– First off, what a tough, gritty effort by MSU. No surprise but 3rd game in 3 days, to play with that kind of heart…says something about these guys. Never doubted we’d see it, but it’s still worth pointing out.
– Down the stretch, Purdue made horrible offensive decisions. Biggie with just a terrible, terrible 3. Recall he did the same thing in West Lafayette and got bailed out by his teammates and a questionable whistle (and questionable non-whistle right before it). Can’t have that. Then Hill on the next possession after Matt missed the free throw. I credit the kid for trying to make a play and that’s a better decision than the 3 from Biggie but still…you wanted someone else to take that shot if you’re Matt Painter. MSU wasn’t perfect at winning time either but relatively speaking, the ball was in the hands of the right people. That made a difference in the outcome.
– Great contributions, particularly in the first half, from a host of reserves. Colby, Tum, Gav, Alvin and Marv all had their moments at both ends of the floor and obviously MSU doesn’t win it without them.
– I give Purdue a lot of credit as well in this sense…they looked whipped at the end of the first half. MSU got into transition and then Purdue started to settle for some bad jumpers and you thought, they’re probably out of gas. To come back the way they did was impressive. I thought Vince Edwards in particular was an absolute load in the second half. He put them on his back and almost got them to the finish line.
– Purdue’s three big men were held to 10-25 from the floor for the game. Both the percentage and the raw number of makes is very, very big and hats off to MSU’s posts for really limiting the impact of the best low post group in the country.
– Two straight days that MSU missed a big free throw late but for the game, you can’t knock the conversion rate. Not a lot of attempts considering how physical of a game this was but 8-9 is tough to beat.
-In a game where the seniors all had their moments, I give the biggest tip of the cap for an individual sequence to Matt Costello. After missing that free throw, to hustle the way he did to get into position to block Hill’s layup attempt? After 3 games in 3 days and having to battle Hammons and Haas all day? Man, that is pure, pure heart.
– Ho hum, Denzel comes up one board shy of a triple double. That might be the most impressive three game run in BTT history when you talk about total impact. He delivered in all three areas in all three games. What a joy it is to watch him play and a huge advantage to have him in Green and White. We have the nation’s best player. This year, that might be enough to trump everybody else.