IU has a few days to rest before hosting Illinois on Thursday night. In light of that, a few random thoughts:
- As hoosierdaddynow pointed out in the comments, I can't believe I was remiss in failing to mention Will Sheehey's block of a Lewis Jackson layup attempt. What can I say, I was writing my recap surrounded by screaming kids. It was, without a doubt, the crucial play of the game. Purdue had pulled to within four with about 2 minutes to play, but Sheehey's out-of-nowhere block prevented the game from getting very dicey. From that point forward, IU scored the final 13 points of the game.
- What do we make of the Tom Crean/Matt Painter issues at the end? I got the sense, based on nothing more than watching the game, that Crean wasn't happy that Purdue kept fouling so late, and that Painter wasn't happy about the late timeout that Crean called, with 13 seconds remaining, to get a couple of walk-ons onto the court. Were they yelling at each other on the sideline? I really couldn't tell, but it looked possible. Crean gave Painter the blow-by handshake when Painter seemed to be trying to say something to him. On the other hand, they seem to have resolved the issue pretty well. I don't believe Painter commented on it after the game, and Crean said he had talked about it with Painter in the hallway. Frankly, particularly given recruiting issues, it's unlikely that the coaches at Indiana and Purdue can be good friends. Crean's lively demeanor does tend to rub people the wrong way, which is fine with me, and Painter hasn't done himself any favors over the years with complaining about the on-court demeanor of opposing players publicly (Michigan State's Branden Dawson most recently; Earl Calloway of IU a few years ago). Of course, it was noted in ESPN's hit piece on IU and the A-HOPE organization that Crean suspected Purdue of shoveling dirt, and I imagine we've all heard the rumors of Painter berating kids who have spurned him for other schools. Perhaps it's a step forward for Painter that if he was unhappy, he kept it to himself rather than ranting in the press conference. He is a protege of both Gene Keady and Bruce Weber, so it's really a miracle that he doesn't suck on a pacifier on the sideline.