Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Purdue Basketball: Message Sent

I didn't get many opportunities to relish tonight's performance, but it's more of what I had in mind.

The Boilers throttled Loyola-Chicago 78-46 and assured a Thanksgiving jaunt to Madison Square Garden for the pre-season NIT semifinals.

My opportunities to enjoy this win were hampered by circumstance: I don't receive ESPNU as part of my overpriced cable package (oh, U-Verse, why do you run from me?), and IU was playing new intrastate rival, IUPUI. So, despite my ability to see the game at a local establishment, I was not privy to any of the audio because despite their absolute shittiness, IU still pulls rank in Indianapolis.

Luckily enough, the visuals did most of the talking. The Boilers seemed to have lost the lethargic awkwardness of the previous romp and replaced it with a more oiled performance. They did again get themselves in a scoring hole, bu,t my, how they broke out of it holding the Ramblers to an embarassing 10 points over 17 minutes. The 3's continued to drop 35.3% of the time and the turnover battle was won by a margin of 9.

However - and it's proving to be an old story in a season only 3 games old - Purdue was again out rebounded. I'm interested - but not interested enough to pay attention down the stretch - to know how many of those opponent rebounds came when Mark Wohlford and Buckets Riddell were picking up minutes. Regardless, it will be an interesting matchup with Boston College next week. The Eagles out hustled St. John's tonight and won the rebounds 35 - 24.

Rebounding woes aside, and Kramer's scoreless 20 minute night disregarded, the Boilermakers sent a message loud and clear. They are not messing around and letting anyone hang too close in these early matchups. This team now looks like one with a purpose and one free of the early season dust and rust.

Look out, Big Apple.

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