A punchy smattering of Purdue snidbits, mashing up the past week of Boilermaker Football and Basketball
Back in the day (a far away time called the 1990s) the sit-com ‘Seinfeld’ had taken the world by storm. Stories of Jerry Seinfield’s life as a blossoming stand-up comedian and how he interacted with his misfit friends were chronicled, creating a “show about nothing” which was comedic gold. You might’ve heard about it.
My favorite character in the show is Frank Costanza. Frank (played by legendary actor Jerry Stiller) is the emotional bulldozer father of Jerry’s sad-sack best friend, George Costanza (Jason Alexander). As I get older, I relate more and more to him every day. The old man is a hoot.
Yadda yadda yadda… Frank Costanza had tremendous anger issues, and often flew off the handle after the slightest of inconveniences. In episode 159 of the series, to keep his blood pressure down, Frank’s doctor suggested that he peacefully recite the phrase “serenity now” to help calm his soul, and reach a more zen-like existence.
Frank, continually rage filled, could not peacefully recite the mantra. Frequently overcome by his emotions the elder Costanza resorted to screaming, full-force, “SERENITY NOW!”
If you remember this episode, now you know what it is like to watch a Purdue sporting event with me, particularly this week. You’re welcome.
Purdue played two basketball games, going 2-0 on the week. The Boilers destroyed the Oakland Grizzlies on a Tuesday afternoon, 93-50.
On Friday, Purdue took on Valpo and played the worst half of basketball that I have seen in some time. Luckily the Boilermakers righted the ship after halftime, and ended up winning 68-61.
- Making it Rain!: Sasha Stefanovic brought the rain with him, filling it in from deep. For the week the sharpshooter went 10/18 (55.6%). That percentage, is also his shooting for the season. Incredibly high.
- Lets not forget about: Mr. Brandon Newman. Hailing from my high school in Valparaiso, Newman went nuclear on Oakland. Scoring 21 pts. Welcome to the 20 club!
- Rake them In: Trevion Williams continues to dominate on the boards. He is averaging 11 per game this year, but hauled in 14 and 11 rebounds respectively over the last two.
Photo Credit: Mark Elsner
Opportunities for Improvement:
- He can rebound but…: Trevion Williams’ scoring hasn’t quite caught up. He his averaging a respectable (but not All-B1G caliber) 10.5 pts, but doing so on 40% field goal shooting, and 42.9% free throw percentage. For perspective, Trevion has better chance of hitting a free throw (42.9%) than hitting a shot from the field (40%). Neither one is particularly impressive. We know Tre is a great player. Water will find level, and hopefully soon. He is a tremendously hard worker, and I have faith that he will find his groove again.
- Speaking of free throw shooting…: Although Purdue is shooting a decent 70% on the season from the charity stripe, the first 3/4 of the Valpo game the Boilers were hovering around 50%. This kept Valpo in the game until Isiah Thompson hit a string of FTs late in order to push the game % to 64.9.
- Zombie movies are fun and all but…: Watching the Purdue basketball team zombie walk through a half against a mid-major team at home is inexcusable. For 20 minutes, Matt Painter’s squad was fixing to get blown out of this game. The Valparaiso Crusaders are traditionally a tough small school, but they are nowhere near the talent level that Purdue is. Effortless and sleepy performances have me screaming “Serenity Now!” on social media.
- Some Purdue fans online think that it is “ok” that this team was listless in the first half. That it is fine that the Boilers allowed Valpo to walk all over them, because sometimes young teams crap themselves against overmatched mid majors. As the official moral authority of Purdue athletics, they tell us to relax. This team is far too talented to get stomped on by a mid-major. Logical Purdue fans knew something was sour that first half, and had a right to be screaming into their adult beverages. This Purdue squad should never be getting housed by a mid-major, like they did in the opening 20 minutes on Friday. To expect Purdue fans to accept it is illogical.
