Bad feelings from an 0-2 start were erased by a dominating win over Wisconsin over the weekend. However, watching the Boilers claw back against a putrid Northwestern team tonight made me wonder what the ceiling is for this team.
Purdue had to claw back against a Northwestern team that is just 3-35 in their last 38 Big 10 games
The fact is, the rest of this Purdue team doesn't exactly scream Championship contender:
As good as E'Twaun Moore is (and will be), the kid is passive to a fault. He disappears for long stretches and the offense struggles. If he was more aggressive and looked for his shot, he could score 20 a night without breaking a sweat.
Robbie Hummel is a do-it-all player, but he isn't a prolific scorer and can't be relied on to score anything more than 15 points a night.
JaJuan Johnson is improving, but he's still a 25 pounds and 12 months away from developing into a dominant low-post scorer.
Chris Kramer is Dane Fife without a jump shot.
Nemanja Calasan is a 6'9 Charmin-soft shooting guard.
Keaton Grant is a streak shooter, and that's being generous considering he's shooting just 32% from the field this season and 29% from beyond the arc.
Lewis Jackson plays out-of-control at 100 mph in the fast lane while everyone else is going 65.
Marcus Green fills his role well, but he's just that: a role player.
Maybe I'm wrong about Purdue, and maybe they'll win the Big Ten and make an NCAA Tourney run. But, with the vast improvement of the Conference - specifically Illinois, Minnesota, and Penn State - and a brutal stretch coming up (road games at Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio State in a five-game span), Purdue's Big Ten title hopes could vanish early.
They're a year away.