1/30/2023 Boilermaker Water Cooler Chat: Momentum Edition

Photo: Mark Elsner

Rants, ravings, and somewhat sensical opinions following the wild, wacky, and wide-wide world of Purdue sports

I didn’t take physics classes in college. Not that I wasn’t interested, but it simply wasn’t necessary for me to take them in order to graduate. Physics was always fascinating to me. Literally you can see physics happening all around you.

Momentum is equal to mass times velocity. The more massive the object, the faster the speed, the more momentum. A 200 ton locomotive traveling at 75mph has more momentum than the Thomas the Tank Engine battery powered toy set, a Ford Model T being driven by confused wolverines, and a short bus filled with the Michigan State basketball team combined. Shocking I know.

What can stop a train traveling at full steam? Clearly an imperfection in the rails can cause the locomotive to jump the track. A component malfunction in the engine, that would do it too. Other than that, it would take a herculean effort to slow a machine on full tilt.

This basketball team is on a roll. A record of 21-1, winners of 8 straight, a #1 ranking, and running downhill with a full head of steam, Purdue is on a roll. This week, the burly Boilermakers took on the State of Michigan, facing off against the University of Michigan Wolverines, and the Michigan State Spartans. Would the momentum continue?


The Games:

#1 Purdue 75, Michigan 70: In a game which was not nearly as close as the final score indicated, Purdue surged behind their superior bench play, taking a double digit lead. From that point forward, the Boilermakers held Michigan at an arms length, only allowing a couple of quick threes in the waning seconds to make it a close score. Zach Edey had 19 & 9, Fletcher Loyer had 17pts, and Braden Smith added 10.

Michigan State 61, #1 Purdue 77: In a game which was not nearly as close as the final score indicated, Purdue took a massive early lead, and weathered a late game MSU run. The first game in Mackey Arena history in which students were present, and Purdue was ranked #1 in the nation impressed, as a “white out” t-shirt trick was pulled off. The crowd responded with white hot pressure, rattling the Spartans, and sending them packing. Tom Izzo, in his infinite wisdom, continued his pattern of single covering Zach Edey. Big Zach responded by scoring a career high 38 points, adding 13 rebounds. His two highest scoring games have occurred in the last two weeks, both against Tom Izzo led basketball teams.

Gallery: https://snapsbyme.smugmug.com/Purdue-Mens-Basketball/22-23/MichiganState/

Break It Down:

Train kept a-rollin, all week long. The #1 Boilermakers took care of business against the state of Michigan, taking care of two of the most polarizing personalities in all of the Big Ten.

Hunter Dickinson, despite multiple instances of sneakily placed, extra forceful, uncalled fouls, couldn’t gain an advantage. Add onto the failed psychological warfare of his multiple genital referencing scoring celebrations, Big Dickinson could not get over the hump.

Tom Izzo, despite multiple weeks of campaigning against Zach Edey in the media, calling for more fouls, to be called on the big man, claiming that Edey gets preferential calls, and generally crying to the media about Purdue (and Purdue centered basketball happenings), failed in his bid to “not be swept by Matt Painter” in the year of our lord 2023. This game, armed with a full roster, and having fouls called on Edey, The Mighty Fighty Spartans failed yet again. After the game, Tom Izzo continued his campaign against Purdue, complaining that they refused to call “3 seconds” on Edey. Death, Taxes, Tom Izzo crying like a whiney baby before, during, and after a loss.

Purdue continues their momentum forward, but the season is not over. As of the writing of this article, Purdue holds a 3 game lead on second place (checks notes) Northwestern. Yep. Northwestern is in second place in the Big Ten currently. Plenty of games to go, but Purdue’s magic number is 7, with 9 games remaining.

Boilermakers should not start counting chickens before they’re hatched, however. Purdue still has some tough games against suddenly strong opponents, such as two against IU, at Northwestern, at Maryland… road in the Big Ten is nothing to be trifled with.

What Went Well:

  • NEW RECORD!: Zach Edey’s 38 points on Sunday is a new career high for the Boilermaker big man. For the week Edey averaged 28.5 points and 11 rebounds. No other B1G POY candidate can match that output.
  • 41.3%: From deep this week, continuing to raise the 3 point shooting percentage.
  • Trey Kauffman Renn, Trey Kicking Rump: In an average of 8.5 minutes of play, Trey Kauffman Renn averaged 6 points this week. It is incredibly difficult to back up the best player in the nation, and then be productive in your sparing minutes. TKR made the best of it this week, and Boilermaker fans are glad to see it!

Opportunities for Improvement:

  • 54.5%: Free throw shooting against Michigan State. Leaving points on the floor.
  • 1: Total times, in 4 decades of watching basketball, I have seen play get stopped because a player traveled so badly that they lost a shoe… only to allow the play to restart, leading to a three for the shoe-deficient team.

Big Man on Campus:

Did you know that Zach Edey played hockey and baseball? Can you imagine a guy that tall on skates? He was a pitcher! Can you imagine?!

Also he blew through the state of Michigan, averaging 28 points and 11 rebounds in the two games this week. Anyone who says that there is another Big Ten Player of the Year candidate, roll your eyes at them.

A Look Ahead:

#1 Purdue will host Penn State on Wednesday 2/1. Micah’s boys are looking for a signature win, so look for them to be motivated. Purdue can absolutely not look past Penn State. According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, Purdue has an 87.6% chance of victory against PSU… if you believe any of that nonsense.

Following that, Purdue will travel south to Bloomington. They will be taking on the “suddenly being supported because they are winning” Indiana Hoosiers, who have been playing some really good basketball as of late. Purdue leads the all time series 125-90, and has won 13 of the last 15, and 19 of the last 30 meetings.

If you believe the ESPN matchup predictor, Purdue is actually the underdog in this game, with IU having a 56.5% change of victory. I guess that happens in the hall of calls. Who knows what will happen, but I love nothing more than when Purdue wins in Bloomington.

Here is hoping for a good, strong, well played sports contest, called fairly by the officials, without chunks of metal falling from the ceiling towards any players. That last point is apparently problem in Bloomington.

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 83 Articles
Blending the passion of a sports fan with years of media experience, Ben Kolodzinski is a 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 (Lakeshore Public Television, and 89.1 The Lakeshore), 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. As of 2022, Kolodzinski hosts Lakeshore Gamenight, a prep football radio show and cohosts Lakeshore PBS Scoreboard, a prep football TV highlight show. 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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