Matt Painter called third-ranked Purdue's game with No. 14 Michigan State "a bad basketball game when you get down to it."
Tom Izzo called it "so ugly."
"One team couldn't take care of the basketball," Painter said, referencing Michigan State's 23 turnovers, "and another one couldn't get a rebound to save a life."
That'd be Purdue, which managed only 20 rebounds. Michigan State had 16 offensive, 46 overall in its 53-44 victory.
Rebounding alway is a fight for the Boilermakers, and many figured that'd be the area they'd miss Robbie Hummel most. He was second on the team in rebounds but still considered the team's best rebounder. Hummel can't make up a 26-rebound deficit, but he certainly would have helped.
Purdue's guards seemed to try to rebound -- E'Twaun Moore and Keaton Grant crashed the boards early. But Moore picked up two fouls in the first half, and gone was his aggressive play. Grant dropped a couple chances to get rebounds. They both finished with three.
Kelsey Barlow had none. John Hart had none. Chris Kramer had none, though I did notice Kramer boxing out pretty hard on Michigan State's bigger players on several occasions.
That's not acceptable now. The guards HAVE to give a better effort on the glass.
Still, it's tough to blame them much against the Spartans, who have bigger, stronger, taller guys across the frontline. It was just a tough matchup for Purdue in its first game without Hummel.
When Kramer was asked in the postgame news conference if players were expecting Hummel to rescue them, he said, "You can't expect him to be there any more. That's just part of it. Sure, Rob is another threat out there for us and can do a lot of things, but our team has to keep coming."
- Perhaps most disheartening was how inept Purdue looked on offense without Hummel. Moore and JaJuan Johnson missed shots they've made much of the season, so that has nothing to do with Hummel. But the motion offense the Boilermakers run that has been so smooth much of the season was out of sync. Hummel was a great facilitator, knowing what to do when a defense gave a certain look and how to keep the floor spread. Without him, the spacing in the motion wasn't great at points, and that may have helped Michigan State's defenders pay more attention to Johnson and Moore. And Izzo already admitted to game-planning to take away those players by not guarding some of Purdue's other guys. The least Purdue could have done was to make the Spartans' help defenders race to get to Johnson and Moore instead of easily being able to sag. We'll see if that's better against Indiana.
- Kramer set Purdue's all-time steals record with one in the first half. Check back for more on that on Monday.