Purdue productive in rout
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137, firstname.lastname@example.org December 4, 2012 11:06PM
Prudue's Dru Anthrop, bottom, and Lamar's Rhon Mitchell reach for a loose ball during an NCAA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue defeated Lamar 72-39. (AP Photo/Journal & Courier, John Terhune) NO SALES
The Big Number
9 — Purdue’s wins, with no losses, against current members of the Southland Conference.
Senior guard Dru Anthrop drew praise for his play against Lamar, as he had three points, three assists, four steals and made several hustle plays in a career-high 23 minutes.
“I think it just comes with the preparation,” said Anthrop, who hadn’t played in the team’s previous two games and whose previous career high had been 14 minutes against Hofstra earlier this season. “Each game, know the scouting report, know who we’re playing, try to know tendencies the best you can, just be ready when your number’s called. That’s how it’s been throughout my career — some nights I’m called on, some nights I’m not. But I just have to be ready every time, which I try to do, and I know everyone else does too.”
The former walk-on started the second half.
“I’ve made a huge mistake not playing him,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “That’s one thing as a coach you have to openly admit when you make mistakes, because he simply plays harder than the other guys, he carries out his assignments. He’s just solid, and you need that in a team sport, you need people just being solid. You always trust guys that try to do what you ask them to do…. There’s always a place for somebody that will do exactly what the boss wants them to do. You really don’t value those guys as much as you should until they’re gone. … I’m proud of Dru. A lot of guys would pout when they don’t get opportunities, then when they do get one, they’re not ready; he’s not that way. … When his number’s called, he’s ready to go.”
Lamar coach Pat Knight was asked about Anthrop.
“Solid kid, just one of those glue guys,” he said. “You see him — no offense — he looks like a kid you may pick off the playground or a rec league. But he does everything smart, he doesn’t screw up. … You have to have that guy that takes the garbage out; that guy that doesn’t care about his ego, that doesn’t care about scoring; when he’s open, he can hit the shot, but makes the pass if he’s not.”
Updated: January 6, 2013 10:03AM
WEST LAFAYETTE — That Purdue was going to get back to the .500 mark never was at issue.
The more important question was the fashion in which the Boilermakers were going to do it. Ultimately, not much about them can be gleaned from this game, which took on the feel of an exhibition for a stretch during the second half.
Lamar wasn’t the stiffest competition, but Purdue generally did what it should have done against an overmatched opponent, coasting to a 72-39 win on Tuesday night at Mackey Arena.
First and foremost, the Boilermakers (4-4) made a concerted effort to get the ball inside against the Cardinals (1-7) and take higher quality shots overall, after missing all 17 of their 3-point attempts against Xavier.
“We talked about in practice that we needed to get the ball inside, whether it be throwing it inside or us driving it inside,” said junior guard Terone Johnson, who had 16 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes. “Every time we get two feet in the paint, it seems like we score a lot more than when we don’t get two feet in the paint. So that was a big emphasis tonight.”
Purdue scored 38 points in the paint, and went 4-of-11 from 3-point range, after the goose egg against the Musketeers.
“They’re just in a rut right now; they’re going to come out of it,” Lamar coach Pat Knight said of the Boilermakers’ perimeter shooting. “They have to get confidence from somewhere. So for those (inside) guys to start stepping up is big. Now what’s going to be a good thing for them from a coaching standpoint, you have to pick and choose now. Those guys are getting confidence inside, and you can’t stop both.”
Seven-foot freshman center A.J. Hammons led those post players with 13 points and five rebounds — the Boilermakers outrebounded the Cardinals 50-31, including grabbing another 19 offensive boards — in 20 minutes.
“I thought our patience was better,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “I thought we were more selective, and that’s hard for guys. It’s hard for them to pass up shots they feel they can make, but the percentages say they’re not making them. You have to do what’s best for Purdue, and tonight I thought we did a better job of getting the ball inside and driving in, and just getting a better shot.”
Painter also was relatively happy with the way Purdue followed the defensive scouting report against Lamar, which went 17-of-56 (30.4 percent) from the field. The Cardinals are not known as a 3-point shooting team, and the Boilermakers largely succeeding in limiting penetration, keeping potential drivers in front of them.
“Coach pretty much said if you didn’t do what he wanted you to do, you’d pretty much sit the bench,” Hammons said.
As it was, all 12 of Purdue’s scholarship players had seen the floor by midway through the first half. The Boilermakers substituted fairly liberally throughout the course of the game, with their two walk-ons playing in the waning minutes.