Matt Painter joked that he had to "sit there and take it" at times during Purdue's 78-44 exhibition opening victory over California University of Pennsylvania Tuesday.
The No. 7 Boilermakers delivered a typical first game performance: dominant in spurts and shaky in others in a rout.
A couple things of note:
- Purdue was outrebounded, 43-41, which concerns Painter. He said it didn't matter that his starters all played about 20 minutes. He still expects the other players to compete on the boards. Instead, "nobody did their job on the glass," he said. Chris Kramer and John Hart, both guards, led the team with five rebounds apiece.
- Keaton Grant got the start at point guard for Lewis Jackson, who served the first of his three-game suspension for violation of team and NCAA rules, and looked good. Grant made four of five shots, had five steals, three assists and only one turnover in 19 minutes. He also picked up Cal U's point guard and jammed him all the way down the floor. Grant looks healthy -- finally -- and that's a great sign for Purdue.
- Freshman Patrick Bade looked the least polished of the scholarship newcomers. He made only 3 of 8 shots and many were way off-the-mark in the post. He also looked pretty slow on defense, and that could be an issue. He's really the only substitute at this point for center JaJuan Johnson with freshman Sandi Marcius out with a broken foot. Bade will need to make strides quickly.
- Painter said he doesn't know what the rotation will be yet "because this is the first time we've had this depth." He played the three scholarship freshmen together several times, though he said he didn't want to. He'd rather sprinkle them in with upperclassmen. The freshmen will "never" play together in a regular-season game, he said.
- The first game reveals the videos on the big screen for player introductions. Grant tried to play serious and then cracked up. Robbie Hummel did a pretty ball spin on his finger. Johnson went with the smile. Kramer, though, may be the winner. Not only did he blow a kiss, he also gave a wink. Kramer's take: "I was the last person to do the green screen. I'm like, 'What am I supposed to do?' (The videographer) goes, 'Be creative.' I just put some together, a little wink, a little kiss, just trying to have some fun."