If you watched all of Purdue’s 47-44 loss to Eastern Michigan Saturday, congratulations. I commend your patience and ability to watch bad, ugly basketball. The score looks like a junior varsity high school game, and the actual game play was not much different.
Purdue is in a lot of trouble. Coach Matt Painter lacks talent on his team, and it showed Saturday. Eastern Michigan played a zone defense that Purdue just could not beat. Offensively they looked awful, unable to create good shots and turning the ball over too much.
To be fair, Eastern Michigan was not much better offensively. They shot 31% from the field, compared to Purdue’s 30%. The main difference was really turnovers. For all of their offensive troubles, Eastern Michigan did do well in caring for the ball. They turned it over just 4 times, compared to Purdue’s 18 turnovers. In a game where no one can make a shot, every possession matters. When there are 91 total points scored, you cannot give away possession 18 times and expect to win.
Purdue’s lack of depth was also a major issue today. Just three players made more than one shot. Three. JR Sims actually led Eastern Michigan with just 7 points.
Purdue did end up having a shot at the end to force overtime, when Terone Johnson missed a three in the final seconds. Really, this game was about who was the least awful.
That was not Purdue, as they continue a horrific season of incompetence. Painter has won over 20 games and made it to the NCAA Tournament all of the last six seasons with Purdue. It is hard to imagine that impressive streak continuing with this team. Maybe the losses of their best players of the last few years, Robbie Hummel, E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson has finally caught up with the program. Their presence has been a steadying factor for much of Painter’s time.
It is so hard to be really good every year in college basketball. Players stay in school for such a short period, causing immense turnover. There are going to be down periods, and this year appears to be just that for Purdue.