. For some reason I thought that Notre Dame would win the game. I even picked them this week in my weekly pick segment. The win was not because of the home crowd though. They only got going twice, and that was short lived each time. Games without the student sections are by far the worst. The students seem to generate 90% of the crowd noise. A big game like last night with the students would have been a great atmosphere. Instead people came in late like the Irish were playing Southest Missouri State. You are playing a top ten team…get to the game and get loud! Continue reading

The Third Game Was Not a Charm

Tonight the Boilers showed how badly the lack of depth off the bench will hurt them in the final game of the BTI Classic. They never really looked like they were in the game, and lost to Georgetown 55-39. They only managed 14 points in the second half. That is the lowest amount of points scored in a half since the loss to UConn in 2008, and the lowest in the second half since the Minnesota game in 2005. The team only shot just over 31% for the game. Do I have to go further to show just how bad this loss was? Yesterday I felt horrible leaving the arena after a close loss. Today I at least had lots of time to get over it. Even when the lead was only ten for Georgetown with then minutes left most people knew that it was over since we had only scored 31 points to that point. This was a hard game to watch, but there were some positives. Heck all of us in attendance saw Purdue set a record today. Even if it was for the fewest points scored in a half. A record is a record. The next home game is December 19th against Evansville.

Of the 39 points that we did manage to score Samantha Woods scored 16 of those. She played really well today. She also grabbed seven rebounds to round out her game. Brittany Rayburn scored six quick points, then went the rest of the game only scoring two points. I think that most teams now see her as the main threat, and will double and sometimes triple team her. We need the other players to step up and score. If Jodie and FahKara can pick up the slack the defense will have to peel off of Brittany. If her team cannot help her it will be a long season. That being said this team has lots of potential. We will get Alex Guyton back before the Big Ten season starts. If we can find our way by then we can still make a dent in the conference. For now we have to play the available players and get them the time they need to grow. This is the core of a great team.

After the game was over Senior Associate Athletics Director Roger Blalock handed out the tournament awards. Brittany Rayburn claimed a spot on the all-tournament team. The other players on that list include: Sugar Rodgers, Jaleesa Butler from Georgetown and Dayton’s Justine Raterman and Brittany Wilson. Kriten Daughtery was named the MVP of the BTI Classic. It was a somber ceremony with most of the fans already gone from the arena. Here is how the teams placed in the tourney:

  1. Dayton (3-0)

  2. Georgetown (2-1)

  3. Purdue (1-2)

  4. Seattle (0-3)

A Rough Game All Around

Tonight the Boilermakers lost a close game to the Dayton Flyers thanks to poor officiating. I normally don’t  blame the refs for a loss. Many other factors contribute to a loss. The officiating put Purdue in a ten point hole in the second half. FahKara Malone led a late charge by the Boilers by scoring 10 points during a 16 point run to give Purdue a six point lead. The Boilers could not hold that lead though and ultimately fell 56-53. They came back when many in the stands had given up on them. Malone ended the night scoring 17 points. That is a great number considering how cold she looked early on in the game. Brittany Rayburn had 12 points to stop her string of career bests. She got into foul trouble early on though. A couple of her fouls were very questionable. The officials spent most of the game getting booed. I am an equal opportunity basher though. They missed a lot of calls that went our way as well. They really seemed to be watching another game. Tonight also marked the return of Samantha Woods. She did pretty good against a big Dayton team. This team looks better and better each game. That is hard to say after a loss. Even harder after a tough loss. This team will be tough come the Big Ten Tourney. Write that down.

Tomorrow the Boilers end their part of the BTI Classic when they host Georgetown. Georgetown beat Seattle easily tonight 68-54.

Boilers Roll to Easy Win

Tonight the Purdue women’s team rolled to an easy 69-38 victory over the Seattle Redhawks. Brittany Rayburn was terrific again scoring another career high 26 points. She has topped her career high in each of the first two games of the season. It kind of makes you wonder what she will do tomorrow. At one point Purdue only had a one point lead at 18-17. The Boilers took charge after a heated discussion in the huddle during a timeout to storm to an easy win. Chelsea Jones also notched a career high with 12 points. The freshman played well for the second straight game. Today’s picture goes to Laura Garriga though. She came off the bench and gave Purdue 13 solid minutes tonight. It was good to see the senior contribute.Once they got going the Boilers looked good tonight. They play Dayton tomorrow in the second round of the invatational. Dayton beat Georgetown in the second game tonight 62-51.

BTI Classic Preview

This weekend the Boilers host the BTI Classic in Mackey Arena. This three day invatational allows teams to test themselves against a variety of opponents. The four teams will play each of the other squads before the weekend is over. The teams that have been invited are the Dayton Flyers, the Georgetown Hoyas, Seattle University, and of course the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue starts the weekend off against Seattle tomorrow night. I may have trouble making the start of this game since it is at 4:00 my time. That does not allow for much time to get down to West Lafayette. This will hopefully be the last game that the Boilers will have to play with only eight players on the roster. Samantha Harris will return Saturday for the game against Dayton after sitting out the first two games of the season. With three games in three days we will need all the fresh bodies that we can get. I do not know much about Seattle. From what I can gather they are the weakest team of the four. Dayton has already taken down Michigan State this season. We had better bring our A game on Saturday. Georgetown is another good team. The Purdue matchup with them on Sunday will be aired live on the Big Ten Network. I just hope that our ladies have enough left in the tank when Sunday comes around. This weekend will be very hard to predict since the teams play each other so quickly. Brittany Rayburn will once again be the key to this offense. She looked really good Sunday attacking the hoop. In the picture to the left she has all five of the Western Illinois defenders in the frame with her as she makes a shot. The continued growth of the freshmen will help determine this weekend for the Boilers. I will pick Purdue because I am a homer, but I am on the fence about Saturday and Sunday’s games.

Predictions: Last week I started the season 6-0. I would say how it is easy to be perfect this early in the year, but Gonzaga came very close to ruining that for me. This has been a turbulent start to the season so far. The #1 and #2 teams in the country survived very close upset bids already. Somehow I missed the big matchup between Notre Dame and Michigan State in last weeks picks. I have been trying to find interesting matchups to pick instead of sure winners. Here are my picks this week:

Women’s Basketball
#23 Purdue 78 – Seattle 60
#23 Purdue 72 – Dayton 68
#23 Purdue 68 – Georgetown 62
#7 Notre Dame 98 – Iona 64
Indiana 65 – Missouri 63
Kansas 75 – Michigan 64
#17 Virginia 82 – Indiana 68
Men’s Basketball
#7 Purdue 89 – South Dakota State 54
Notre Dame 90 – Kennesaw State 70
#2 Michigan State 102 – Valparaiso 64
#10 Butler 85 – #18 Minnesota 78
#16 Michigan 87 – Creighton 80