Purdue v. Gonzaga (Game Thread - 2022 Phil Knight Legacy Semi-Final)

tjreese

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In the final game of the night in the Moda Center, it's the #24th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers (4-0) taking on the #6th-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs (4-1) in the second semi-final game of the 2022 Phil Knight Legacy Tournament. This game is schedule to tip-off around 11:30 pm (Eastern time) with television coverage on ESPN. The winner moves on to take on Duke in the Championship game Sunday afternoon in the Moda Center @ 3:30 pm (Eastern time), and the loser plays in the 3rd place game Sunday evening in Veterans Memorial Coliseum against Xavier @ 7:30 pm (Eastern time).

This is the third meeting all-time between the schools and the first in more than 20 years. Purdue won both of the previous contests, the first in the 1998 Pre-season NIT and the more recent in the West Region Semi-Final of the 2000 NCAA Tournament.

Gonzaga won handily last night, defeating Portland State, 102-78. It was an excellent offensive performance for Gonzaga with the Bulldogs shooting over 60% from the field and 50% from three-point range. Six players were in double figures, led by 23 points from Malachi Smith off the bench, and 18 from Drew Timme. Hunter Sallis had 12 points and six assists off the bench as well. Purdue had a balanced effort last night in knocking off West Virginia, led by Zach Edey with 24 points and Mason Gillis with 14 points. The Boilers shot 51% from the field and made 24 of 28 from the free throw line as well, but they did have 18 turnovers as a result of West Virginia's pressure and physical defense.

Both teams tonight will have a key presence in the paint, and if Purdue can defend Timme well and contain Gonzaga's other offensive threats, they can perhaps make a good game of this contest. Julian Strawther on the wing is also a handful, and a big presence on the glass as well. They'll need to try and control the tempo and do a better job protecting the ball. Gonzaga has been rather poor itself with turnovers, so Purdue may have a chance to get some extra possessions there and on the offensive glass. Gonzaga will try to neutralize Zach Edey as much as possible, but I don't expect they'll change their overall approach. If Zach Edey can avoid foul trouble and force Gonzaga's hand a little, the Boilers will get some good looks from the outside. Purdue's bench will also be a key in order for them to stay with Gonzaga. They'll need an all-hands-on-deck approach and an effort similar to last night.

Expected Starting Lineups:

Gonzaga: Anton Watson, Drew Timme, Julian Strawther, Rasir Bolton, and Nolan Hickman

Purdue: Mason Gillis, Zach Edey, Ethan Morton, Fletcher Loyer, and Braden Smith

___________________________________________________________

Gonzaga will be one of the best teams Purdue will face all season, and the Bulldogs' offensive firepower will be a tall challenge for the Boilers. They will need to play their best game of the year and then some to stay with the Bulldogs. This game will be a good litmus test for Purdue to see what they have and what they're capable of down the line.....a big moment and opportunity for a young team.....can they rise to the occasion?

We shall see in a couple of hours or so.

Boiler up, my friends.

i
i
Somehow I looked, but did not find this thread last night. I love the fight in this team, the mental maturity and intelligence in play. I think Braden showed again,everything I've mentioned before and was simply spectacular. He and Fletcher both were very good as were the whole team, but to have two freshmen play as they did was most impressive. Make no mistake though, this was a "team" win, and I love the play of this team so much better than last year, since I don't do well with cerebral shortcomings in basketball...to a fault at times.

Still, I'm not surprised other than the level of play is higher "quicker" than I thought since the team is so inexperienced overall and a large part of that is having two freshmen that handle the ball the most, and play like 6 year seniors. I have to remind myself that they are freshmen and expect to see at least a "few" freshmen moments sometime.

Purdue got a bit more from the 4 spot and played more like many thought they would. Team has shown poise, fight and grind and so enjoyable to watch!
 

Do Dah Day

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Smith sets the tone and the team personality/identity. Smith and Morton are like 2 coaches on the floor. Edey is a candidate for player of the year with those numbers.

Some other player notes for the game:

Gillis had a slow start from outside but he hit some clutch 3s late in the second half.

Morton is gaining more confidence with each game. He made a few great drives and a clutch 3 in the second.

Furst gave us a spark with his hustle. He had a couple big jams and a big 3. He might get called for hanging on the rim though 😀. It reminded me of the Villanova game last year.

Loyer was our early offense. He plays like a senior.

TKR’s strength gave them issues underneath.

