Purdue was fortunate to only trail the Spartans by 7 points at half time. At that point, the Boilers’ shooting was cold, but most thought the poor shooting would improve in the second half.
Wrong. Things managed to get much, much worse. Purdue shot a dismal 25% in the second half (29% overall for the game) and seemingly gave up on defense. Overall the Boilers made just 3 of 20 from behind the arc (15%). The result was an 83-58 blowout.
Some will say that Purdue’s nightmare travel schedule is to blame. Unfortunately, the team waited at the Purdue airport for three hours but never left due to weather conditions. The team then went back to campus and woke up in darkness to catch a bus that left at 4:45 a.m. for East Lansing. This led to a limited amount of sleep for the Boilermakers.
Yes, the sleep deprivation played a factor, but no way did the lost sleep cause such a horrendous shooting day for the entire team.
The fact is that Purdue is not a great offensive team. There is no go-to scorer and the lack of an inside scorer means that Purdue relies on too many outside shots and has mixed results when it drives to the hoops with its guards.
So…now we know what happens when Robbie Hummel shoots 0-11, Ryne Smith shoots 1-6, and DJ Byrd shoots 2-11. Only two Boilers broke double figures: Lewis Jackson and John Hart each with 10 points.
Meanwhile, Michigan State was on fire. They shot 60% for the game, including 53.8% from three. The Spartans had a balanced scoring attack with all of their starters scoring between 8-14 points and two of their bench players broke double figures. Draymond Green continued to state his case for Big Ten player of the year with a strong 8 pt/12 reb/7 assist performance.
And to add insult to injury, longtime Purdue recruit Branden Dawson, who chose Michigan State over the Boilers, had at least three vicious dunks and finished with 14 points on 6-7 shooting. Dawson and Barlow were trash talking all game, but then Dawson decided to clap loudly in front of Purdue’s bench and say something to Matt Painter.
We don’t know what Dawson said, but Matt Painter immediately started yelling at the refs to let them know about Dawson insulting him. So not only was the game an embarrassing blowout, but the Spartans didn’t exactly show sportsmanship in their tremendous performance.
Let’s hope that this sets up nicely for a lot of motivation to serve payback to Michigan State when they visit Purdue at Mackey Arena on February 19th. In the meantime, it’s best if the Boilers try to forget about this game, get back in the gym to work on their game, and focus on their next game against Michigan on Tuesday.
A look on the bright side
Here are a few positives from the game, although it’s not easy to find them in such a poor performance. The Boilers’ shot 19/24 from the charity stripe, which is much better than their 61% FT percentage prior to this game.
Also, the Boilers fared well on the boards for the first half of the game. The ended up with 32 rebounds, 16 offensive. They only committed 11 turnovers.
In the end, how many games can you win when you shoot 29%? Purdue has to go back to the drawing board and shore up their problems on offense. They need more movement, crisper passes, and better shot selection. If Purdue can work on these problems, keep their heads up, then they can win at home against Michigan. A loss, no matter how bad, only counts for one loss.