Reality Check

By Riley Schmitt

The title says it all.  Today’s game was a reality check.  You can’t sleep on any team in the Big 10, especially one that is playing at home on their senior night.  I tip my hat to my school however.  Iowa flat-out wanted it more.  The Hawkeyes crashed the glass, hustled for every loose ball, and were emotional.  Purdue was flat, lazy with their defensive rotations, way too content to jack up threes, and it looked like they thought Iowa would just roll over for them.  That doesn’t happen in the Big 10, you have to bring it EVERY night.  Purdue didn’t bring anything to Iowa City.  The result was a signature win for Fran McCaffery and possibly the worst Purdue loss since early in the Big 3’s freshman year.

Purdue lost a lot more than one game today. They lost a chance at the Big 10 title, a chance at one seed in the NCAA tournament, and they probably dropped to a 3 seed because that is what bracket makers do to Purdue. They deserve it too.  Iowa is not in Purdue’s league talent-wise right now.  However, on the road, talent can take a backseat to a team that truly plays with fire.  The Hawkeyes wanted this win for senior Jarryd Cole, and they played their asses off.

My guess is that this could be good in the long run.  Losses arent fun.  They never are.  There is no such thing as a good loss.  However, there are points that can be taken out of every loss.  This should serve as a reminder to show up every game and play all 40 minutes.  That didnt happen today and Iowa took advantage.  Coach Painter should refocus every player again and get this train rolling in the right direction again.

Purdue played so passively today, it was almost sickening.  Launching 25 threes isn’t how this team got this far.  Pounding it inside to JJ and dribble penetration have carried this team, and those really did not happen today.  JJ really struggled from the field, but I thought he should have gone up stronger a lot of the time.  DJ Byrd and Ryne Smith had awesome looks today, and few of them dropped.  It seemed from my vantage point that DJ started rushing his shot, and it was a killer.

Purdue is off until Friday where they will play Penn State or Michigan State if they get the 2 seed, or Minnesota or Indiana if they get the 3 seed.  I expect a hard week of practice and I’m banking on the fact that this team regroups and plays with fire down the stretch.  After today, they certainly need too.

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