It was only one loss.
That's what Purdue players kept telling themselves after their 14-game winning streak was snapped with a loss Saturday at Wisconsin.
But that doesn't mean they weren't itching to get back on the court to see how this team responds.
"It's a little bit of adversity, something we haven't faced yet," senior Chris Kramer said. "Every time we've faced adversity, we've still got a win (this season). This is just extra motivation for us. You can mourn this (loss), take it for what it is and come together. It's all about Ohio State and we've got to keep taking steps forward."
This team would seem to have the make-up to bounce back with five upperclassmen in the starting lineup.
"A lot of us have been here," junior E'Twaun Moore said. "We've lost games before. You've got to stay positive with things. So we've got to approach it as just a little bump in the road, just have to get over it. How you respond to the loss is how you define your team.
"Hopefully, we just come out ready to play.".
Some keys to beating the Buckeyes:
- Defend the perimeter better. Wisconsin's guards "whipped" Purdue's, coach Matt Painter said. The Buckeyes counter with Evan Turner, P.J. Hill, David Lighty, William Buford and Jon Diebler. To help the Boilermakers, point guards Keaton Grant and Kelsey Barlow must avoid foul trouble. Grant played only 18 minutes against Wisconsin.
- Actively box out and chase rebounds. Painter said he was disappointed with his team's effort on the glass at Wisconsin when the Boilermakers got outrebounded by nine. After starting the season competing on the boards, Purdue has been outrebounded in all three of its Big Ten games. "You've got guys by the basket, and they don't even try to go box out. You've got to go put a body on someone and go get the ball. You learn it in YMCA, boys club basketball."
Painter said Monday that sophomore point guard Lewis Jackson is making progress and could return to the court mid-February.
If Jackson & Co. decide that makes sense -- or would rather redshirt.
Jackson had foot surgery before the season and recently has been able to take the boot off his foot. He was dribbling up and down the sideline during Monday's practice, and he's also been shooting some.
"They're trying to work to where he's totally out of the boot and he can do some light running, jogging, some cutting and get him (into) some drills," Painter said. "Hopefully, that will be in the next week and a half or so."
Jackson was on the court shooting around with the rest of the team more than an hour before tip.
Freshman Sandi Marcius also spent some one-on-one time with assistant coach Paul Lusk about two hours before tip, working on post-up moves.