I am a little behind on my blog. With the holidays coming up things have been crazy around here. I will try to finally get this post up from Tuesday nights game as well as the pictures up tonight.
Before the game started I noticed an equipment guy running to the locker room and coming back with something weird in his hand. He gave it to a player who took it on the court with him. Of course Ed Hightower had to make a huge deal over looking the object over. The player was John Peckinpaugh and the object was the modified sparring helmet he wears for games. I have read that Peckinpaugh has had five concussions which necessitates the helmet. He definately sticks out on the court with it on.
This game started much like the last few have for Purdue. That is JaJuan Johnson took control and put the Boilers on his back. JJ had to put the team on his back because they started off slow yet again. Just over two minutes into the game they were down 7-2 forcing Matt Painter to call a timeout. JJ helped was a huge part of the 9-2 run that put them up 11-9. They would never trail again on the night. JJ finished the game with 24 points and 13 rebounds on the night.
I had to leave at halftime because of a prior committment. I am sure that the die hards won’t like the fact that a fan left early, but sometimes you have other things to do. Leaving early cost me seeing DJ Byrd put on a shooting clinic in the second half. He made five three pointers to lead to his career high 15 points. With two scorers on the court every game you just need this kind of output from someone every game. DJ is one of the guys I like to watch play so it was nice to hear that he had a great half. Of course he did it when I was not in the arena though. Kelsey Barlow had a career high against Indiana State, and now Byrd goes off against IPFW. Two games and two career highs. That is exactly what this team needs. LewJack came in and scored eight points and dished out eight assists.
IPFW is an interesting school. Their coach was a member of the Indiana team that went to the NCAA finals in 2002. Their name even starts with Indiana. Of course they have to throw a Purdue in there so that you can’t completely have them.
Play of the game – One play that stuck out in the half for me was the inbound alley oop from Terone Johnson to JaJuan Johnson. This Johnson to Johnson combo was awesome to watch. With Purdue up 11-9, JJ missed a hook shot. DJ Byrd fought for the rebound, and with a great effort started dribbling out of the paint. He was fouled setting up the inbounds from the baseline. Terone just lobbed the ball up, and JJ put it home. It was a great play that sort of got the crowd into it. That was about as loud as they would get for the game. For some reason IPFW didn’t account for the All American on the inbounds play. A nice pick by E’Twaun Moore helped get Johnson open for the slam.
Gameball – After posting about how Smooge would take this home every week he has not been my player of the game. Once again I think that it has to go to JaJuan Johnson. His 24 points and 13 boards were huge. More importantly he carried the team early when they were having trouble scoring. He put the ball in the hoop many different ways making him a threat from all over the court. A shout out has to go to DJ Byrd for his 5-5 performance in the second half from behind the arc.