Sometimes, it is how you lose. In the big picture, losing by 3 on Xavier’s home floor is no reason for Purdue fans to be upset. But that’s a tough sell in light of the fact that the Boilermakers enjoyed a 19-point lead with under 10 minutes to play. Matt Painter’s team dominated the first 30 minutes of the game on defense, forcing 20 turnovers. But over the final stretch, the Boilers forced two. Meanwhile, the Musketeers’ offense (especially Tu Holloway) came to life, and outscored Purdue 30-8 over the final quarter of the game. It should be noted that Robbie Hummel battled cramps throughout the game, and that certainly might have affected his performance down the stretch. But it’s no secret that Hummel isn’t the most durable player–even beyond his two ACL tears he’s missed games for smaller injuries. I don’t see why that would change this season, so Purdue should expect to be without its best player for at least stretches of games. What that means is that Matt Painter needs to find a second scorer to support Hummel while he’s healthy, and to lead the offense when he’s hurt.
It’s Monday, and there are no Big Ten men’s hoops games for the first time since Nov. 10. That means it’s the perfect time to release my latest power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands at that time. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina.
Every Sunday night during the hoops season, Brent Yarina recaps the week that was on the men’s hardwood and hands out his weekly honors. See Brent’s first installment, for action from Nov. 14-20, in this post.
BTN.com’s Mallory Treleaven sat down with BTN basketball analyst and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year Jim Jackson to get his early season thoughts on Big Ten basketball. Follow Jackson on Twitter (@BTNJimJackson) and watch him all season long.
A special guest visited BTN during our telecast of the Purdue-Southeast Missouri State game on Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium. It was Purdue basketball standout Robbie Hummel. Hummel, who is recovering from his second season-ending knee injury, stopped by to chat with BTN sideline reporter Lisa Byington. So, how’s the knee? “It’s been positive, I haven’t had any setbacks,” Hummel said. Saturday’s game had to make Hummel feel pretty good, too, as the Boilermakers thumped SEMO, 59-0.
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