Purdue is playing really well right now. Small comfort, but we are the only team to be within 12 of Purdue in their last 12 games, and we have the closest losses in their 16-game winning streak. We have the two highest ppp against them on the season. While they’ve scored a ton against us, the first game we played against them was their third worst ppp in the last 9 and their 2pt% was their third worst on the year. We sadly lost two close ones. maybe because of bad luck or maybe because they “made the plays” and have more seniors/clutch play late and better FT shooting, whatever.
It’s easy to talk about the offense, but mostly this is about the defense. We just couldn’t stop them. They did get a few buckets that were just too easy but they also made a bunch of tough shots and executed well. I would’ve liked to see us front Haas, maybe have Wagner flop a little more – I know that’s kinda weak, but they let a guy that big bang so much and yet call fouls when Wagner puts his arm on him, I think it might’ve put some pressure on the refs.
We did have a few ill-timed TOs, and those from Matthews and Simpsons’s FT shooting puts us in trouble late. Wagner had a couple too and I felt like he didn’t pick the right situations to be aggressive on the dribble vs shooting the 3 vs resetting the offense. But, again, pretty hard to complain too much about the O overall.
Going forward, I’d like to think it’s a sign that the team is pretty good and the Nebraska game was mostly an outlier. The schedule is fairly manageable going forward, especially the next few games, so hopefully we can get some wins and on a nice little role heading into the tough stretch at the end. 11-7 still seems like the baseline, but 12-6 seems fairly doable for this team.