Perfect Storm

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It is very rare to witness what happened in Clemson, S.C., on Wednesday night.  Competitive teams rarely trail by 20 points at half on their home floors. To be honest, it was probably a perfect storm. The Boilermakers were focused, Clemson not so much. Still, in my career, I haven't seen that happen more than a handful of times.

I will say that the Purdue coaches had their team ready and they were prepared to play against Clemson's best player Milton Jennings because his suspension wasn't known until late in the day. Many times during tape sessions, what is pointed out isn't always executed. I thought Wednesday, the players paid attention and did their jobs.

We also know a performance like D.J. Byrd had can make things much easier on the road. Once Clemson had the scored doubled, the Tigers were playing much of the remaining game out of their comfort zone.

This was an encouraging win for other factors, too. Brad Brownell is a very good coach and he threw the defensive book at the Boilermakers. Sometimes Purdue adjusted, other times it was a chore, but regardless, the experience was important. Coach Painter ended up playing four guards and freshman Ronnie Johnson played his best game of the year.

Speaking of the Johnson's, A.J. has really done well in my estimation. There was a lot of concern earlier in the year he may have trouble running the team at the point guard position, and I feel he's been very solid.

Regarding the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, it surprised me the BIG didn't win after the conferences played to a draw. Penn State has been crippled by losing star Tim Frasier, so losing at home to Boston College wasn't surprising. I did feel that Wisconsin would win at home and Michigan State would beat Miami on the road. Remember though, an unranked Miami team was a slight favorite over the Spartans. The two marquee games, IU-North Carolina and Duke-Ohio State, went according to plan, although the Buckeyes did push the Dukies to the limit in Durham.

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