Another game, another frustrating and disappointing loss
. This time, it's the longest losing streak
in the Gene Keady era.
This time, it was Wednesday night to Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Attendance was light; the announced crowd was 11,278, but fans sitting in the upper arena were encouraged to move down to any empty seats in the lower arena -- the first time I've heard that announced in all the games I've seen at Mackey Arena. My best guess is that there were about 9,000 in attendance. And, since I knew I wouldn't be able to attend Sunday's game against Michigan, I tried to sell my ticket on the street before Wednesday's game. For a center-court, upper arena ticket (face value $21), I basically had to beg and plead to get $2. Needless to say, the atmosphere at Mackey is not what it has been in years past -- and Coach Keady's pleas
in the Exponent after the Iowa loss last weekend didn't seem to hit their mark.
UWM used an intermittent full court press to pester Purdue inbounding the ball, and forced several turnovers as a result -- Purdue committed 19 on the game, and I'd be willing to wager that at least 10 of those were directly a result of the press. Unfortunately, that wasn't the main problem, as UWM shot 55 percent from the field in the second half, and 47 percent for the game. Purdue's defensive struggles -- ironic, considering Coach Keady has stressed defense his whole career -- did the team in once more.
Wednesday's game was the first of a slightly easier nine-game stretch in Purdue's schedule
-- ranked second toughest in the nation according to Sportsline's RPI
-- during which they can potentially regain some dignity after a 4-12 start. In my opinion, each of these games is winnable; however, the team seems to need to play a perfect game to win. Perhaps relying more on Carl Landry
is the answer, I don't know. But we will find out soon -- even though neither will get the team anywhere in postseason contention, 11-14 or so looks a lot better than 4-21. Sunday afternoon against Michigan -- on national television (CBS) no less -- is when the Boilermakers will have to dig deep and finally get a win.