Last night Purdue looked very good opening the season against Howard. The final score was 76-40, but that doesn’t tell the story for much of the first half. Both teams were in a nice battle for most of the first half. In fact the Boilers only had a ten point lead with a minute to go in the half. Then Terone Johnson and E’Twaun Moore both hit three’s to give them a sixteen point lead at the break. Moore’s shot at the buzzer was yet another great way to go into the break.
The Boilers came out of the break firing. Very quickly they had Howard doubled up at 46-23. They never really looked back after that. Freshman Terone Johnson looked good yet again. DJ Byrd had another good night for the Boilers. John Hart, Ryne Smith, Lewis Jackson, and Travis Carroll all had good nights. I can’t really think of anyone that did not look good last night. That is something that you always want to see in your opener.
One interesting story on the night was one of the officials who though he was auditioning to become Ed Hightower’s replacement. He seemed to really enjoy being in the spotlight. I really think that he thought he was the reason that everyone came to Mackey Arena last night. The guy next to me said that maybe his name was Howard so he thought he was part of the show. He seemed to calm down a bit in the second half, but for one half he was really enjoying himself.
On the night the Boilers hit thirteen three pointers. DJ Byrd and John Hart both had four to lead the team. Once the shooting came around for Purdue though the game was never in doubt. Purdue did a good job of passing the ball around to beat the zone and get open looks. If this team can get the three ball to fall it will open things up inside, and the sky is the limit. On the way home I heard one stat that tells the story of the game. Purdue won the battle behind the arc with a 39-3 edge. Howard actually attempted more field goals than Purdue, but the Boilers made the most of their chances.
Last night was also a night of celebration. Before the game the team unveiled the banner for the Big Ten Title last season. It is nice to see some new banners hanging in the rafters. The Paint Crew also was kind enough to let us know that last night was also the 1,000th day since Indiana has beaten Purdue in Men’s Basketball or football. Here is to another 1,000 days without a loss to the Hoosiers. Last night was also a night for firsts. The fans have been wondering the last couple of seasons where the gold jerseys were. They made their appearance early this season. Rumors are also flying around that a silver uniform is a possibility this season. I hope that Boiled Sports has that one right because that would be awesome. I wonder if these silver jerseys will come out against Michigan State with gameday in town?
The football game on Saturday continued to have casualties on Sunday. When I got into the arena I noticed that the inside of my long lens had condensation in it. Thankfully it was gone by the second half, but it made shooting anything in the first half look as though I was shooting through a fog.
Game Ball: I think that Johnson has to get this one. He had ten points, twelve rebounds, and five blocks during the game. Not included in those stats are the numerous shots that he altered by just being down low. His presence underneath really changes the game.
Play of the game: Kelsey Barlow stealing the ball and throwing a beautiful lob for a Moore dunk. This play got the crowd going like none other on the night. The play was beautifully executed, and I think deserves the play of the game. Once the play was over I knew what the play of the game had to be.
This morning the rankings came out, and for some reason the Boilers dropped to 9th in the coaches poll. What more do the pollsters want to see from the team.