Purdue looked good against a deep and athletic Tennessee team last night. It's the first time I can remember since 1994 that Purdue looked like they belonged on the court against a big time team. They were as quick and fast as Tennessee, they penetrated well, they created their own shots, and they played terrific team defense. The weakness I saw was that they couldn't stay out of foul trouble to save their life.
With Lewis Jackson out I thought Kelsey Barlow did an excellent job at the point. Good penetration, excellent defense, and he has some size so he can scoop up some boards. But boy does he need to work on his free throws.
I've read about Patrick Bade, and he seemed to have good stats. I thought he held his own pretty well last night. One frustrating stretch he missed a couple putbacks and ended up fouling, but still he at least got to the back to have a chance at the putbacks. He'll be solid coming off the bench.
Which leads me to JaJuan Johnson. Man, JJ, you can't get in foul trouble. No matter what. Let the other team have a less-than-perfectly contested shot. You don't do any good on the bench, and the trio of Moore, Hummel, and Johnson are as good a trio as it gets in the country this year. That is what Purdue is going to ride to the final four. Even if Marcius comes back and is a solid backup.
Love the idea that Bade, Marcius, and Barlow will get lots of PT this year before the tourney. Damn these kids are going to be tough to beat.