Purdue basketball: Boilermakers continue struggles headed into Madison

The Purdue basketball team continues to drop games in ugly fashion without a true team leader. This time they fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the confines of Carver – Hawkeye Arena 83-76.

Carver - Hawkeye Arena

Carver – Hawkeye Arena

Losing Sterling Carter for the year has put a bit of a damper on the scoring side for the Boilermakers. Terone Johnson can only do so much, and Errick Peck is a transfer senior who comes off the bench. The lack of leadership for this team is showing in crucial moments of the game.

When underclassmen try to make plays and end up costing their team multiple turnovers and momentum, then something is wrong.

Ronnie Johnson throws the ball out of bounds attempting to make a spectacular pass on a two-on-one leaving Matt Painter putting his hands on his head in disbelief.

Turnovers, lack of shooting performance from the stripe, and poor aggressive defense killed the Boilers Sunday in Iowa City.

It was not a negative trip though, despite those issues. Five Boilermakers managed to score in double digits making that two straight games in which they’ve accomplished that feat. A.J. Hammons played a stellar game adding a double-double to his resume, putting up 16 points, grabbing 14 rebounds, followed by four blocks.

Rapheal Davis accumulated 18 points. Sharp shooter Kendall Stephens contributed 12 points to the effort. Peck added 12 points in 18 minutes of court time. Lastly, Terone Johnson managed to put up 11 points and five assists.

Sophomore Ronnie Johnson seemed to be the Achilles heel of the team turning the ball over 7 times. Keep in mind the Boilers gave the ball up 16 times.

Purdue did, however, out shoot Iowa from the three point line and the field.

That did not stop senior Devyn Marble from showing why he has NBA potential with the stat line of 21 points, four steals and five assists. Easily the player of the game, he took over Iowa’s offense on multiple occasions.

Aaron White grabbed ten boards, and put up a 15 spot on the Boilers. Mike Gesell produced for the Hawkeyes as well scoring 15 points, eight of which came from the line.

Iowa maintained ball control very well throughout the game only accumulating five turnovers. Their defense was disrupting Purdue’s offense with a zone trap defense. They produced 12 steals out of the Boilermakers 16 turnovers.

Perhaps the Boilers lack of defense lead to fouls trying to catch up, leading to 36 free throw attempts for Iowa. Purdue only shot 21 times. With their lack of confidence from the line they shot poorly again and Iowa made 12 more free throws than the Boilermakers.

Purdue’s offense away from the free throw line is spectacular in the past few games though.  They have scored at least 76 points in three of their last four. With the ability to have five players score double digits makes it hard for teams to stop everybody. This will make fans optimistic for things to come.

The next game for Purdue is going to be a tough match-up as they take on the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison.

Purdue historically has not played well in Madison. The Kohl Center and the student section make it tough for the Boilers to play well.

The biggest issue is how they plan on stopping four players who all average over ten points a game.

Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky are their top scorers both averaging 13 points a game along with six rebounds. They are a scoring threat from all around the court and will be hard to stop.

Ben Burst scores just under 13 points a game and is an excellent free throw shooter making about 90 percent of them. The Boilers need to play smart around him and force him to take hard shots and not put him on the line.

Traevon Jackson is a versatile guard. He averages about 11 points a game, four rebounds, and four assists.

Purdue will have its hands full this Wednesday as they take on the Badgers. Wisconsin is an all around solid team and the Boilers are a wounded animal.

I would be shocked if Purdue is within ten points by the end of the game.

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