What an absolute train wreck for Purdue. The Boilermakers’ players and fans were hoping for a miracle, but the realistic ones didn’t expect one to actually happen last night in Mackey Arena. I don’t think even the most optimistic Hoosier fans expected a 37-point victory. Indiana hit Purdue with a few jabs in the first half but the haymakers came in the second half when the Hoosiers would knock down seven of their twelve threes in the game. This was an example of two teams that are just on two different levels of talent right now.
As I said in my scouting report before the game, I felt Indiana needed Victor Oladipo to keep playing at a high level and he didn’t disappoint; 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals in 32 min. Oladipo continues to rise up the draft boards, as he should, and the most improved player in America puts on a show, on both ends of the floor, nearly every night. His name being thrown around as a possible Player of Year candidate is certainly justified (although I am not sure if he can since he wasn’t on the Naismith Award Watch list; if I’m wrong, please let me know because I have no idea). All the starters played extremely well in this game and I liked the emphasis at the start of the game to get Cody Zeller the ball down low. The reason this was a 37-point game instead of an 8-point game was because there wasn’t a drop off when Coach Crean went to the bench. This has been a recent cause for concern but guys like Will Sheehey and Remy Abell have played well the last couple games.
The free throw shooting (19-20), offense rebounding (15), and defense (Purdue shot 40%) were outstanding last night. That kind of high level focus is really hard to sustain for 40 minutes and this team just about played it perfectly all night.
Purdue got embarrassed but they will bounce back. A.J. Hammons is a rising star in this league and he needs to be the focal point of everything they do from here on out. Consistency and discipline are the biggest things holding him back but he is only a freshman.
Overall this was one of the best performances I have seen an IU team put on. Before I crown them national champs, let’s see how they do against #1 Michigan. Apparently, it’s supposed to be a big game or something.
Team Grade: A+
Looking Forward- If I need to tell you, then you shouldn’t be reading this.
P.S. I plan on lining up bright and early in the cold at 7a.m. Saturday for College Gameday. I’m having trouble coming up with a good poster idea. If you have any suggestions, send them to me on Twitter: @sburch7 and if I like it, you may get to see it on national television!