I couldn’t let the Twitter’s 140 character limit my game notes, so here are some observations from the first half:
- As usual, Purdue’s offense is much more successful when the perimeter shots are falling. The Boilermakers nailed 5-12 threes in the first half.
- Terone Johnson, Ryne Smith, Lewis Jackson, and even DJ Byrd have been aggressive attacking the basket. This has led to very makeable shots for Purdue.
- Purdue has forced 7 Michigan turnovers and scored 9 points off of those takeaways.
- Anthony Johnson looked very confident in knocking down a 3 in the first half. If Barlow’s replacement is a more confident Anthony Johnson and a patient but aggressive Terone Johnson, then that’s not bad news for Purdue. Maybe Ryne Smith’s bold words that Barlow’s dismissal is “addition by subtraction” is actually accurate.
- DJ Byrd is also looking very comfortable. It’s amazing how his game has developed to this point. He was an offensive afterthought until he started shooting so well at the beginning of Big Ten play earlier this season. Now, he’s doing more than perimeter shooting. He is getting open under the basket, driving to the hoop, and playing tenacious defense. This includes a great charge he took from Hardaway during the first half (Hardaway was called for 2 fouls in the first half).
- Michigan has missed some open threes. That has undoubtedly helped Purdue build a lead, but don’t be surprised if Michigan hits more of those shots in the second half. Also, Purdue’s defense has played very well this half.
- Also, my observation about Ryne Smith: