Kelsey Barlow's choke gesture was not the usual 'take care of business' ho-hum attitude we're used to seeing from the Purdue team. I don't think I am alone when I say that it's nice to see a little bit of color and emotion on the court.
Despite whatever gaff he gets from the media, IU, or even Matt Painter's inevitable public statement on the incident, I think it was well worth it.
If the gesture was made towards any other 9-12 team, I probably wouldn't feel the same way. But it wasn't towards just any team; it was towards IU.
It's about time someone throws the first punch to kick start something that resembles a rivalry. I think a combination of Barlow's gesture and the fact that we won in the Hall of Calls should do the trick...
As expected, IU is already using it as a motivational tool to assist in fostering the delusion that they have a shot at beating Purdue in Mackey Arena.
After the game, Verdell Jones III had this articulate threat...(I think?)
"See, the great thing is that we've got to play them again, so we'll see him again. We'll see what he has to say when we play them again"
Jones II is currently enrolled in IU's prestigious redundancy school of redundancy.
Purdue will be ready for round 2. They will also be ready for round 2. Purdue will be ready.
- John Hart is the man! Not that he needs any further validation at this point, but he's Purdue's 6th man at this point in the season. Obviously injury's are a factor, but I think he is performing better than Jackson and Grant right now.
His performance is something that I will never cease to appreciate. Looking back at my notes prior to the season, I would have placed the odds of this happening to be about 1:1,000,000,000,000.
Looking at the roster, no (scholarship) player entered the season more buried in the depth chart. You have to give credit to Hart for continuing to play hard when all seemed lost. Likewise Painter deserves credit for giving Hart the opportunity to play. Actually, you can go one further and credit to Painter for giving Hart the opportunity to play D-1 ball altogether since Purdue was his only scholarship. Painter clearly has one of the best eyes for talent in the nation. If you don't believe me, watch Hart and Barlow play.
- Lewis Jackson only played 12 minutes, but dished out 4 assists and grabbed 2 rebounds in the game. He is still slowly coming along, but just having him someone in the rotation helps Purdue out tremendously. While his points will always seem modest, he is the definition of synergy. I can already see him making Keaton Grant better. The offense is going through an adjustment period, but I suspect we'll start seeing some great things coming from his end sometime in the near future. Definitely by March...
- Purdue needs to do something to stop the dribble penetration, it's KILLING us!Credit to Jones for exploiting Purdue's weakness. He's a tough kid.
- I have to insert a commenter's account of Keady's reception in Assembly Hall:
When Bobby Knight showed up at Mackey Arena to comment on the Purdue/Minnesota game, the student section as well as most everyone else gave him a standing ovation - sort of a thank you for promoting the gift of rivalry in college basketball. In return, Gene Keady gets placed on the big screen at A-Hall and the place erupts with "boo's". Classless (fans), cheating (coaches), hill-jacks...HOOOOOSIERS!
Well put sir!
- In the last 5 games, JaJuan Johnson is averaging under 2 fouls a game. That's huge! Johnson is key to Purdue's success. (Yes, I say that every week.) When Johnson gets over 20 points and 10 rebs, Purdue is in great shape.
On the other side of the coin, Tom Prichard should not be getting more than 10 points!
- Barlow had yet another impressive game. He's responding well as a starter. It's going to be difficult to convince Painter to make the Barlow/Jackson switch. I'll take 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 points, and zero TO's from him every night!
- Chris Kramer needs a vacation. I hope he's sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber this weekend in preparation for the Michigan State game. He has a consistent look of pain and exhaustion.