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Boiling Point

  • Hammons to return to Purdue
    WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue basketball fans' stress level has been eased somewhat after 7-foot center A.J. Hammons announced Wednesday afternoon that he will return for his junior season after considering entering the NBA Draft.
  • Purdue signs point guard from Indianapolis
    WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue has signed a high school point guard from Indianapolis after two-year starter Ronnie Johnson decided to transfer.
  • Purdue's Clemons earns award
    Purdue women's basketball forward Liza Clemons, a former Elmhurst and Snider standout, is one of four recipients of the Brady Sports Achievement Award, which honors Indiana student-athletes who have overcome injury or hardship.

Purdue men, women lose on road

Some thoughts after watching all of men's game (a 70-67 loss at Minnesota) and a bulk of the women's game (a 60-46 loss at Wisconsin) on TV from the office tonight:

E'Twaun Moore and Brittany Rayburn need to snap out of their shooting slumps.

  • Moore is mired in one of the toughest stretches of his career. In his last three games, Moore has made only 9 of 39 shots and scored 20 points. He had comparable three-game stretches twice as a sophomore (9 for 27, 30 points and 7 for 31, 25 points). Yes, he's doing the "other things" -- he had seven assists and five rebounds against Minnesota -- but he's a pivotal part of the offense who needs to produce points. His shot just has been off of late. He'll have shots rim out at points then miss badly on others.
  • Rayburn, a junior, missed all seven of her shots against Wisconsin and didn't score. She hadn't been scoreless since the second game of her college career. Maybe Rayburn shouldn't even be playing -- she's having muscle/nerve issues in her buttock that limit her movement -- but she is. And, like Moore, she's still rebounding well and getting assists. But the team desperately needs her to score, and she's made only 9 of 47 shots and scored 34 points in the last four games.
Lewis Jackson (15 points, seven rebounds, five assists) is playing great.

  • Wrote last week about how Jackson is playing the best basketball of his career, and he continued that against the Gophers. He simply can dominate in stretches with his quickness and decision-making on offense. At one point in the first half, he kicked to D.J. Byrd for a three-pointer in the corner, got to the rim for a floater and nailed a pull-up off a drive. He should have had another basket in the spurt but instead passed up what looked like a layup after beating his defender. Moore missed the shot.
Women play first game without physical Ashley Wilson, and there may be some concerns.

  • It's easy to look at the poor offensive numbers -- a season-low in points, 19 turnovers and only 38 percent shooting -- in the women's loss. But for much of the game I watched, I thought Wisconsin was a step quicker and just showed more hustle than Purdue. At times I wonder if the Boilermakers are simply out of shape, especially when some players don't seem to fight through screens consistently or are late getting to shooters on the perimeter. There are some players who seem to be giving full effort, but it doesn't appear consistent throughout the lineup.