Tag Archives: Purdue

Kelly, Hawkeyes Can’t Quite Stitch Together Win Against Purdue: Hlas Column

(AP photo of Iowa’s Jake Kelly by Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY — With his head bandaged like that of a fife player marching across a battlefield, Jake Kelly knifed for a lay-in with four seconds left in his team’s basketball game Saturday.

With the tape circling his head, the Iowa sophomore guard looked like the proper symbol of the Hawkeyes, a ragtag unit with their best big man (Cyrus Tate) and their point guard (Jeff Peterson) both injured and unavailable for duty.

Kelly’s score was also symbolic of Iowa’s day before a lively crowd of 14,665 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The basket pared No. 20 Purdue’s lead to two points, but wasn’t quite enough.

The Boilermakers left with a 49-45 win in a game as aesthetically ugly as its score, but one that certainly wasn’t lacking for ferocity.

It was a defensive tour de force for both squads, one that kept the fans energized despite Iowa’s baskets being few, and so hard to come by.

Kelly typified his team’s effort, not its result. He had to leave the court late in the game when he and Purdue’s Chris Kramer inadvertently butted heads. Iowa’s cut man, John Streif, worked on Kelly to clot the bleeding above his left eye that would later require three stitches.

The player returned and scored the last of his 12 points in the second-half and game-high 19 overall. But again, it wasn’t quite enough. Which is the story of Iowa’s 3-10 Big Ten season.

“If,” Kelly said, “no one would have gotten hurt all year — that’s pretty outrageous to say, but I think it would have been a totally different season.”

You play with what you’ve got. Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter stitched together a 7-player rotation Saturday, got a very productive season-high 32 minutes of 6-foot-7 forward Jarryd Cole in the middle, and had non-point guard Kelly share time at that spot with Jermain Davis in Peterson’s absence.

Throw in a fife and a couple of drums, and you had the portrait of Iowa’s squad.

But Kelly and Cole combined for 32 of Iowa’s 45 points in an offense that wasn’t really an offense. That isn’t intended as an insult, just a reflection about things not being entirely structured when Kelly was at the point.

“I didn’t know any of the plays,” Kelly said, “so we just ran high ball-screen all game.

“We weren’t running like quote-unquote sets, but we knew what we were doing. It wasn’t like we were just going out there and hooping. I don’t think it was like schoolyard ball. Just maybe a little organized than we’re used to playing.”

No, the ball definitely wasn’t the schoolyard variety. You don’t see defense like that from two teams in any driveway or playground, let alone the vast majority of most Division I gyms.

Purdue had to match Iowa’s defense with excellent lockdown of its own to get out of town with its 19th win.

But Kelly kept the Hawkeyes’ fire stoked, even putting them ahead with 6:54 left on one of his several cuts to the basket before he got cut himself.

Forty-five minutes after the game, Kelly had gauze on his sliced eyebrow that looked as gruesome as the game itself. But he didn’t sound like a wounded warrior.

“We had a packed house today,” he said. “We had so many fans supporting us. We’re not going to just give up and not put on a show for the fans. We’re going to work hard every days and we’re going to earn our scholarships.”

Purdue Coach Matt Painter, after collecting his 100th career win, called Kelly “the best player on the court.”

However, the sophomore player and Iowa’s head coach still ended up with their 23rd Big Ten loss in 31 games.

Last year, Lickliter needed more players. A lot of them. This year, he needs more players. A few, anyway. Especially those with size and those who can, as the expression goes, can create their own shots.

The “playing hard” thing and the “buying into the system” deal, those don’t seem to be issues. The Hawkeyes had all sorts of reasons to phone in this game, and instead played harder. Which should have come as no surprise to regular observers of the squad.

The losing wears on everyone, from the head coach to the fan in Row 35. But if nothing else, the right attitude seems to be in place for future success if the talent becomes adequate enough to accompany it.

Kelly certainly seems like a primary piece of the plan for the next two years, if he can stay in one piece. He spent his Saturday night icing the cut eye and a sore hip.

“It’s a hip pointer,” he said. “I fall on it. I’m pretty skinny, so I don’t have much meat there.”

That’s his team, too. Too thin.

Round up some beef on the recruiting trail, Coach Lick. The fans are getting hungry, and hungry people eventually get impatient.

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The Hlist: Everything That Happened Last Saturday in College Football and More

OPENING KICKOFF

“I’ve taken more pills in the last two months than I’ve taken all my life. … I’m not letting anybody get near me with a knife.” — Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, who watched his team’s win at Purdue from the press box because of pain in his hip and leg.

FIRST DOWNS

1. Double Decker: You Iowa fans in the crowd are keenly aware Michigan State linebacker Adam Decker kind of messed up the Hawkeyes’ final offensive play in MSU’s 16-13 win.

Decker stuffed Shonn Greene for a 3-yard loss on Fourth-and-a-foot. He called it the most exhilarating play of his life. His teammates seemed to agree with the way they pounded on Decker’s helmet.

“I had to tell them to stop,” he said. “No, it felt good.”

Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker had a big day of his own. He had 13 receptions for 190 yards in the Gophers’ 16-7 win over Indiana.

Wrote Rachel Blount in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “The Gophers would commit a turnover, or allow (Adam) Weber to be sacked, or fail to give their running backs any room to operate.

“Those stumbles ignited groans that echoed off the wide swaths of empty seats. Then Decker’s sure hands would keep a drive going and defuse the frustration while he tied the school record for most catches in a game.”

2. Flying Tigers: Missouri 52, Nebraska 17.

“That’s what they get for scheduling us for homecoming,” said Tigers tailback Derrick Washington, who rushed for 139 yards in just 14 carries and scored three touchdowns in Lincoln.

“That’s kind of like we’re a bad team or something.”

Missouri has been the Cornhuskers’ foot wipe for decades. The 52 points were the most a Mizzou team ever scored against the Huskers. It was the Tigers’ first win at Nebraska since 1978.

“That wasn’t just about the 2008 football team,” Pinkel said. “It’s about 30 years of fans from around the world and a lot of former Missouri players.”

The Kansas City Star’s Jason Whitlock sees No. 3 Mizzou as something other than bad. His words:

“Gary Pinkel has constructed arguably the nation’s most lethal offense.

“There’s just no way to stop Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman and Derrick Washington. I’m not sure you can slow them. We know Nebraska can’t.”

3. Geeked Up: Before Vanderbilt played Auburn in Nashville, a sign in the Vanderbilt student section proclaimed “Geeks Rule the Turf!” The geeks were omniscient.

Vanderbilt is the smallest and sole private school in the Southeastern Conference. Its 14-13 upset over Auburn was its first triumph over the Tigers since 1955. The Commodores are 5-0 for the first time since 1943.

“This is what coaches live for,” Vanderbilt Coach Bobby Johnson said after the game. “I live to walk into the locker room and see how happy our players are.”

Joe Biddle of The Tennessean: “I didn’t check with Nashville International Airport air traffic control to get official confirmation, but I did see a significant number of pigs flying around Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday night.”

4. Oklahoma is OK: Oklahoma has three FBS football programs.

Tulsa: 5-0, first in the nation in scoring with 56.4 points per game.

Oklahoma State: 5-0, third in the nation in scoring with 52.6 points per game.

Oklahoma: 5-0, fourth in the nation in scoring with 49.6 points per game.

All three average at least 530 yards.

Tulsa is 5-0 for the first time since 1945. Slick Shelley returned a punt for a TD in the Hurricanes’ 63-28 dismantling of Rice on Saturday. The Hlist tells you that for one reason: To get the name “Slick Shelley” in print.

FUMBLES

1. League of Lethargy: Which is rarer these days in Big Ten football, razzle or dazzle?

The five Big Ten games played Saturday had an average of 36 points. In stark contrast, an average of 71 points were scored in the six Big 12 games.

It wasn’t Michigan’s fault Big Ten end zones were so seldom visited. The Wolverines got trampled by cool Juice Williams’ Illinois team in their 45-20 defeat.

“This is ridiculous right now,” Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez rued.

“I’m mad. I’m sorry. What do you want from me? I don’t like losing. I don’t want to accept it. I don’t want anybody in this program accepting it.”

Illinois Coach Ron Zook: “I would say it’s a big, big win for us, but we have to keep it in perspective and understand that every win is a big one,” Zook said. “Michigan had a big win last weekend and understand that in the Big Ten it’s one game at a time.”

The Hlist eagerly awaits Tina Fey’s impersonation of Zook on the next Saturday Night Live.

2. A Basketball State: The state of Indiana, fortunately, still has hoops.

Indiana, Iowa’s next opponent, didn’t get its first first-down at Minnesota until 2:29 remained in the first half. That was Minnesota’s defense, not Ohio State’s.

Purdue’s Curtis Painter, who has started 37 straight games for the Boilermakers at quarterback, was yanked from the game in the fourth quarter of his team’s 20-6 loss to Penn State.

Boilermakers Coach Joe Tiller said Painter’s lone interception was the last straw.

“It was a horrible throw, a horrible decision,” Tiller said. “There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It was really, really ugly.”

But hey, Indiana can also claim Ball State, 6-0 and in the AP Top 25 for the first time ever.

3. Tapout: Ultimate Fighting Championship star Chuck Liddell was on the sideline at the Missouri-Nebraska game, wearing a red Cornhuskers jersey.

Liddell co-owns two bars in Lincoln. They undoubtedly got business Saturday night from Big Red fans trying to drink to forget their 52-17 walloping.

“I’m sick to my stomach after this game,” sober NU quarterback Joe Ganz said. “I don’t want to feel like this again. We better get this ship righted. Otherwise it’s going to be another long season.”

Nebraska defensive end Pierre Allen sounded tipsy based on this comment he made after the game:

“We got great talent and great depth. It’s all about executing. We can compete with anybody in the country.”

Well, anybody but Missouri.

FINAL GUN

“How’s O.J. going to find the real killer now?” — radio show host Jim Rome.