NCAA Bracket 2011 Predictions: 10 Reasons Purdue Is Destined for a Championship
The brackets are set, and it's time to fill them out, make predictions and listen to analysts talk day and night about college hoops. For a lot of people this time of the year is like Christmas, Easter, their wedding and their first born all combined.
For Purdue who is coming off two tough losses, it almost looks like their title hopes are shot, but here are 10 reasons JaJuan Johnson and the Boilermakers are destined for a National Title.
JaJuan Johnson could easily be a national player of the year candidate but has yet to be recognized nationally for his acheivment. The 6'10" center has averaged 20.5 points and almost nine rebounds per game this season.
He was named Big Ten Player of the Year along with Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
Johnson is a versatile player that can play on the perimeter or the post and is very tough defensively.
The Boilermakers will need his experience to help propel them to the top.
Moore has been stellar this season but has been very streaky. The senior guard is often overlooked by a lot of teams but is one of the best playmakers in the country.
Moore is averaging 18.2 points per game and has just been known to go off after sub-par performances, and he has been in a slump as of late.
Look for Moore to come up big in tournament time as he has been there before.
Two Let-Down Games Just Happened
The Boilermakers just had two horrendous games, the first of which was at Iowa, the second at the tournament against Michigan State.
In these games, the Boilermakers just didn't come out to play.
Hopefully for Purdue, this means they got it out of their system.
This Team Has Been to the Sweet 16
This team has been to the Sweet 16 two years in a row, and it's time for them to finally step up and break the hump. It will not be an easy road to get to the Elite Eight however.
Georgetown stands in their way.
In any given game, Purdue will play all of their scholarship players. This is something that many top Division I programs cannot claim to do.
Each of Purdue's role players play excellent defense, and most are terrific passers.
With Purdue's depth, especially in the guard position, it will be tough to score on the Boilers.
Some of the teams will not know what to do against Purdue's defense. It is up close, in your face and personal when it comes to defense for the Boilermakers.
They are one of the best defensive teams in the country and can guard at any position but lack depth in the post defensively.
Key Role Players
Purdue has a team built around JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore, but the guys that are overlooked are the role players.
Purdue has some great role players. Lewis Jackson comes to mind when thinking of these type of guys.
He is listed at 5'9", but he is probably around 5'7", but the kid can flat out play. He is a sharp defender and really gets in opponents heads.
Even though Jackson is short, if he is left open by a double team in the paint on Johnson, he will slash through the lane and pick up a quick two in the blink of an eye.
Purdue has numerous key guys like this that drive the team such as DJ Byrd, Ryne Smith, Kelsey Barlow, Terrone Johnson and Travis Carroll.
The Boilermakers never give up and are always working for their keep. Whether it is JaJuan Johnson or Lewis Jackson, both guys would dive on the floor for a loose ball to help out there team at any point in the game.
That is one thing that is great about this Purdue program. Every player is a four-year player, and they all play 100 percent all the time.
I know what you are thinking, Robbie Hummel is out, but Robbie Hummel isn't out.
Sure, he will not be suiting up for the game, but he will be cheering on the Boilermakers and will be coaching them to victory.
Just because he is not playing this season does not mean he is not involved; Hummel is a great leader on and off the floor and will be able to use his experiences to really coach this team to a victory.
This is a key reason why Purdue could win a championship this season; they are hungry for it and are treated like they don't even exist.
The Boilermakers are not given the attention they deserve because they are not a flashy team, but who needs flash? As long as they get it done.
You will rarely hear a Boilermaker player lash out in the media or get in an off-the-court incident.
This is what makes this team special—their demeanor. They strive to be the underdog, and they are out to prove wrong everyone who has ever doubted them.
Purdue has a great chance to go far in the tournament, I am in no way saying that they will win the national title, but they have a great shot to make a run at it.