Monday, March 15, 2010
When Purdue called time-out with 4:33 remaining in the first half of its Big 10 men's tournament game against Minnesota Saturday, the Boilermakers had scored only four points (to the Golden Gophers' 26). How does a highly regarded team -- Purdue came in having won 13 of its last 14 -- score only four points in over 15 minutes of play?
I have listed Purdue's offensive sequences in tabular form below, based on the play-by-play sheet for the game. At the top of each column is the outcome of a possession (e.g., missed layup or dunk; missed other two-point shot). When you see a time listed in a particular category, that's when an instance of that outcome occurred. You can click on the graphic to enlarge it.
Overall, Purdue went 2-of-20 on field-goal attempts. One factor that can contribute to a shooting slump is that a team panics while falling behind and jacks up a bunch of desperation three-point attempts to try to get back in the game quickly. The Boilermakers tried some treys, to be sure, but it doesn't look like they went on an all-out barrage from behind the arc.
Two other factors seemed to contribute to Purdue's scoring drought. First, the Boilers had no midrange game (i.e., ability to shoot two-pointers beyond layup range), missing 12 such shots. Second, Purdue didn't seem to attack the basket much, with only two layup attempts (one made and one missed) and two free-throw opportunities (both missed).
Throw in late February's season-ending ACL injury to key player Robbie Hummel and one can see why Purdue would be having difficulties. The Boilermakers will have to make some quick adjustments to be able to do well in the upcoming NCAA tournament.