The Purdue Boilermakers basketball team had a light week. They faced down in-state foe Butler in the Crossroads Classic.
Once again, the Boilers (8-3) lost in the Classic. At this rate, they might not want to keep competing through 2016. Its the second time they’ve lost to Butler in the event, but this times was far less dramatic.
Butler took advantage of every misstep the Boilers made. The youth and immaturity of this team was on full display Saturday afternoon. They failed to execute down the stretch. Purdue turned the ball over 18 times, and committed 26 personal fouls.
Its clear that this team lacks composure when it comes to crunch time. They have a lot of talented players, but they are struggling to follow Matt Painter’s game plans.
Purdue outrebounded Butler by just three, but they held a significant size advantage over the Bulldogs. Everyone knows that Butler prides itself on toughness, but Purdue should have been able to match their intensity with ease.
Purdue’s national rankings haven’t changed all that much recently. Pomeroy ranks the team as 86th nationally. They’ve got the 91st offense and 108th defense.
Dec. 17th – Purdue vs Maryland-Eastern Shore, 7pm
The Hawks are 2-5 and honestly, one of the worst teams in the country. They are the 337th team in the country (out of 351). They are equally bad on both sides of the ball. Opponents on the same level as Purdue have beaten them by 40+ points.
This is a great game for the Boilers to bounce back with. Purdue can treat this as a scrimmage and could probably sleep walk to a victory.
Its a nice easy game for Purdue fans during finals week. If they don’t win, it’s time to reboot the program.
Dec. 22nd – Purdue at West Virginia, 1pm
The Mountaineers are 7-4, but all their losses have come by nine or fewer points. They’re ranked 63rd in the country, with the 42nd offense and 102nd defense.
This is going to be a real challenge for the Boilers. West Virginia is better than their record indicates, plus they’ll have homecourt advantage (although with winter break, the stadium likely won’t be packed). The Mountaineers lost a lot of players from last season, but are still playing solid basketball.
The back court of the Mountaineers has been solid all season long. Sophomore guard Eron Harris leads the team with 18.5 points per game. He’s also shooting 48-percent from the three point line. Terone Johnson will likely draw Harris, and will need to be on top of his game defensively. If they can take away Harris, or make him take a lot of shots, it will severely hamper the Mountaineer offense.
Junior Juwan Staten has averaged 16.6 points per game, to go along with 6.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists. Ronnie Johnson is going to have his hands full trying to limit Staten’s ability to create.
This would also be a perfect time for AJ Hammons to have a big game, as the Mountaineers don’t have anyone that can matchup against him one-on-one. He is long overdue for a dominant performance.
The way Purdue has played recently doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in this team. On the road, I don’t like their chances to come away with the win.
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