Friday, February 5, 2010

Does Kelsey Barlow's choke sign reignite rivalry? (And other game notes)

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.

Unsolicited Observations

- 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.


CHS IRISH said...

Barlow is the man. He has a great sense of humor. Purdue should like what he brings to the team.

Dave Stack said...

You can't have it both ways...if IU fans were classless for booing Keady, Barlow was classless (and not really warranted, as there was a great block on that play) for giving the choke sign. Plus, he almost had to eat crow as the game clearly wasn't over at that point.

T-Mill said...

Maybe they were saying Booooo-urns?

Purdue Pete said...

I was saying Boooo-urns...

Anonymous said...

I don't think fans would be cheering for Knight at Mackey if he was introduced before a game with Indiana.

ColoBoiler said...

I agree with Dave that you can't have it both ways. I think it was stupid and immature on
Barlow's part and I hope Painter doesn't tolerate that crap. One of the best teams in the country should not be stooping to that. We need to have a little tougher skin in hostile environments.

Chomsky said...

Wait, didn't they choke? They had the lead at times and as a matter of fact they had the largest lead during the game of either team.

Isn't that a choke job?

I like seeing some emotion from our team.

And as a counterpoint to this image, you guys should check out the highlights to see the reaction or lack thereof from our team when the game tying misses it's mark. When that shot clanks like one my shots our guys more or less turn to the bench to line up for handshakes.

Anonymous said...

I graduated from IU in 1984 and have never missed the Purdue game. Last night I felt that IU should have had a 10 pt advantage due to the home fans. The Purdue players were really never bothered and kept their composure all night. Purdue plays smart and controls the tempo plus the clock. I have a feeling when IU is at Mackey the game will not go to the last possession, it may be well in hand for Purdue early in the second half

Purdue Pete said...

I agree, the statements contradict eachother. I just couldn't resist including it.

ColoBoiler said...

Let me just say that Peyton Manning and Drew Brees don't pull crap like that because they let their play speak for itself. Those are the guys the Purdue kids should be copying. As Purdue alums we should encourage that rather than encourge the crap that Barlow did the other night...which by the way has absolutely nothing to do with playing with emotion. Manning and Brees play with plenty of emotion.

Weedeater said...

I didn't like the choke sign. The abuse the Boilers deal should be due to their play on the court. Everything else is a sideshow. Sideshows don't win games. I like Barlow's play, and can see his wit in the way he dishes in apparently random directions...right into a beautiful assist. He is finding the rack more each game. We live off of other teams' chokes. We are used to it. We need to treat it as business as usual.

Anonymous said...

Well you guys got your way; Kelsey has issued an apology.

David in Texas said...

The choke sign was unnecessary, particularly from someone who hasn't contributed all that much to PU's season thus far - Barlow has had his own choke moments. PU players should be above that. They have bigger fish to fry than IU and barely beating the Hoosiers, even given the rivalry and that it was a road game, is hardly a statement win that warrants sticking it to the other team. PU still can't defend the 3, even against a clearly outclassed IU squad, and continues to play down to its competition. They need to concentrate on taking care of business, not thinking about silly in-your-face gestures.

David in Texas said...

One good thing is that Barlow and Painter handled the aftermath right. Good for them. Let's hope Barlow truly has learned his lesson and uses the incident as his own motivation to meeting his outstanding potential to become the contributing factor he should be to this team.

Weedeater said...

Agree with Dave in Texas. Painter handled this right. Barlow now can concentrate on MSU.

Purdue Basketball in the News