Upon Further Review: Purdue

HoosierNation.com takes a look back at Indiana's 81-68 loss at Purdue. We name the Hoosiers' game MVP, look at what were some of the most concerning and surprising things to come out of the game, analyze the game's postseason implications and hear what the coaches had to say afterwards...

Hoosier MVP - D.J. White. IU's big man finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, and if it wasn't for his 16-point, 6-of-7 shooting first half, the Hoosiers would have likely been out of this game by halftime. While White was only missing one shot, his teammates were busy missing 15 of the 19 attempts they hoisted in the game's opening 20 minutes. Purdue Coach Matt Painter said afterwards that the gameplan was to double-team White on occasion but go man-to-man at other times, and every time Purdue did that White made Painter's team pay in the opening half. The second half wasn't nearly as productive for White. After scoring IU's first three points of the half, he went 16 ½ minutes without another bucket and attempted only two shots during that stretch. But it was his play early on that gave IU a chance in West Lafayette.

Biggest Surprise… Indiana shot 46 percent from the floor, 45.5 percent from 3-point range, made 21 of 26 free throws…and lost. That's usually a recipe for success, particularly for an IU team that is among the Big Ten's best on the defensive end. But Purdue had its way offensively thanks to 32 points from David Teague and 22 from Carl Landry. Indiana had surrendered 70 or more points on only four occasions this season, but gave up a season-high 81 to Purdue. The Boilermakers set the tone early, connecting on eight of its first 11 shots to open a 23-12 lead less than eight minutes in. While Indiana clawed back and eventually took the lead with about 10 minutes remaining, Teague and Landry dominated down the stretch. After Indiana took its final lead, 52-51, with 11:21 remaining, Teague scored 12 points the rest of the way to lift Purdue to a much-needed win for its NCAA Tournament chances.

What I Found Most Impressive… D.J. White's first-half performance. The Hoosiers' 6-9, 251-pound forward was unstoppable early on. Whether it was establishing position down low and finishing, or stepping outside and shooting the mid-range jumper, White put his team on his back in the first half and kept them in the game. He also showed plenty of emotion, getting tangled up with Purdue guard Chris Kramer for one errant rebound and attempting to rip the ball away from the fiery Boilermaker to a chorus of boos from the sold-out Mackey Arena crowd. Purdue made some adjustments at halftime and neutralized White in the second half, but for the first 20 minutes White showed just how dominant he can be.

What I Found Most Concerning… This loss doesn't come as a huge surprise considering what was at stake for Purdue, but the biggest loss could be from a personnel standpoint. IU point guard Earl Calloway left the game with seven minutes remaining with a right shoulder injury. He couldn't return, and IU Coach Kelvin Sampson said afterwards he's hard-pressed to think he'll be ready to go by Saturday's 4 p.m. match-up with Michigan. That's a big loss for Indiana, which will have to turn the full-time point guard duties over to Armon Bassett until Calloway is able to return. While Bassett is a more than capable point guard, Sampson still believes he's best suited to split his time between the two guard slots because he can get a bit too aggressive offensively when he always has the ball in his hands.

Turning Point: It wasn't David Teague or Carl Landry or even Tarrance Crump who came up with the game-changing plays, but forward Gordon Watt. With Indiana leading 52-51, Watt came up with back-to-back steals that were parlayed into fastbreak buckets and a three-point Purdue lead. His plays – the second of which came when he stepped in front of a D.J. White pass and raced up court for a breakaway lay-up and was fouled – ignited his teammates and the crowd and quickly swung the game's momentum back in Purdue's favor. Indiana would never lead again.

Game Implications: Indiana missed out on an opportunity to get a quality road win, and Purdue took a huge step toward getting an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. With three of its final four games coming against Northwestern and Minnesota, Purdue has a very good chance to head into the postseason with 20 wins and a 9-7 Big Ten record. That should be more than enough to get them into the Big Dance.

Notes:
Less than two minutes into the game it appeared Purdue guard Chris Kramer might be done for the day after twisting his ankle when he stepped on D.J. White's foot. But after returning to the locker room for treatment he returned to play 28 minutes, came up with four points, two assists, two steals and had a couple of huge hustle plays…Lance Stemler missed the game after suffering a "very bad" sprain to his ankle earlier this week in practice. His status for Saturday's game is also questionable…the Hoosiers' 16 turnovers are the most miscues they've committed in a game since turning it over 18 times Dec. 2 against Charlotte…Purdue shot 50 percent for the game, becoming only the second IU foe to do that this season (Ohio State – 50 percent).

Quotable: "Everyone asked about the rivalry and about how important the game was. It was more important for us to beat someone the caliber of Indiana, a team in the teens in the RPI, a team that's third in our league…we needed that signature win. This is our best win of the season, without quesiton." – Purdue Coach Matt Painter.

"A lot of credit goes to the Purdue kids. I was really impressed with how they played. Teague hit some tough shots. He has tremendous range, he can get it off. Kids with his length and as athletic as he is, he just jumps up over you. Those weren't easy shots he was hitting tonight." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.

"Carl Landry is a tremendous, tremendous college basketball player. He understands angles. He's so strong from the waist down. If you look at him from the waist up he doesn't look like he's 235. But those big, baggy shorts are hiding a lot." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.

Peegs.com Top Stories