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What Did We Learn: Purdue


Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

  • Purdue is a matchup nightmare for this Indiana team. I could have written this long before the game started (and maybe I did) because Indiana has nothing close to an answer for Purdue's size down low. At least, not as long as Hanner Mosquera-Perea remains sidelined. Y'all say what you want about HMP but he certainly had the ability to win a handful of one-on-one matchups with these guys thanks to his length. Purdue, somewhat unbelievably, actually stuck to what worked and ran the offense through Hammons and Haas.
  • It's incredibly disappointing and frustrating that this team let a bad Purdue team drill them twice in a row. Listen, Purdue played incredibly tonight, and I give them heaps and heaps of credit for how they performed, but that does not change that Purdue is likely missing the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year, are ranked in mid-70s on KenPom and don't possess any great wins. Purdue's atmosphere was incredible, and it sure looked like it was getting to the young Hoosiers early in the game. They let the Boilermakers dictate how this game was going to be played and could never get into a groove. People will claim Purdue's defense had everything to do with the poor shooting performance, but the eyes saw guys bricking wide-open threes time and time again. It's one thing to let the big dudes dictate how Purdue's offense goes, there is no answer for that size, but to let them stand in the paint and drive right at them, expecting something other than a block, was insanity.
  • Just like with Michigan State, this stings, but it is -still- just one loss. Indiana is favored (on KenPom) in all their remaining games with the exception of road dates to Maryland and Wisconsin. They can reach 11 wins on the home games alone. Losing to your rival is awful, but this was Purdue's Super Bowl and they treated it as such. Just like last year, it became evident within minutes which team wanted to win this more, and that team won it going away.
  • This team needs Hanner Mosquera-Perea more than we may have ever realized. HMP isn't going to fix everything, but he's going to give Indiana another option down low and may help swing this game when these teams meet again in Bloomington. If nothing else, it's five more fouls to send Hammons and Haas to the line with. But the defensive intensity has to show up at some point. This team is never going to lock down their opponents but if you can't stop the ball when it's Bryson Scott and 4.4 seconds to go full-court, what on earth can you do?
Thankfully, Indiana gets Purdue on a return trip to Assembly Hall, unlike last year. But is there every going to be another good game in this series? Just blowout after blowout, which is fun for the winner but takes a lot of punch out of a rivalry that is pretty much on life support.

Also I've been sitting on this image for awhile and I think it's gonna help out here: