Purdue Has a Full Head of Steam

bryan sleikCorrespondent IMarch 23, 2009

Boilermakers are on the rise. The late surge of the Boilermakers has put them as Big Ten Champions, which is their first. They have also put themselves in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2000.

The Boilers seemed to come down with a sickness with Grant and Jackson both out in mid-February. The Boilers seem to be the healthiest right now.

With Robbie Hummel on the bench with a fractured back, it hurt the Boilers tremendously; they felt the loss very drastically because they went 1-3 without him.

With everybody back and healthy the Boilers are at full strength. Boilers are going to need to have E'Twaun Moore having a big game, and thanks to Jajuan Johnson having an outstanding year, hopefully he can transfer it to the court for them when they face Connecticut to have a big game on March 26.

Some underrated players who could play a role for the Boilermakers are Nemanja Calasan, Chris Kramer, and Marcus Green. Nemanja is some what unknown to the field. With his ability to hit the outside shot, he can be dangerous, but he does like to live out there, and that could be a problem.

Marcus is an everywhere kind of guy and you need somebody like that, but he does tend to get into foul trouble, which could cause problems. Kramer has the intensity of a madman on the court; he is a defender you don't want to face. He will work you like a horse; that's what you like to see in a man.

Chris Kramer was quoted after the Win in the Big Ten Tournament win over Illinois: "We need to play as hard as we can and just play to exhaustion."

That is the tenacity the Boilers need to play with to beat UConn.  I have no doubt that the Boilers can win this game if they play the way they can.

One key thing the Boilers are going to need to do is cut down on turnovers, that is what helped them win the Big Ten, they  have been slipping up as of late.

Purdue's defense is going to need to be a full force for this game. The team ranks tenth in the nation in field-goal percentage defense, allowing the opposition to shoot just 38.8 percent from the floor.

They just play straight-up solid defense. They don't steal a lot or block shots.

This isn’t to say that the Boilermakers don’t have an offense. They have three of the league’s five best three-point shooters percentage wise.

Their swing man, Robbie Hummel stands at 6 foot 8 inches and shoots 45.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Guard Keaton Grant has a 44.6 percent three point shooting percentage with a 10.7 points per game average.

Sophmore E’Twaun Moore averages 12.7 points per game and hits 42.6 percent of his three-point shots.

The Boilermakers are here to stay. With the way they are built right now, it looks like it's Time for Cinderella to find her slippers.


Bryan Sleik