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BOX SCORE: Purdue 94 - Florida Southern 52
Just got back from watching Purdue beat UM 48-42 in a very exciting college football game and I thought I'd post a few observations on last night's game without going into a lot of detail. It's a little hard to tell much from an exhibition game against a Division II opponent, but there were several things I liked last night and a few I didn't. On the positive siade I noticed:
(1) If anything, Purdue is playing harder than they did at any time last year and I thought they played pretty doggone hard last year. From the opening tip until Painter cleared the bench with about seven minutes to go, Purdue was all over the Florida Southern players and I thought the defensive intensity was excellent. There was a play early in the game where Grant drove the lane and missed a shot and Florida Southern rebounded and fast broke the other way. Grant not only somehow managed to get back defensively, he was instrumental in stopping the break. It was an impressive display of sheer hustle.
(2) It seemed to me that when Purdue subbed there was not much of a drop-off in executionj and effot like there was at times last year. Purdue appears to be able to go 10 deep with talented players and my guess is that all three freshmen will have an opportunity to contribute positively this year.
(3) As mentioned above, the three freshmen all looked pretty good last night. Lewis Jackson had 8 assists in only 17 minutes of play and at least three or four of those were spectacular. My guess is that he will play a lot. He even showed a nice stroke late in the agme when he buried a three-pointer. Ryne Smith was much better than I thought he might be and I'd guess that those of you who lamented the departure of Chris Lutz will be saying 'Chris who' before the season is over. John Hart also looked much better than I had anticipated and he too looks to have a huge upside.
(4) The starting five (Kramer, Moore, Hummel, Johnson and Grant) might be the best offensive combination Purdue has put on the floor since the days of the three amigos and I thought JaJuan Johnson has improved immensely since this time a year ago. He was particularly effective last night running the floor.
(5) Purdue's two seniors (Green and Clasan) both will probabaly come off the bench this year, but I think both of them understand their roles on this team and I look for both of them to be integral parts of any success Purdue might have.
On the negative side, I thought:
(1) Purdue's shot selection was suspect on a few occasions. I don't mind too much if one of Purdue's good shooters like Moore or Hummel or Grant takes a shot from beyond the arc 5 seconds into the shot clock, but guys like Marcus Green shouldn't be doing that.
(2) It looks to me like rebounding is going to be a season long problem for Purdue and something they will have to concentrate on every day in practice. They were out-rebounded last night by six and that shouldn't happen agaisnt a Division II team in my opinion. I'd be more concerned if Purdue hadn't taken 10 more shots than Florida Southern (due to Florida Southern's propensity to turn the ball over), but it's clearly one of the areas Purdue needs to work on.
Other than that, there wasn't much that I saw on the negative side. This appears to be a very close-knit group of players with everyone cheering and rooting for each other even when they are sitting on the bench. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they develop. I think that if they can stay relatively healthy and avoid any off-court problems, this could be a very good season.