Time To Have A Short Memory

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As anyone can imagine, it was a long bus ride home from Cincinnati on Saturday night. What almost turned out to be a spectacular week for the Purdue men's basketball team ended with a thud in the 66-63 loss at 11th-ranked Xavier.

It's hard to sugarcoat a loss like that. But it happened, so you move on.

Some people have suggested that it was a devastating loss. I tend to disagree. In my mind, it's a loss. Nothing more.

Most people have short memories. This isn't football, where a single loss can cripple a season.

North Carolina, the overwhelming choice to win the national championship, has two losses. So do Michigan State and Wisconsin. There is plenty of time to recover.

The bottom line is that it's upsetting to many how the game was lost. Understand something: the players take it the hardest. I saw that after the game and on the bus ride home. Nothing has to be said. We have enough veterans to put this game behind us.

In sports, it's important to move on to the next game, regardless of the last outcome.

Remember a few years back, when Duke manhandled us at Mackey Arena? It was a bitter pill for the players to swallow, but they responded. I'm confident this group will, too.

So, what's next? We have to get back in the win column, first and foremost. We need to work on things that are giving us trouble.

Our bigs need to get us more than three rebounds a game, and there are players in our rotation who need to improve their free throw percentage. Finally, we have to keep the other team out of the double bonus with silly fouls.

All these things are correctable. Purdue won't play a ranked team until the end of the month, but will still have plenty of competition. Work on the things that have to be corrected, stay together as a team and try to get better.

Oh, and learn from your mistakes. I'm here to tell you that no one will care about last Saturday's game in two months if you're playing good basketball.

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