With simply over 4:00 to play in the second half WVU had minimize the lengthy-standing Purdue lead right down to single digits, as little as 4 really, and the lead continued to seesaw up a couple of factors right here and there. WVU had the ball with the shot clock winding down, however driving to the lane in opposition to Zach Edey is not a straightforward factor. Edey put his lengthy arms up and blocked it. Braden Smith, a real freshman I would remind you, went after the free ball and swatted it in the direction of the other finish of the courtroom. With the shot clock winding down Fletcher Loyer gave chase however couldn’t save the ball in time. Instead it went out of bounds off Purdue. West Virginia would have only one second remaining on the shot clock and must take out the ball from beneath the Purdue basket. They wouldn’t be capable of rating.
I harp on this possession as a result of it is so emblematic of the way in which that Purdue will play this yr. So a lot hustle. Purdue noticed three totally different gamers make hustle performs right here that resulted in a shot clock violation and Purdue possession. It was lovely. The Purdue crowd in Portland, Oregon on the Phil Knight Legacy event gave the crew a standing ovation after this instance of hustle play. I will not say this is able to solely be pleased with Purdue followers however it’s actually a staple of Purdue fandom to understand any such soiled work and hustle play.
John Wooden Memorial Player of the Game (JWMPOTG): I attempt to give this out for each recreation wrap I write which with Casey over at Boiler Upload may be extra this season. Expect to get a big dose of Zach Edey right here. Even when his photographs do not all the time look good, he nonetheless dominates the sport. He was a pressure on protection altering photographs and blocking the aforementioned shot. Overall Edey continued his stellar play by ending with 24 factors and 12 rebounds to go together with going 10-12 on the free throw line. What a recreation by the massive man. He continues to satisfy each problem Painter is throwing at him. Honorable point out goes to Mason Gillis for his standard hustle and his 2-3 taking pictures from deep.
We all knew this West Virginia crew would give Purdue issues, they usually did. A younger Purdue crew that depends on two freshman guards was probably going to commit loads of turnovers in opposition to a gifted and quick WVU squad. Purdue did in reality flip it over 18 instances however what may shock you is that the 2 beginning freshman guards dedicated simply three of these. The JWMPOTG had six. Committing 18 turnovers wasn’t the one downside Purdue had that stored WVU in this recreation. Purdue additionally allowed 15 offensive rebounds. These two stats mixed had been sufficient to forestall Purdue from pulling away.
Purdue’s lead hovered round 10 factors for many of the recreation with a number of possibilities to place the sport out of attain falling quick because of turnovers or offensive rebounds by the Mountaineers. It was an awesome check for a younger squad. Mike Tyson as soon as stated that everybody had a plan till they obtained punched in the mouth and whereas it isn’t essentially the most elegant expression it is actually true. Purdue obtained punched in the mouth (metaphorically talking) a pair instances in this recreation however all the time discovered a method to take up the blow, whether or not that be by way of a Mason Gillis three, a Zach Edey bucket, or a hustle play on protection and punch again. The lead might need dropped to 4 in the second half however it by no means actually felt like Purdue had let something slip away. There was a way, not less than to me, that Purdue would reply.
That to me is a very powerful factor to return out of this recreation. Sure it was good to see a Brandon Newman hit some photographs and certain it was good to see Caleb Furst and TKR have good video games as properly, however finally this crew’s response is what (*68*) keep in mind.
Couple extra issues value noting right here and because it’s late we’re gonna do it quick. First, Braden Smith goes to be an issue for lots of opponents and also you noticed that tonight as Stevenson dedicated a silly flagrant 1 out of frustration that gave Purdue two photographs (Smith made them each) and the ball at a time when WVU desperately wanted stops. Second, Purdue took care of enterprise on the free throw line going 24-28. Chef’s kiss. Finally, the three level taking pictures was a lot improved at 8-17.
Purdue now awaits the winner of the Gonzaga vs. Portland State recreation that might be beginning momentarily. Programming word right here that this recreation will tip-off at 11:30 PM japanese time if issues are exactly on time. If you’ve got adopted faculty basketball you already know that is not very probably so count on an 11:45 or possibly even midnight begin time. Buckle up people that is all only a preparation for UCLA and USC becoming a member of the convention.