This Game Should Have Been Better
Two minutes. Jon Scheyer made a three-pointer after two fast paced, hard-fought minutes. Two minutes later, Purdue finally scored when Chris Kramer hit a jumper to make the game 7-2. It would seem the Boilermakers were a little too hyped to play Duke Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
In the second half, Purdue had another scoring drought of over four minutes. If JaJuan Johnson had not scored eight points in a row, Purdue would have not scored until 10:48 left in the game when E’Twaun Moore hit a jumper.
In the match-up of star 6’8” sophomore forwards, Duke’s Kyle Singler out-played Purdue’s preseason Big Ten player of the Year candidate, Robbie Hummel. Even if the stat lines don’t look as such.
I must admit, even as a Dukie, I did not buy into Singler until a few games into the season. Working hard over the summer to add 10 pounds of muscle, Singler looks the part of a McDonald's All-American. And the game at Purdue furthered my belief—he can lead and make plays in big games when needed.
Coaches will say no game is more important than any other. That's crap. And you could see the evidence all over the court Tuesday night. Players were diving for loose balls, attempting to take charges, and giving hard fouls from the beginning of the game.
Even Singler seemed to be amped up for Duke's first real test of the season.
Singler finished the evening with 20 points and 12 rebounds—six offensive—and hit shots when his team needed them. Singler was all over the place with hustle plays, guarded Hummel, and did not allow any east shots.
Hummel was completely invisible until halfway through the second half and then he ended with 15 points and eight rebounds. But his play did not affect the game nearly as much as Singler. For that matter, none of the Purdue players affected the outcome as much as Singler, as Purdue looked rushed on offense and over-matched on defense.
I have never been one to believe stats alone can tell the whole story of a game. Well, Tuesday night it certainly did. Two key stats showed how lopsided this game truly was; Duke out rebounded Purdue 43-26. And the Boilermakers shot 2-13 from the 3-point line, as Duke went 8-22. Jon Scheyer also finished with 20 points.
Colt - 45
Ralph Sampson’s kid is coming to Minnesota. Tubby Smith had instantly proved his importance to the Gopher Nation as Sampson highlighted the 23rd best recruiting class in the country, but there was another tall post player who was a part of the recruiting class. That player has started all seven games, and Tuesday night in the Gophers' toughest game this season, he had the best game of his short career.
The 6’10”, 235-pound Colton Iverson came into his senior season under the radar in Yankton, South Dakota. Not many people knew who he was, much less knew anything about his game.
Iverson's stock rose to be ranked among the top 150 recruits after a strong senior season when he averaged 17.5 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 2.7 blocks, and a summer where his AAU team won the Hoosier Shootout—he won the tourney's MVP. His stock rose so high, even Billy Donovan and the Florida Gators were interested.
In Minnesota’s win against Virginia, the Gophers looked for Iverson on offense, and Iverson responded, finishing 5-6 from the floor and 4-6 from the foul line, scoring 14 points. He also grabbed seven rebounds—four offensive.
Iverson didn't block any shots, but altered several. Along with Ralph Sampson III and Damian Johnson, the Gophers' frontcourt finished with seven blocks, 14 rebounds, and 20 points—compared to the four best Cavalier post players, who had 11 points, 16 rebounds, and two blocks.
What was Miami’s Jack McClinton’s best shot of the night? After starting off the game 4-4 from distance, McClinton took a shot at Ohio States guard Anthony Carter and slapped Carter in the face. After a quick conference with the refs, McClinton was ejected. Ohio State won 73-68.
The Memphis Tigers blew out the Marist Red Foxes 100-61. Here is the stat-line for Memphis guard Tyreke Evans: 10-13 from the floor, 2-4 from behind the arc, 2-6 from the charity stripe—weak. Six rebounds, four assists, three steals, and 24 points. Marist was tough.
In the same “why the hell are you playing each other” vein, Notre Dame beat South Dakota 102-76. Notre Dame’s Randy Ayers finished with 35 points, six rebounds, shot 9-14 from distance, and 12-20 from the field.
New Jersey Institute of Technology lost again. Stony Brook outscored the Highlanders, 60-39.
By the end of Tuesday's games, the ACC/Big Ten Challenge was all tied-up at 3-3.