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March 9, 2012

Jackson gets double-double; OSU notes

INDIANAPOLIS - Lewis Jackson had the first double-double of his Purdue career on Friday night.

He wasn't exactly sure how to feel about it, though, after it came in an 88-71 loss to Ohio State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Jackson had the second 10-assist game of his career and added 10 points. He had only one turnover in 33 minutes.

"It's kind of a little bit special because it's my first double-double and they are a top team in the country, so I guess from that standpoint, it's great," he said. "But it's not going to set in until probably a couple days."

Jackson started the game hot, using his quickness to beat bigger players to the rim, and made four of his first six baskets. He also had seven assists in the first half, including back-to-back passes that led to D.J. Byrd three-pointers to keep Purdue close.

His 10th assist also came on a pass to Byrd, who then drilled a three-pointer in the corner late in the game.

"That's what he's been doing for four years," Ryne Smith said. "I'm glad to have him as our point guard and I'm really excited to see what he's going to do in the NCAA Tournament. I know he's going to be ready. He's obviously our emotional leader. He was great tonight."

Jackson insists he will, in fact, be ready for the NCAA Tournament.

Even though he may not be healthy.

With less than five minutes in the game and Ohio State up 75-61, Jackson drove the lane and had Aaron Craft waiting for him. Jackson took the contact on the way down and smacked to the floor, trying to use his right hand to brace his fall. It didn't work well.

Jackson immediately grabbed his wrist and he was flat on his stomach on the court while Ohio State players ran the opposite way - Jackson was whistled for a charge on the play.

Jackson stayed in the game but was holding his wrist on that next defensive possession. He seemed to favor dribbling with his left hand in the few minutes afterward, though he did use his right for a hard take to the basket.

"It's sore right now," he said after the game. "I'm hoping it's nothing. Obviously, when we go back, doc said we'll look at it and makes sure nothing pops up on Monday. I'm hoping it's nothing, but it hurt pretty bad when I landed on it."

There's also a fear he reaggravated a previous injury to the wrist. Jackson said while he was in high school, he chipped a bone in his wrist and never got full motion back in it.

"Sometimes it gets stiff, and I know when it's a problem," he said. "But falling on it, it kind of reminded me of that."

Looking ahead
It's likely with one victory in the Big Ten Tournament and a loss to a top-10 team, the Boilermakers will stay near their largely projected eight or nine seed for the NCAA Tournament.

If that seeding holds true, it'd mean Purdue would have a top seed looming in the second round.

Not that they were worried about any of that on Friday night.

"Seeding doesn't much matter to us," Smith said. "You're going to have to beat good teams in the NCAA Tournament either way. The parity in college basketball is unreal right now. We're going to go wherever they send us, and we're going to show up and play hard."

Jackson said he hasn't paid attention to any of the bracketology projections this season: There were more pressing needs. Like going on a run to actually have a chance to make the tournament.

"It's been a funny year," he said. "Talking to the older guys, I think the lowest I've been is a fifth seed (and you) kind of just always hear about it on ESPN. This team, what all we went through, we were just trying to make sure we got in position.

"Honestly, once you get in, that's all that matters. This team just has to be ready to play wherever they send us and just know we can do something special."

Differing opinions
Matt Painter didn't exactly agree with the way the officials were seemingly letting Jared Sullinger rule the paint without any consequences. Several times, he appeared to be having heated discussions after non-foul calls.

Finally, with 16:22 left in the game, he got penalized for it. Painter was given a technical. Sullinger took the free throws and made them both, giving Ohio State a 48-41 lead.

"One of their bigs was just grabbing our players out in the open on ball screen defense, and I just pointed it out while he had two hands around him," Painter said. "I said, 'He's got both his hands around him,' and he stares right at it and ignores it.

"I can't repeat what I said to him (after that)."




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