Newman plays with swag this year. His dive into a brewski is another one to put in the highlight reel of the teams effort.

Jenkins with an off night. Hopefully he can get his swag back in the Duke game.

Waddell with 3 minutes. Saving him for Duke.
I agree~!
 
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tjreese

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Others have defined it as what allows unathletic players to compete. I define it as knowing (anticipating) what is going to happen before it happens. Understanding the flow of a game.
I can agree with all of that. I could add creating the conditions you desire. It is also what makes the game fun to play, makes the team enjoyable to watch and for the opponent to beat you, rather than you just losing the game.
 
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tjreese

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Me thinks that our ceiling may be higher than we ever thought for this team. We have some players
Don’t put me in that we 😊. I always thought they would be better than last years team towards the end of the season. Just didn’t know how quick before they got so good. This is a very cerebral, skilled team with decent athleticism that is deep with good size that can score in all three areas and give it their best efforts on D

All that said, the season is just starting and the inexperience is still that…
 

tjreese

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My god smith is amazing

This is how a PG is supposed to play.. downhill and toward the basket breaking down the defense.
Braden is selective when he drives . He picks his spots and controls the game and is unpredictable since he surveys the court and the read of the defense dictates what he does since he is athletic and skilled enough to be unpredictable. He is solid and happy he is at Purdue
 

BoilerAndy

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Braden is selective when he drives . He picks his spots and controls the game and is unpredictable since he surveys the court and the read of the defense dictates what he does since he is athletic and skilled enough to be unpredictable. He is solid and happy he is at Purdue
I looked up "Basketball IQ" in the dictionary and there was a picture of Braden Smith.

Then it said, "Also see Fletcher Loyer."
 

Do Dah Day

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Don’t put me in that we 😊. I always thought they would be better than last years team towards the end of the season. Just didn’t know how quick before they got so good. This is a very cerebral, skilled team with decent athleticism that is deep with good size that can score in all three areas and give it their best efforts on D

All that said, the season is just starting and the inexperience is still that…
I had those same thoughts. Last year's team was "different" in my mind. Never could put my finger on it ...
 
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Do Dah Day

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OT and random, but Painter has basketball coaching IQ ... last year he was as befuddled as he could be with the team ... this year, not so much! Thus, why he loves to recruit coach's kids! Let the comments begin
 

tjreese

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OT and random, but Painter has basketball coaching IQ ... last year he was as befuddled as he could be with the team ... this year, not so much! Thus, why he loves to recruit coach's kids! Let the comments begin
Jaden had to be very difficult to coach and nothing to do with him being selfish or a bad kid. He wanted to win and liked his team, but he was very immature as a player. great kid, just immature in the game. Still at any second he could flip a game. Matt knew future recruiting could be affected by Jaden's play. Jaden was a early pick who appears to be doing very well in a "different" game. He was picked high due to his potential much more than his results.

Trevion said all the right things, but not sure he was totally fine with losing minutes as an accomplished senior. Trevion ventured out a bit to show the NBA he could pass and play further out, but there wree times he needed to be closer to the blocks. Both were aware of the NBA. Both great people, especially if Trevion has his fries, ;) but the chemistry went south. The play last year was not smart quite often and for Matt who wants cerebral "players" there were some brain dead play at times. Nobody to blame...just chemistry that went away a bit. It was just one of those teams Matt knew could be sooooooo much better than they were and no doubt very frustrating for Matt as you said.
 

Do Dah Day

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Jaden had to be very difficult to coach and nothing to do with him being selfish or a bad kid. He wanted to win and liked his team, but he was very immature as a player. great kid, just immature in the game. Still at any second he could flip a game. Matt knew future recruiting could be affected by Jaden's play. Jaden was a early pick who appears to be doing very well in a "different" game. He was picked high due to his potential much more than his results.

Trevion said all the right things, but not sure he was totally fine with losing minutes as an accomplished senior. Trevion ventured out a bit to show the NBA he could pass and play further out, but there wree times he needed to be closer to the blocks. Both were aware of the NBA. Both great people, especially if Trevion has his fries, ;) but the chemistry went south. The play last year was not smart quite often and for Matt who wants cerebral "players" there were some brain dead play at times. Nobody to blame...just chemistry that went away a bit. It was just one of those teams Matt knew could be sooooooo much better than they were and no doubt very frustrating for Matt as you said.
KaBINGO!!! I could not have said it better!!!