Thursday, February 15, 2007

On to Purdue!

Well, I just don't rate the Hoosiers' chances very high in terms of beating Purdue in Mackey tonight. But it's possible. Indiana is (overall) a better team, but I think the Boilermakers will be fired up as possible, especially since they've been dwelling on Earl Calloway's comment to coach Matt Painter (I think it was something along the lines of "you shouldn't leave me open" after which Calloway apologized to him) but give Painter credit. He's blown it up into a major talking point, and is using it to get the previously (to this season) listless Boilermakers fired up. The fact that this would be a significant win in the stretch run to the NCAA's doesn't hurt, either.

I think one of the varied reasons Mike Davis was able to hang around so long at IU was his dominance of Purdue. We'll see if Sampson can exhibit that same dominance. I think IU needs to get either this game or the Michigan game for its own sanity, it's had some rough performance lately, and the Hoosiers need to right the ship going into the postseason.

I have posted my individual productivity-efficiency hfbratings of each Big Ten player, through 2/11, ranked 1-111.

Conley & Oden still lead, of course, and DJ's #4, but Tyler Smith and Adam Haluska have made big jumps up the ladder, and Penn State has two guys in the top ten. How are they so bad? Well, as noted in my last post, defense is certainly an issue, but they did almost knock off Ohio State. OSU keeps on getting lucky escapes, I think that'll come back to bite them in the postseason. Penn State's going to be dangerous down the stretch, I think. A close loss to OSU gave IU the conference for a very good run, and could have the same effect for the Nittany Lions.

In per-possession (hpps) rankings, AJ Ratliff is #3 overall, behind only the dynamic buckeye duo. We'll need him playing well, and somebody to step up at power forward, if we're going to get either of these road games this week.


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