WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue looked noticeably different in a variety of ways on Sunday against Hofstra in comparison to Friday’s season-opening 70-65 loss against Bucknell.
The players – at least some of the starting ones – were different. Their effort was different. And most importantly, the result (an 83-54 victory) was different.
“We pushed some buttons to get some guys right,” Boilermaker coach Matt Painter said. “At times you don’t know if it is going to work or not, but you knew what happened before didn’t work.”
In Friday’s defeat, Purdue (1-1) was outrebounded 36-33 and allowed Bucknell to score 43 second-half points.
In Sunday’s win, the Boilermakers, with a pair of new starters, dominated the glass (50-22) and were never threatened following the opening couple of minutes.
“Rebounding was one of two things that we put an emphasis on,” Purdue center Sandi Marcius explained, “and being more patient on the offensive end.”
Marcius was in his regular starting position, but Painter decided to go with a pair of new guys, as opposed to Friday’s lineup. Regular starting guard, Terone Johnson, has been battling an ankle injury and didn’t start either game, and in his place on Friday was redshirt sophomore Anthony Johnson. However, on Sunday, Fort Wayne native Rapheal Davis earned his first career start in just his second collegiate game.
“Coach Painter has been doing this for a long time,” Anthony Johnson said. “He knows what he’s doing. With that being said, we did lose (Friday) and he’s trying to wake us up.”
Davis was joined in the back court by fellow freshman Ronnie Johnson, and redshirt freshman Donnie Hale started at forward for the second consecutive game. The biggest surprise was the fact that senior guard D.J. Byrd did not start, as he was replaced by senior guard – and former walk-on – Dru Anthrop.
“The guys that started for us did a good job for us,” Painter said. “We didn’t get off to a good start the other night.”
Regardless of who started for Painter on Sunday, virtually everyone was effective and got ample opportunity. A dozen Boilers played double figure minutes.
Anthony Johnson paced Purdue with 14 points, while Marcius chipped in 11 points and five rebounds. Ronnie Johnson had an all-around solid game with nine points, seven assists, and six rebounds.
Davis scored eight points and pulled down seven rebounds, while freshman center A. J. Hammons added eight points and four rebounds.