The minute after: Purdue – Inside the room



Ryan Corazza

Thought of a 70-55 loss to Purdue:

The successes continue to arrive for your Hoosiers 2018-2019, the last blow delivered by rival Purdue inside a Mackey Arena on Saturday afternoon. Today's loss marks Indiana's fourth straight game. The Hoosiers are now below .500 in conference (3-4) and only 1-5 on the road this season.

The emerging Boilermakers did not play the lights in this one, but they did not have to do it against an Indiana squad that was struggling to find an identity on the ground. It is still true that the Hoosiers are still among the most efficient shooting teams in the country, as they entered the contest today with the 12th best effective field goal percentage (56.4) and the seventh best field goal percentage of 2 points (58.0) in the country.

But Tim Miles and now Matt Painter have laid out the plan for how to eliminate Indiana's efficient score in the bucket. Pack the paint, keep them out of the lane and turn them into handles.

While Indiana's three-point shot has improved in Archie Miller's second season, it's still not good enough to bury the opponent. And it has been particularly terrible in his last two contests, as the Hoosiers have shot a combined total of 6 of 34 from a distance, including 4 of 20 today. Purdue essentially dared Zach McRoberts, who had not scored since November, to shoot the entire game, leaving him open and bringing in an extra defender where necessary. The native of Carmelo failed his four three-point attempts. Although it should be noted that he did two shots inside the goal.

Romeo Langford has his worst game of the season and the "overrated" songs came from Paint Crew more than once. Langford picked up two early fouls. And when he came back in the first half, a pbad he threw stopped, allowed Nojel Eastern to score on the other end, and then he turned the ball over again. He never found any rhythm in this, he shot just 2-for-10 for four points and was 0-for-4 from the line.

Beyond the regrettable 3-point shots, the Hoosiers returned to the start-of-season form in the free throw department, and only hit 7 of 18 (38.9 percent) of the line. That is simply bad.

Add all and the Hoosiers scored only .87 points per possession for the game. Juwan Morgan (14 points) did what he could against the likes of Trevion Williams and Matt Haarms, although on the other end, Haarms beat him three times in throws to the basket when Morgan paid too much attention to Purdue's perimeter threats. Justin Smith was a bright spot for the Hoosiers in today's offense, who scored 7 of the 8 shots from the floor en route to a season-high 15 points when he scored in several ways.

Indiana kept him close enough to the middle (33-26) to make a game after the break. But when Purdue came out hot from a distance after firing only 1-for-9 in the first half, the wheels practically fell off and Indiana never seriously challenged, as it only touched the rope to another inevitable loss.

Where do the Hoosiers go from here? Tuesday's game at Northwestern is certainly winnable.

But with the way they have spent the past two weeks, can you really expect a victory?

Filed under: Purdue Boilermakers


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