The Purdue men's basketball team has now dropped two straight in the Big Ten after tonight's 64-66 loss to the 22nd-ranked Michigan Wolverines.
The Boilermakers started off slowly and the Wolverines connected early. It looked as if Michigan had Purdue finished in the second half until the Boilermakers went on a 15-3 run with close to seven minutes left, a stretch in which Purdue was definitely the better team.
The run was quickly put out, and Purdue blew numerous opportunities to win the game at the wire.
That being said, it was not Purdue's inability to finish at the end of the game that was the big issue in this game, it was the lack of motion on offense and intensity on defense during the majority of the first half and during the beginning of the second half.
In years past, Purdue has been able to get away with scoring droughts and less than 100 percent intensity and effort, but this season is different. The Boilermakers don't have JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore to bail them out at the end of the game.
This Purdue team has a lot of work to do if they are going to make it to the NCAA tournament.
A lot of concerns came out of this one, but mainly it was the lack of effort offensively until the three-point shots started falling.
At one point, head coach Matt Painter called a timeout and yelled, "It's a motion offense, you've got to move!" This basically sums up what the problem was offensively.
When the Boilermakers went on the big run, they were able to penetrate the lane, which led to three-pointers eventually. This team has got to learn that the three-ball isn't just going to show up, they have to work for it.
Purdue doesn't have an inside threat this season, so the perimeter defense is going to be stark.
A few bright spots came out of this game, however.
Unlike the Michigan State game, Purdue was able to continue grinding and not give up. Some of that might be attributed to a ruckus crowd at Mackey Arena, but the team didn't quit.
Another observation had to be the stellar play of Anthony Johnson. Purdue fans better get used to seeing this kid on the floor, because he was a difference-maker tonight.
With Kelsey Barlow under the weather, Johnson had a chance to step up tonight, and he did it. Although his stat line is far from impressive, Johnson brought a lot of energy to the court. Along with Lewis Jackson, he provided a lot of penetration, something the Boilers desperately needed.
Overall, this game had its ups and downs, and minus the lack of intensity, Purdue fans shouldn't be too disappointed with this loss. Michigan is a great team and deserves all the credit in the world for stopping the strong points of Purdue's offense for the majority of this game and getting a road win in one of the toughest places to win in the country.
Purdue fans, however, should just hope that this team quickly figures out who they are and what type of team they are going to be.
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