Purdue carved a spot in the pre-season NIT Tip-Off Hyphenated-College-Basketball Endeavor Game-a-thon with last night's win over Boston College.
While the finish was reassuring, the start was a bit dicey. Again the Boilers seemed to be having a tough time getting comfortable point separation. I know there's only 20 minutes to work with in the first half, but I'm wondering what it's going to take for Purdue to just come out and blow someone away.
Regardless, the true story is the much documented increased defensive aggressiveness when the Eagles shaved a 17 point lead down to 6 in the fleeting moments. Albeit a two possession game at that point, Grant, Moore and Kramer never let the margin get too unsettling. Overall, it was nice - although frantic at times - to not feel that Purdue was playing not to lose. Forced turnovers, drawn charges and clutch free throw shooting will continue to be essential this season, especially with a tough run of Oklahoma, Duke, and Davidson in the next three weeks.
Looking forward, tomorrow's game with the Sooners will be very interesting down low. Blake Griffin accounted for no less than 41% of Oklahoma's scoring versus UAB. It will be interesting to see if Purdue double-teams him in the post or relies on Johnson's height and Calasan and Reid's 10 available fouls to neutralize.
Just give it to Smooge and Hummel and let them shoot the Sooners out of the New York.