After-thoughts from Iowa’s 104-68 loss to Purdue:
--You could tell almost from the very beginning that it just wasn’t going to be Iowa’s night. All sorts of improbable things happened very early. Trevion Williams, Purdue’s 270-pound center, picked the pocket of Iowa guard CJ Fredrick and went in for a layup. Aaron Wheeler, who had made just one of his previous 25 3-point field goal attempts, calmly drilled one. Evan Boudreaux, who has the hairline of a 50-year-old and who averages 4.3 points per game, began raining in shots from all over the court and reeled off seven straight points all by himself later in the half. The omens were there. It as going to be a disastrous evening.
--While Purdue had a remarkable shooting night — it shot better than 60% from the field and 55% from 3-point range in each half — Iowa’s players admitted they gave the Boilermakers way too many wide-open looks and played with a total lack of defensive energy for one of the few times all season. Ryan Kriener used the word “flat.’’
--Although Iowa’s Luka Garza continued to pile up points — he had 26 — the junior center grabbed only one rebound in the game and that came at the offensive end in the second half. But, as Garza pointed out, it’s not as though he had a lot of opportunities where he fumbled the ball or anything. “There wasn’t many defensive rebounds because they weren’t missing many shots,’’ Garza said.
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--Purdue’s players still came away impressed with Garza but said one of the keys to the game was limiting Joe Wieskamp and CJ Fredrick, who each had 8 points after getting 18 apiece in the previous game. “Oh man, that’s a big dude,’’ Williams said of Garza. “It was going to take a team effort to stop him … I think not letting those other guys get involved was a big thing for us.’’
--The 36-point margin of victory was Purdue’s largest ever against a ranked team. Oddly, the previous high of 29 was achieved in two games earlier this season, against Michigan State and Virginia. The Boilers’ 61 first-half points are the most by any unranked team against a ranked team since 2001.
--Despite the embarrassing loss, Iowa’s players appeared to handle it the right way. They said they will put this behind them quickly and move on. “We’ve just got to take what we’re feeling right now and channel that into the game moving forward,’’ Wieskamp said. Fran McCaffery added: “It’s one game. We got our ears pinned back. You’ve got to grow and be better in the next one.’’
--It’s probably good that the next game is against one of the Big Ten’s worst teams, which defeated the Hawkeyes earlier in the season.’’ A home game against Nebraska may be exactly what they need to get back on track.
--It almost would be tempting to just burn the video of this game and not review it. The Hawkeyes probably could put it behind them more quickly that way. “Knowing our staff, we’re watching the film …’’ Kriener said. “It’s not going to be very fun. With the young guys, I might tell them get a snack, get a drink and get ready, and learn from it.’’