There’s plenty of history between Branden Dawson, Purdue
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org February 8, 2013 8:56PM
Michigan State's Branden Dawson dunks on a fast break during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Minnesota, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 61-50. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Updated: March 10, 2013 6:48AM
Mackey Arena figures to be an emotional storm for Saturday night’s game between Purdue and No. 12 Michigan State, with Spartans sophomore swingman Branden Dawson once again at the center.
Last season in East Lansing, the Lew Wallace graduate — and McDonald’s All-American the Boilermakers had highly coveted — jawed at Matt Painter (who admittedly responded, understandably).
Earlier this season at the Breslin Center, there was an incident between Dawson and Purdue junior Travis Carroll, in which Dawson either took a swing at Carroll or simply thumped his own chest in celebration of a teammate’s 3-pointer. No disciplinary action was taken, though the Boilermakers (12-11, 5-5 Big Ten) have maintained little mystery in their belief it was warranted.
“If you watch the video, it speaks for itself,” Painter said, before continuing. “But, to me, it was disappointing for us, because we missed layups, we missed free throws, we start to complain, we break down. We have to worry about what we can control, and we didn’t do a very good job of that.”
Painter was referring to Purdue’s 84-61 loss to Michigan State (19-4, 8-2) on Jan. 5. The Boilermakers led 39-38 with less than 16 minutes left, before unraveling. It included Anthony Johnson getting called for a dead-ball technical foul for throwing an elbow, A.J. Hammons plunging into foul trouble on at least one debatable call, and Terone Johnson and Dawson receiving double-technicals with 6:30 left — 23 seconds after the Dawson-Carroll situation.
“It’s not that big a deal to me,” Painter said. “You learn as a coach what you’re going to put your attention toward. I was upset about how we handled some things that went against us. We had some guys after (the Dawson-Carroll incident) that wanted to fight — literally wanted to fight — but we get beat by 25 points. If they want to fight so much, why can’t they get a rebound? Why can’t they keep their man in front of them? They just took us to the woodshed right there. They out-toughed us, out-manned us, got into us. We’ll see. Our guys can sit in that huddle and say what they want, but they have to do something — play the game the right way, be physical and try to give ourselves a chance to win.”
And the Boilermakers have lost four straight games to the Spartans, including 76-62 last season in West Lafayette.
“From here on out, any win is what we need, but especially a signature win like this would be great for us,” senior swingman D.J. Byrd said.
Byrd was suspended for last season’s game at Mackey and Kelsey Barlow had been dismissed from the team. Before that game, the “Paint Crew” received an email from the Big Ten office regarding the student section not singling out particular players (clearly in reference to Dawson).
“We have to do a better job of doing our part and playing harder, and trying to get a win,” Painter said. “You go out and you compete and you play, and things happen. It’s part of competitive basketball, that guys are going to get into it, guys are going to sometimes square off. We’re trying to do a better job on the scoreboard, and try to keep our composure.
“Last game (at Michigan State), we lost our composure. It was a close game, and all of a sudden, we had some things go against us, and then our guys got all worked up, and they missed layups, they missed free throws, they missed defensive assignments, and now Michigan State gets in transition and is hitting 3s, getting dunks. What did you learn? What I tried to get our guys to understand, if you lose your composure, you lose the game, and we came here to win, and that didn’t happen.”