football

Hammons has career day; OSU notes

ThiswaswhatMattPainterhadwantedallseason:A.J.HammonstobethefocusofPurdue'soffenseandthebigmantostayonthecourtlongenoughtomakeitmatter.
HammonsnearlydidenoughtohelptheBoilermakerspulloffamajorupsetonTuesday.
Hetiedacareerhighinminutes(33),hadcareerhighswith16reboundsandfourassistsandhadaseason-high16shots.
HammonsdidsomuchrightagainstNo.3OhioState.Butonestatisticwasglaringaftera78-69loss.
"Iwas6-of-16(shooting).That'sjusthorrible,"saidHammons,whostillhadaseason-high18pointsforthefirstdouble-doubleofhissophomoreyear.
Butit'sencouragingfortheBoilermakers,too.
Painterhasbeenyappingathisguardsallseasontofeedthepostwithregularity,butit'sonlybeenabletohappensporadically.PartiallybecauseoftheguardsandpartiallybecauseHammonshasstruggledtostayoutoffoultrouble.
ButagainsttheunbeatenBuckeyes,Hammonsdidn'tpickuphisfirstfouluntiltherewas6:35leftinthegame,andhisteammateslookedforhimasthefirstoptionoftenwhentheysetupinthehalfcourt.Helargelyrespondedwithstrongpost-ups,andthatgotOhioState'sleadingrebounder,AmirWilliams,infoultroubleearlyandlefthimlargelyanon-factor.
Hammonsshowedwhyhecanbeagoodfirstoptionbecauseofhisabilitytofacilitate.HetouchedtheballonPurdue'sfirstfourpossessionsonoffense,anditledtofourpointsdirectlyfromHammonsandathree-pointerfromRaphealDaviswhenHammonswentinside-out.Hammonsalsohadakeeneyeforotherscuttingthroughthepaint,findingBasilSmothermanandDavisforbaskets.
Whileattackingtheboards,healsodidagoodjobofquicklyfeedingtheoutlettoallowPurdue'sguardstopushitdownthefloor.
"Thisisthefirstgamewe'vedoneareallygoodjobintermsofgettinghimtheballinpositioneithertoscoreortoplayoutofthepost,"Paintersaid."Hisabilitytoreboundwasverygoodanditallowedustohaveanine-reboundadvantageoveraprettygoodbasketballteam.Buttheyweresmallerbecauseoffoultrouble.Hedidagoodjobplayingwithoutfouling,reboundingthebasketball.Iknowhewisheshecouldhaveahandfulofthoseshotsbackbecausehenormallymakesthoseshots.
"ButIthoughthedidagoodjob.Hepassedtheball.Hegotblocks."
Hammonsratedhisplayasonly"OK,"pointingtothosemissedshotsandfourturnovers.
Butalloftheothercategories,includingsix-of-eightfree-throwshootingandfiveblocks,werepromising.
"ToseeA.J.'simprovementovertimeandtohaveadouble-double(Tuesday),he'satremendousbasketballplayer,andhisfutureisasgreatasPurdue'sis,"OhioStatecoachThadMattasaid.
CraftyveteranAaronCraftisoneoftheBigTen'sbestpointguardsandhaswowedMattawithregularityoverafour-yearcareer.Butthesenior'sperformanceTuesdaywasparticularlyspecial.
CraftcontrolledOhioState'soffense,especiallyinthesecondhalf,usinghisabilitytoprobethedefenseandfindteammatesforbasketsasadifference-makerinkeepingtheBuckeyesunbeaten.
Hefinishedwith10assists,zeroturnovers,fourstealsandeightrebounds,allonthedefensiveend.Heplayed40minutes,too.
"ThatperformanceAaronCraftjusthadmaybeoneofhisbest,"Mattasaid."Whatdoyousay?Hispoise,hehadgreatreadsonthepenetration.Iwantedtheballinhishandsbecauseheknewwhereeverybodywasonthefloor.Hefoundguys."
TeroneJohnsonseemedtodothebestatcontainingCraft,whileSterlingCarterandfreshmanBrysonScottseemedovermatched.
Onthefinalpossessionofthefirsthalf,ScottallowedCrafttogetpasthimandthenworkhiswaydownthebaselinebeforehefoundLenzelleSmithforabasketatthebuzzer.
WhenJohnsonheadedtothebenchwithafour-pointdeficitmidwaythroughthesecondhalf,Craftquicklytookadvantage.HedrovepastCarterandzippedapasstoMarcLovingforathree-pointerandthenbeatCarteragainonthenextpossessionoffadrivethatproducedShannonScott'sthree-pointerandCraft's10thassist.ThatspurtgaveOhioStatea58-51lead,oneit'donlybuildonthefinaleightminutes.
"WhatmakesforgoodoffenseisAaronCraft,"Paintersaid."Hisabilitytoprobethedefenseandkeephisdribblealiveandbepatientallowsotherguystodotheirthing.Itallowsgoodspacing.Anytimeyoucanhavethatkindofpatiencefromyourpointguard,itmakesforgoodoffense.
"He'sabletoaffectthegamewithoutscoring,andveryfewpeoplecandothat,especiallywhenyou're6foot."
HandlingadversityAtpointsthisseason,Painterhasn'tthoughthisteamhasrespondedwelltoadversity.
OhioStateproducedanotherscenarioforacollapseonTuesday.
Duringaone-minutestretchinthesecondhalf,Smithgotanand-oneopportunityforthego-aheadbasketonanapparentcontinuationcall,Scottwaswhistledforafoulatmidcourtafterascrambleforalooseball,andLaQuintonRossgotabasket-and-a-foulafterSmothermanwascalledforablockingfoulthatfansthoughtwasacharge.
Inthesamespan,HammonsmissedachippyinsideandScottwasstrippedforasteal.
Beforethestretch,thegamewastied.Afterit,OhioStateled50-46.
ButPainterwasn'tatalldisappointedinhisteam'sreactiontothecrazyspurt.
"Ithoughttheyweregood,"hesaid."Wemadeacoupleyoungmistakesafterthat,butIdidn'tthinkitwasthereactionoverthosecalls.Wehadacoupleill-advisedshots,wehadaturnover,andtheywereabletoscore.ButIdidn'tthinkitwaspeoplebeingfrustratedorupsetaboutcallsthatledtothoseplays.Ithoughttheystoodalone.
"Iwaspleasedwithourguysthewaytheyhandledsomethings."
ClickHeretoviewthisLink.
Copyright,Boilers,Inc.2013.AllRightsReserved.Reproducingorusingeditorialorgraphicalcontent,inwholeorinpart,withoutpermission,isstrictlyprohibited.E-mailGoldandBlack.com/Boilers,Inc.
GoldandBlack.com Mobile for your AndroidClick GoldandBlack.com Mobile for your iPhoneClick Here to view this Link. | Here to view this Link.
1406600
1406601
Click Click Here to view this Link. Here to view this Link.
Edit