1/11/21 Boilermaker Weekly Round-Up – Road Win Edition

Your weekly Purdue Men’s Basketball snark, and other snidbits from around the Boilermaker Universe.

Every so often I will pry open the nostalgia crate and feed on the gooey deliciousness which is within. I recently re-watched a young Jim Carrey/Jeff Daniels vehicle called ‘Dumb and Dumber’, and it is a 1990s clinic in mindless humor.

The two stars are, to euphemize, not the sharpest folks on earth. They stumble into a kidnapping plot, and travel cross country in a sheep-dog van in a forlorn effort to find lost love. You know, common things that happened 25 years ago.

One part of this movie that stuck out to me was when the titular Dumb and Dumber run into financial problems, and are forced to make some drastic decisions.

Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) have split up, with Harry set to walk home, a thousand miles from home. Lloyd finds Harry hitchhiking, and approaches him in his newly acquired motor vehicle. Lloyd, now riding a mini bike instead of driving his sheep-dog van, pulls up along Harry.

Lloyd: Got room for one more if you still want to go to Aspen…
Harry: Where did you find that?
Lloyd: Some kid back in town, traded the van for it straight up. I can get 70 miles to the gallon on this hog…
Harry: You know Lloyd, just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… AND TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!

Seems fitting this week considering the first half against MSU…

The Games:

On 1/8/21 Purdue traveled to #23 Michigan State, and played the worst half of basketball in almost a decade. Only scored 16 points in the first half. They scored 55 points, total. Shot 33.9% from the floor, and 12.9% from the 3 point line. Only one player scored in double digits… + Purdue trailed by 15 at half.

And they won.

Trevion Williams led the way with 26 pts and 9 rebounds. Jaden Ivey provided a spark from the bench, as the Boilermaker squad pulled out the improbable comeback victory.

Photo Credit: Shipwright Photography

Break It Down:

This game is not a product of Purdue playing well. While they played really well for 1/2 of the game, they played extremely poorly the other 20 minutes.

Likewise, the #23 ranking of Michigan State is more of a product of their brand, rather than the product they have produced on the floor.

Regardless, beating a ranked MSU on the road is an impressive feat. This young Purdue team now knows what it is like. They know how it is to be down and out, to be a floating fish, to be done-zo… and fight back.

Is this the catalyst moment for this team? Has the young Boilermaker squad figured it out? Maybe that is premature, but this young team is starting to learn how to win. That is an encouraging development.

What Went Well:

  • One man gang…: Trevion Williams scoring output in the second half: 24
  • Michigan State…: Scoring output in the second half as a team: 23
  • Defense Lives Here: While defensive prowess hasn’t been readily apparent this season, Purdue did force 14 turnovers against a ranked foe.
  • Jump start…: The aggression shown by Jaden Ivey kept Purdue in the game. Without his ability to push tempo and get something done, Purdue would have been pushed past the breaking point in the first half.
  • Love the hustle: If it wasn’t for a calamity of errors that happened in the last minute of the game, Purdue wouldn’t have won the game. Whether it be offensive rebounds, jump balls, or strong defense, they all happened because of hustle plays. Zach Edey tipped the ball to force an offensive rebound. Mason Gillis forced a jump ball, and then played great defense to end the game. If it wasn’t for this gritty effort, Purdue would’ve added a game to the loss column.

Photo Credit: Shipwright Photography

Opportunities for Improvement:

  • Ipecac syrup: is a chemical that is ingested to induce vomiting after being poisoned. The first half of this game made me want to take multiple doses. Purge that half from your system, Purdue. Incredibly poor play had my family and I laughing. It was that bad. Don’t let the end of the game justify the means. Continue playing halves like this, and you’ll end up getting blown out.
  • 14: is the number of turnovers that Purdue forced. It is also the number of turnovers that Purdue committed. Turnovers are a calling card for a young team, and this one in particular. Take care of the ball, and this team can be dangerous.
  • 12: The total of 3 point shots missed in the first half.
  • 0: The total of three point shots made in the first half. That is as bad as it gets.

Big Man On Campus:

Who else could it be? Trevion Williams carried Purdue to victory against Michigan State on Friday. His 26 points led the game by a large margain. As mentioned earlier, Williams outscored MSU in the second half, and eventually hit the game winner with just a few seconds left.

The last few weeks, Williams has been playing like a star. His toughness is starting to show right when Purdue needs it the most.

Photo Credit: Shipwright Photography

A Look Ahead:

Purdue has two games in the second half of the upcoming week.

On 1/14, Purdue will take on Indiana, in the renewal of the in state rivalry. I hate them, you hate them, we all hate them. As of the writing of this article IU is a (Checks notes… DOUBLECHECKS notes…) favorite (!) against Purdue. Hm.

Favorite or not Purdue has won 7 straight and 15 of the last 20. The last loss that Purdue suffered to IU men’s basketball was February 20, 2016. Nearly 5 years have passed since then. By tipoff, it will be 1,790 days since the Hoosiers will have beaten Purdue. Here’s to extending it to 1,791.

On 1/17 Purdue will play their first home game since Christmas, as they will host Penn State. Boilers will be a prohibitive favorite in that matchup.

Big week ahead! Boiler Up! Hammer Down!

For more content like this follow @ISC_Purdue on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. For a deeper look into the mad mind of Ben Kolodzinski, follow him at @BRKolo on Twitter. WARNING: Viewer’s discretion is advised…

About Benjamin Kolodzinski 25 Articles
Blending the passion of a sports fan with years of media experience, Ben Kolodzinski is unique personality for ISC Purdue. Since the 2017-18 NCAA seasons, Ben has written weekly columns for ISC, with a style that can only be described as snarky, irreverent, and often times irrelevant. A 2008 graduate from Purdue West Lafayette, Kolodzinski has worked for several local and regional media outlets. Best known for his television and radio work at Lakeshore Public Media, Kolodzinski helped grow Northwest Indiana's only nightly news show Lakeshore News Tonight, along with The Region's only local sports shows Prep Sports Report, and Prep Football Report. Kolodzinski is known, locally, for having a fun loving and gregarious personality, and for attempting to inject humor into his reporting... sometimes successfully.

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