Osipoff: Purdue football, hoops thoughts
By Michael Osipoff firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3137 December 26, 2011 11:06PM
Kamil Janton, Jacob Lawson
Updated: January 28, 2012 8:13AM
The Purdue football team was winding down its preparations for Tuesday’s Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Western Michigan.
The Boilermakers held their final practice, a one-hour workout on Monday morning at Ford Field in Detroit, treating the day as they would a Friday in advance of a Saturday game.
“I thought they did a good job of focusing up and getting lined up right, and executing what we had to get done in a Friday practice,” Purdue coach Danny Hope said.
“Going to a bowl game and winning a bowl game are two different things. Right now, we’re 6-6 and we’ve had a successful season, but a winning season and a successful season are two different things. All of those things are on the line.”
As the Purdue basketball team gets set to begin its Big Ten schedule, coach Matt Painter would like to see the Boilermakers sharpen their collective mental acuity.
That aspect particularly comes to the forefront as the Boilermakers play three of their first four conference games on the road, starting with at Iowa on Wednesday.
“Just playing smarter for us is going to be important,” Painter said on Monday. “Understanding the scouting report, understanding the other team’s personnel, taking care of the ball in crucial situations, and knowing where the ball is supposed to go in crucial situations. We still have a lot of room in terms of just thinking the game.”
The Boilermakers returned to practice on Sunday after four days off, and neither senior point guard Lewis Jackson nor redshirt sophomore center Sandi Marcius participated.
Jackson’s absence was not associated with his ailing back, as a family member had to go to the hospital. He was expected to practice on Monday.
Marcius, however, continues to be bothered by a left calf injury, and his status for the game against the Hawkeyes was uncertain. He missed Purdue’s victory against IPFW on Dec. 20, with Jacob Lawson getting his first career start; the freshman could be in position to start again.
“Jacob’s done a good job,” Painter said before the team practiced on Monday. “I’ve said all along, he’s played starter-like minutes.
“I just kind of roll with the punches. I’m that way in general. If I go out there and some guy says he can’t go, I cross his name off, and the next guy’s up. That’s kind of the philosophy you have to have. The next man in line has to be ready to play.”
In his first start, Lawson was limited by foul trouble against the Mastodons.
“Be in the right position,” Painter said. “Be in a stance — he’s never in a stance. He rarely jumps to the ball. He’s always behind the play, he’s always out of position. His athleticism allows him to block shots and make plays. He’s done a good job; he just has to do a better job of being in position. And he thinks he doesn’t foul — that makes it worse — but he fouls all the time. He has to do a better job of just being in a stance, jumping to the ball and being ready to play the game.”
The Purdue basketball team came through final exams without any academic issues.