Purdue Rolls To the Top Of Big Ten

Steve McClureContributor IFebruary 24, 2009


The Baby Boilers are Super Sophs now.

This team almost won the preseason NIT, but Oklahoma—and the obvious player of the year in Blake Griffin—beat up on Purdue down on the box.

This could be Purdue's biggest weakness in both the Big Ten Tournament as well as the Big Dance: if Purdue can't attack the boards the season will be cut short. 

The Boilers are one of the toughest on-ball defending teams in the country; this allows them to stay in every game even if their three-pointers don't fall.

Thanks to the play of Big Ten defensive player of the year Chris Kramer, the Purdue squad can hold teams in the ugly FG percents, as well as block shots in the paint—thanks to the quick developing J.J., whom should be crowned the MIP in the Big Ten this year.

The team has began to jell in the last two weeks of the season mainly due to the confidence of freshman point guard Lewis Jackson, who has begun to let the game come to him and score the ball with his quickness, and also put the ball in the shooters hands at the right time.

E. Moore had his break out half against in-state rival Indiana University as he made a hand full of treys in the first half towards a backpedaling win versus the Hoosiers.

Shooting guard Bobby Buckets is shooting 65 percent from deep, and can also bring a spark off the bench, along with the other senior N.C (Baby Vlade) who I think plays better as a starter—and has a better game than even he knows.

The mister intangible Robbie Hummel is why the Boilers were in the preseason top 10 and the Big Ten favorites. Mr. 'I have played multiple games with a fracture in my back' still takes charges and tips the rebounds to create more Boiler possessions.

These Larry Bird tricks of the trade is what fuels this special Boilermaker team.