Purdue Basketball 2010
Purdue Boilermakers @ Michigan Wolverines Basketball Recap
Purdue 80, Michigan 57
The Michigan Wolverines never did figure to have a particularly successful 2010-2011 Big Ten basketball season, but with the way the Purdue Boilermakers played them on Tuesday afternoon at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, the Maize and Blue weren’t going to win regardless of how well they performed.
It’s just that simple: Purdue might not have been perfect in its conference opener, but a team that is playing the entire season without its foremost star – swingman Robbie Hummel – came pretty darn close to a basketball ideal in a 23-point throttling of Michigan. Coach Matt Painter’s Boilermakers declawed Coach John Beilein’s Wolverines in a display of ruthless efficiency.
Purdue simply did everything really well in this weekday matinee; The Boilermakers were potent yet balanced: Four Purdue players, three of them starters, scored in double figures. Instructively, the three high-scoring starters all tallied at least 17 points, giving Painter three legitimate options as the season goes along. Casual basketball fans know that center JaJuan Johnson (22 points) and guard E’Twaun Moore (21 points) generally fill up the stat sheet for Purdue, but what was notable on this afternoon was that Ryne Smith, getting the minutes Hummel otherwise would have collected, poured in 17 points to throw Michigan’s defense off balance. If Smith continues to provide that level of scoring punch, Purdue will be in the thick of the Big Ten race until the final weekend of play.
There were two other eye-popping stats delivered by Painter’s pupils. The Boilers hit 10-of-18 3-pointers, the kind of long-distance shooting performance that will almost always lead to a win. Purdue also handed out 19 assists against just 8 turnovers, a terrific assist-to-turnover ratio that will also lead to wins at least 90 percent of the time if not more. Michigan might have put only one player – guard Stu Douglass – into double-figures with 15 points, but the Wolverines’ 38-percent field goal shooting could have been 45 percent, and it still wouldn’t have mattered. Purdue gave away very little at the offensive end and prevented Michigan from ever feeling the slightest bit hopeful about pulling off the upset.
There will likely be other games this season in which Michigan fails to claim a winnable game, but when Purdue – a great defensive team – surrenders just eight turnovers on its own, the Boilermakers aren’t a terribly beatable opponent. Michigan ran into a locomotive from West Lafayette and got smacked. The Wolverines just need to forget about this game and move on.
The Boilermakers need to put this game in a bottle and replicate it as much as humanly possible.
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