It happened again to Purdue on Saturday afternoon.
The Boilermakers lost another close game, this time falling 63-57 to Xavier in a non-conference tilt at home. It was the fourth time Purdue (3-4) lost a game by less than 10 points.
Losing to Xavier isn’t stunning. The Musketeers have a history of success and are typically one of the best mid-major teams in the nation.
But it’s how Purdue loss that is stunning. The Boilermakers were horrendous from beyond the arc, and perhaps horrendous isn’t even the right word for how badly the Boilermakers shot the ball from 3-point range.
Purdue took 17 shots from long rang. All 17 were missed. It’s the first time since 1992 that Purdue failed to score points from the 3-point line.
As tempting as it is to launch up 3-pointers, at some point during the shooting performance from you know where, the players have to understand that they have to turn to something else if they want to be successful in the game.
No one seemed to have a clue and head coach Matt Painter was not happy.
“Obviously, when we shoot 0-for-17 from 3, you have to swallow your pride,” Painter said in a post-game press conference. “You’re 0-for-10 at half. We really talked about being more selective and being more patient and trying to get the ball inside. We didn’t do that.”
The result was another loss, another loss in a game Purdue could have won had it done things differently.
It didn’t matter that Terone Johnson scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds or that Ronnie Johnson poured in 12 points. When a team can’t buy a 3-pointer to save its life, the approach has to change.
Purdue still has an opportunity be a decent team in the Big Ten.
It just has to learn that when something isn’t going right in a game, in this case the 3-point shot, changes need to be made to have a chance to avoid a loss.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. He is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association as well.
Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org