- Luckily, however, Coach Painter gave the Boilers the right pep talk at halftime, and got the Boilers head screwed on straight. Eventually coming all the way back from being down double digits at halftime to winning the game, hopefully the Boilers learned their lesson without suffering a defeat. You have to be awake to play the game.
(Note: Due popular demand, I will only budget 75 words of coverage for the Purdue football team. It is all they deserve. Following this statement, the count will begin)
Speaking of being asleep, Brohm’s team sleepwalked. Not so special teams dug Purdue into an immediate hole. Apathetic Purdue fans laughed their way through the game. The Boilers had a chance late, but we know how that goes.
What Went Well:
- David Bell is good.
- Plummer too.
Opportunities for improvement:
- The defense is incredibly awful.
- Special teams too.
- Laughing out loud.
- Brohm has lost his mojo.
- Just really, really bad penalties. So bad.
- Serenity Now
Big Man On Campus:
Sasha Stefanovic flexed this week. Scoring 39 pts in the two games this week, the Crown Point native provided the leadership that the Boilers needed to right the ship following the Clemson loss.
His sharp eye from deep will work symbiotically with the forceful presence for the Boilers on the block. Really great to see this young man hit his stride early.
The nightmare continues for both sports. I warned Kevin Warren that his officials were the laughing stock of the nation, and I was right. Clearly, Mr. Warren did not read my previous articles (I’m shocked…). Anyways, against Valparaiso 53 fouls were called, and 56 free throws were shot. Good luck catching a basketball rhythm while playing from the line. As we know, this isn’t just a basketball thing…
Want to hear something interesting? Remember the Minnesota Screwjob? A phantom offensive pass interference call ripped a rightful victory from Purdue’s hands, do you remember? Want to know why I have a particular hard time forgiving the Big Ten’s officiating ineptitude? This should illustrate it.
Purdue football has suffered their first 4 game losing streak since Darrell Hazell walked the sidelines. Purdue has surged into last place in the Big Ten West, even though they started 2-0 on the season.
Want to hear something strange? Had the side judge [Name Redacted] in the Minnesota game not made one of the worst calls in football history and robbed Purdue of a victory, Purdue would be in third place.
No that’s not a joke. Third place. Don’t believe me? Check this out…
Yep. That goes to show you what just ONE loss on a truncated schedule can do to you.
What isn’t quantifiable is the total impact that a loss like the Minnesota game has on a team. The freefall effect of a severe emotional let down. Even though the ’04 football team was excellent, following the Orton fumble that team couldn’t find itself again. Is the current free fall a product of the screwjob?
This team has tremendous flaws. The defense couldn’t stop a litter of kittens. The special teams are far to clunky to be considered worthy of any B1G team. I am not saying that this team would be any -BETTER- had that call been different, but there is a psychological reason that Purdue might be struggling to find motivation.
Let’s be fair, this Boiler squad wasn’t Rose Bowl bound this season, Minnesota win or loss. Either way, however, 3rd place is much better than dead freaking last. One phantom PI call has put us there.
Maybe I am not the guy to talk to about this. I still hold hard feelings for the DJ Byrd Tricep of Doom game from 2012-2013 in which Bo Boroski ejected the Purdue guard. Maybe I’m hyper sensitive, what do I know.
A Look Ahead:
Purdue Basketball will play their Big Ten/ACC Challenge game against Miami on Tuesday. Purdue appears to be a slight dog in that game, but Miami hasn’t played any significant talent as of yet. The Boilers will follow that game up by playing Indiana State on Saturday after the Bucket game, a game in which Painter’s squad will be heavily favored.
Purdue Football will take on Indiana for the 2020 installment of the Old Oaken Bucket game on Saturday. As we all know, Indiana is really good this season, and will probably stomp a mud-hole into Purdue and walk it dry. As of the writing of this story, IU stands as a 14 pt favorite, which in my opinion is far too low. I feel so dirty writing that.
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