Illinois native Keita Bates-Diop has verbally committed to Ohio State today. The move is a bit of a surprise considering most people pinned Bates-Diops top three to Michigan, Purdue and Illinois. While the 2014 recruit can be considered a blow to Purdue, they still have their sights on Vincent Edwards and a bunch of other marquee recruits. The move could be considered another strike on Illinois as they once again miss out on another big time recruit from the Chicago area that's located right in their own backyard. This might also have an impact on Jordan Ash's recruitment, as he is an AAU teammate of Bates- Diop.
The Boilermakers fell to 1-3 after losing in overtime to Villanova and then losing in the 2K Classic third place game to Oregon State. The team was in position to win versus Villanova before an inexcusably poor flagrant call was made and changed the entire outcome of the game. The Boilermakers followed up the performance with a flat showing versus the Beavers. The biggest issue with the team seems to be shooting. The three main shot takers (Terone Johnson, DJ Byrd, Anthony Johnson) have all been shooting poorly from the field, while freshmen recruit Ronnie Johnson has been abysmal from downtown. Overall the team's free throw shooting and three point shooting have both been horrible and Purdue will need to make improvements across the board. If they shoot only a hair better from the field and post average (at best) numbers from the line, Purdue is likely 4-0 and in much better shape.
After a very slow start Purdue's offense turned it into high gear on two long plays by Hunt and Bolden, the former a screen pass turned into a 60+ yard touchdown and the latter a 63 yard run only shy of the endzone due to a hamstring injury. After a slow start (and with a horrible third down completion rate) the offense moved the ball well and added about 400 yards. The defense played very well, even though they seemed to loosen a bit whenever they opened up a two possession lead. The defense also forced three turnovers in the first half and kept the Illini from showing much consistency on the day. The win helps Purdue improve to 5-6 coming into the matchup this weekend versus Indiana.