Aug. 21, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's basketball team recently returned from a 10-day, four-game exhibition tour of Italy in which it posted a 3-1 record on the court and took advantage of numerous sightseeing opportunities.
The Boilermakers began their trip in Rome before moving on to Florence, Venice and Lake Como, respectively. Among the cultural endeavors the team undertook during the tour were the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and boat tours in both Venice and Lake Como.
Following a tour-opening win over All-Star Italy in Rome, Purdue dropped a tight affair with Lithuanian first-division professional team Atletas Kaunas in Florence. The Boilermakers capped the tour with victories over All-Star Vizenza near Venice and Amici del Campetto near Como.
Davis Efficient in Posting Team Scoring Lead
While Davis took the most shots on the team en route to scoring a squad-high 14.3 points per game in Italy, he was also one of the Boilers' most efficient offensive weapons. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native shot 55.8 percent (24-of-43) from the floor on the trip, best on the team among players with at least 25 field goal attempts. Davis was also solid at the line, sinking 7-of-9 free throws over the four games. In the Boilermakers' win over All-Star Vicenza, Davis was a scorching 11-of-14 (.786) from the floor en route to a game-high 23 points. He was presented with a trophy in a postgame ceremony for his efforts.
Marcius a Force on the Glass in Italy
Marcius was the anchor of a strong Purdue rebounding effort on the Italian tour, leading the Boilers with an average of 10.5 per game. He had 42 rebounds in Purdue's four games, splitting them exactly down the middle between offensive and defensive boards. Marcius' consistency on the tour shows through in the fact that despite nearly averaging a double-double with 8.5 points and 10.5 rebounds, he only actually had one double-double. The Nedelisce, Croatia, native's rebounding totals in the Boilers' four games were 12, 14, 4 and 12, respectively.
Bigs Make Most of Rebounding Opportunities
The four frontcourt players that averaged the most minutes per game on the team's tour of Italy - Marcius, junior forward Travis Carroll, redshirt freshman forward Donnie Hale and freshman center A.J. Hammons - combined to average 30.1 rebounds per contest. Marcius corralled 10.5 in 16.8 minutes per game, Hale averaged 7.5 in 18.8 minutes, Hammons grabbed 7.3 in 16.8 minutes and Carroll recorded 4.8 in 13.8 minutes. The quartet also combined to average of 15.5 offensive boards per outing.
Hale Gets Back to Action with Strong Tour
After waiting nearly a year to get back into game action, Hale was one of the Boilers' strongest players in Italy, averaging 11.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest. He kicked off the trip with a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) in the win over All-Star Italy before leading the team with 19 points on 8-of-11 (.727) shooting in the team's close loss to Atletas Kaunas. The New Albany, Ind., native posted his second double-double of the tour in the team's third game with 11 points and 12 rebounds in a victory over All-Star Vicenza.
Ronnie Johnson Hits the Ground Running
Freshman guard Ronnie Johnson was the catalyst of much of the Boilermakers' offensive success in Italy, directing the team to an average of 93.0 points per game on 48.7 percent shooting as a group. Johnson led the way with 20 assists on the trip, an average of 5.0 per outing, and turned the ball over just six times of a 3.33 assist-to-turnover ratio. In the Boilers' final game of the tour, the Indianapolis native dealt out 10 assists against just a pair of turnovers as the Boilers shot 52.4 percent as a team.
Byrd with Big Shooting Night in Tour Finale
Senior guard/forward D.J. Byrd saved his best shooting performance of the tour for the Boilermakers' final game, knocking down 5-of-7 shots from three-point territory. The Crawfordsville, Ind., native drilled triples on each of the Boilers' final three possessions of the first half to break the game open at halftime. He, Davis and junior guard Terone Johnson shared game-high honors with 16 points apiece.
Anthrop Active on Italian Tour
Senior guard Dru Anthrop saw significant minutes on Purdue's tour of Italy, averaging 15.8 minutes per contest, and the Lafayette, Ind., native made the most of his time. Anthrop compiled a team-high 11 steals (2.8 per game) on the trip. He was also second on the team with 12 total assists and turned the ball over only three times, finishing with a 4.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.