2/20/2023 Boilermaker Water Cooler Chat: Focus Edition

Photo: Mark Elsner

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

Imagine, if you will, its sometime in the late 1990s. You’ve just watched the latest episode of Bevis and Butthead, and music videos are starting to play after the show. You have Happy Gilmore rented from Blockbuster, and a double pepperoni pizza is coming your way in 20 minutes or less. As you wait for the pizza, the first music video starts playing, and your life is forever changed.

A unique sound hits your ears. Its something new. Something inspirational.

We’ll be singin’, when we’re winnin’, we’ll be singin’.

The song has pulled you in. You anxiously await something bigger, something excellent. Something powerful. Then it hits.

I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down! I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down!

Tubthumping, by Chumbawamba, 1997.

This little piece of generational changing pop culture is not only a quintessential 90’s piece of nostalgia, it is also an inspiration to the Boilermaker Basketball Team. Chumbawamba’s 1997 super smash hit Tubthumping isn’t just an all time great song… It is a way of life! This song is a work of art. This song is a masterpiece.

Ok, so maybe it isn’t any of those things. What it is, however, is a message. You get knocked down. You get back up.

Purdue, for the first time all season, has gotten completely knocked down.

You know what? Either they get up again, or they will long lost to history.

The Games:

#3 Purdue 54, Maryland 68: A horrifically officiated first half snowballed into a public beat down in the second half, as the Maryland Terrapins had their way with the Boilermakers to finish out the game. For the first time all season, Purdue looked rattled. While some of that had to do with the frustrating first half officiating, the major influence was the Boilers inability to deal with adversity. The hot shooting Terrapins rode a 21-4 run to put it away in the second, handing the Boilers their 4th loss of the season. Zach Edey and Braden Smith were battered and bruised, but both ended up with 18 points.

Ohio State 55, #3 Purdue 85: A brief slow start led to a Purdue surge, as things started to click against Ohio State. Boilermakers rode a dominant Zach Edey to 26 points and 11 rebounds, even though he didn’t play the final 8 minutes of he game. Flanking Edey was Trey Kauffman Renn, who looked great spelling the big man, scoring 11 points.

Purdue-OSU Photo Gallery: https://snapsbyme.smugmug.com/Purdue-Mens-Basketball/22-23/OhioState/

Break It Down:

Another painful loss is a tough pill to swallow for a team that was looking at the #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. This loss more than likely boots Purdue out of their preferred tournament pathway of Columbus to Louisville. If the season were to end at this exact moment, Purdue would more than likely play their second weekend games away from the Midwest, which is not ideal from a fan standpoint (nor my ability to cover the games in person).

All is not lost, however, as Purdue pounded the recently hapless Ohio State Buckeyes, looking dominant in the victory. This victory regains the overall winning record against the Buck-Nuts, and secures a winning record for Purdue over all league opponents.

It is encouraging that Purdue bounced back from losing two straight for the first time this season, but disappointing that it got to this point. An interesting juxtaposition is how well the Boilermakers play when a game isn’t poorly officiated. The Ohio State game in comparison to the Maryland, Northwestern and Iowa games, for example, leads directly into an impressive basketball performance for one of the nations best teams. Surprising how that works out.

Still at 24-4 (13-4), Purdue has had an an excellent season to this point, and still is in position to have a very high seed in the NCAA tournament.

What Went Well:

  • 43.8%: Shooting from 3 against Ohio State is what this team needs to do in order to succeed.
  • 23: Purdue out rebounded Ohio State by 23.
  • TKR: Trey Kauffman Renn played masterfully off of the bench against Ohio State. Filling in with 11 points in 14 game minutes gives Purdue another weapon with Edey getting rest. Likewise, with TKR in the game, the lead grew against the Buckeyes.

Opportunities for Improvement:

  • 15.4%: Shooting from 3 against Maryland, which will absolutely get you regularly.
  • 12: Maryland out rebounded Purdue by 12.
  • 6: Maryland had 16 free throw attempts to Purdue’s 10, a statistical anomaly.
  • 7: Of the last 8 Purdue losses have resulted in court stormings.

A Look Ahead:

As of this moment, Purdue is currently up 1 game in the Big Ten race, with 3 games remaining. The Magic Number is 2. For those of you who are not familiar, any combination of Purdue wins and 2nd place team losses (in this case, Northwestern) would mean Purdue would secure another Big Ten Championship.

Purdue only plays one game this week, hosting (as of this writing) #14 Indiana on Saturday. Purdue is looking for revenge from the upset and court storming from the Hoosiers just a few weeks back.

If Northwestern were to lose their Thursday game at Illinois, Purdue could secure the Big Ten Championship against Indiana on Saturday with a win. Something to keep your eye on.

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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