To think that I almost missed this game. I spent most of the week with the flu, and considered using my ticket to the Valpo game against Butler just to have a little easier day. If I had done that I would have missed the breakout game for Patrick Bade. Maybe breakout is too strong of a word to use for what he had today, but he did have a good game. The referees seemed to be on loan from the WWE so Coach Painter put in Patrick Bade to even things up. He only had two points, but he just seemed to be in the middle of everything. I was having fun just watching him take on multiple players at a time for rebounds. He went a large part of the game without the dumb fouls that people call him out for. Late though he committed a couple of those, but for the most part played a very solid game. As he came into the game early the guy net to me said jokingly that it would be his breakout game. The running joke started to be that it actually was looking like it could have been. Bade ended the day with the two points, 5 boards, 1 block, 1 steal, 1 assist, and only 1 turnover in twenty minutes. I would like to see him have some better games, but right now would take a game like this from him every time. If anyone from the Paint Crew reads this (out of the ten’s of people that do I know that the odds are slim) what do the fist bumps for Bade mean? We had some guesses today, but curiosity is getting the better of me.
Did I just start a post with an entire paragraph on Patrick Bade? I might still be feeling the effects of the flu. This was a very rough game. Early on one of the Minnesota players took the ball over Ryne Smith’s back, and slammed it home sending Smith to the ground. Nothing was called. Once Purdue adjusted to the way the game was being called they really took control. Of course when the hard fouls are not called you know that the cheap fouls will get called. Ed Hightower really had a quiet day for him today. I am not one of those fans who knows all the refs. I just know the ones that are bad. Ed usually reminds me why I remember his name, but today he might have been the best of the three. That is really not saying a lot though.
Going into the game I really thought that Barlow would be huge today. With the size of Minnesota I didn’t know how LewJack was going to stack up. I should have learned by now not to county Lew out. All he did was score 13 points and dish out five assists. It seemed like he scored at key times as well. He also made 3 three’s today after only making three all season so far. He really seems to be putting it all together. He had another near dunk today off the dribble. He is so fast that I had zero time to even get the camera ready. He needs to give a wink up to section 101 next time he is going to do that.
What can you say about Ryne Smith? All he did today was score 15 points and play great defense. Did I mention that all fifteen were in the second half to help Purdue pull away? Once he gets it dialed in from long distance look out. He also had a hell of a game defending Blake Hoffarber. Hoffarber had 14 on the night, but most of those came right at the end when the game was over. Smith just shadowed him all game long making things very tough for him.
E’Twaun Moore only had nine points in 37 minutes today. He hit his first three, and I thought that we were seeing him start it up like we have so many times before. He really never did get it going though. When his teammates are going I guess he doesn’t have to. There really aren’t that many home games left to see Smooge play. I really hope that we can see him light it up a couple more times before he is gone.
At halftime today 3/4 of the court was lined up with donors and recipients of the endowed scholarships. It is really great to give people the recognition for giving a student the gift of an education. I wonder if it makes a difference to you if you meet the people who are paying your way through school? It has to be hard if you are academically ineligible, and standing next to the people paying for you to be.
Play of the Game – This one is hard for me. I think that I have to give it to LewJack. With his team down 22-15 early he stepped back and nailed a three. Live I did not think it was a three, and neither did Tubby Smith. The refs took a look at it, and said that it was. That three was one of two in a short span for Lew that helped the Boilers take the lead by the half.
Gameball – Ryne Smith and LewJack had nice days scoring. Bade bloodied some people in his twenty minutes. Who gets the gameball? If you didn’t say JaJuan Johnson you must not have seen the game. He scored 24 points to lead the Boilers on the night. This is the sixth straight game with over twenty for JJ. He gave up some easy baskets early, but really played tough in the second half. With E’Twaun having some shooting troubles JJ has really stepped up his game. At this pace he will deny Smooge from leading the team in scoring all four years. I think E’Twaun will give that up if that means the Boilers can win the Big Ten though. I think right now JJ is the guy that will lead them there.
The Boilers travel next to Wisconsin who was upset by Penn State today. With so many teams in the top 25 going down today Purdue has a real chance to make up some ground with a good week. Part of me wants to travel to Madison to see the game. Anyone want to carpool?
By the way I blame this post for being a little late on the great game Northwestern put up today against Ohio State. They ended up one point shy, but may have taken some of the shine off of the Buckeyes. Northwestern is not exactly a rough place to play at, and they were without their top scorer. What a great game by the Wildcats tonight.