Game Info / How to Watch:
Who? Indiana Hoosiers (16-13 (6-10), #49 KenPom) at #16 Purdue Boilermakers (23-6 (12-4), #12 KenPom)
When? Tuesday, Feburary 28th, 7:00 PM, ESPN
Where? Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Indiana
Vegas? PURDUE -10
Pomeroy? PURDUE by 11, 16% chance of Indiana victory
So here we are: just a couple of games to go in the Big Ten season and Purdue has the enviable task of getting to sew up a championship by beating their archrival, at home, on Senior Night. Someone has to walk into that hornet's nest on Tuesday night and AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT it's gonna be the Hoosiers.
Indiana doesn't have a great shot, here, that's reflected in the Vegas line and the KenPom projection. Purdue is a better team, enjoying better form, and playing in their own arena. Indiana has to find a way to be six points better in Mackey than they were in Assembly Hall against these guys, and they played pretty well in that game! People always let fly with the "oh it's a rivalry game YOU GOTTA THROW IT ALL OUT" but that's just what underdogs say to make themselves feel better.
(If you're looking for an in-depth look at Purdue's personnel, check our first gave preview, because I don't really want to repeat myself.)
HERE WOULD YOU LIKE SOME FACTORS?
|INDIANA (#33 Adj. Offense)||55.0 (27th)||21.6 (323rd)||37.6 (11th)||34.9 (196th)|
|PURDUE (#15 Adj. Defense)||46.5 (32nd)
||23.8 (8th)||22.2 (2nd)
|INDIANA (#95 Adj. Defense)||47.4 (50th)||16.0 (315th)||28.4 (138th)||37.4 (219th)|
|PURDUE (#22 Adj. Offense)||56.0 (15th)||18.7 (176th)||31.6 (92nd)||33.8 (225th)|
Indiana's defense has actually improved since the first match-up with the Boilers, and that game was (perhaps unknowingly) one of Indiana's finest defensive performances of the season. They held Purdue to 1.01 PPP and were as pitch perfect on Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas as any team had been all season. Swanigan was held to a conference season-worst offensive rating and Haas posted a devilish 6-6-6 (6 points, 6 boards, 6 airballed skyhooks over a guy he was 4-6 inches taller than). In fact, Indiana did a superb job on anyone that didn't have the last name Edwards.
But about that.
Vince and Carsen aren't Purdue's most consistently efficient options but they were unstoppable in the first meeting, combining for 39 of the team's 69 points (nice), had only one turnover between them (it was spectacular, though), and hit 5-10 from distance (rest of the team was 1-11 (!!!) from behind the arc). It was as good of a defensive outing as you could have reasonably hoped for, but the Hoosiers couldn't get enough shots to drop in the end. Indiana's entire stable of guards combined to go 8-36 from the field (4-18 from three). Many of the misses were great looks too, and it was as maddening a loss as the Hoosiers have had all year.
Thomas Bryant was a beast, however, fueled by a monster second half he scored 23 points (3-4 from deep) and spent the majority of crunch time going at and then guarding Swanigan. It was a tremendous match-up that the refs decided we had seen enough of with a little under two minutes to go, disqualifying both big men on a simultaneous block/charge that will forever remain the dumbest call I've seen in a sport. For what it's worth, if you had to call something, I would have called a charge, but I've seen a lot more let go, particularly in that game. In addition, Biggie was falling away in anticipation of contact, just do what every Big Ten official usually does in that situation, the universal "play-on" signal of holding your arms out to your side, typically while a pile of players bleeds at your feet.
STUFF TO WATCH FOR
- Well if Indiana shoots the three well: LEMME STOP YOU RIGHT THERE. It's probably time to retire the idea that "Indiana can win if they shoot the three well" because, frankly, they probably won't shoot the three well. Their shooting percentages from distance since the first Michigan game (hit 7 of 13! Lost by 30 tho) are as follows: 38.1%, 28.6%, 35%, 33.3%, 21.1%, 25.9%, 34.5%, 33.3%. JBJ is 14-40 (35.0%) from distance since returning from injury, which isn't all that good by his standards, and in his last seven games, RoJo is 7-37 (18.9%) which is horrific by anyone's standards. You know what Indiana is really good at? Hitting two-pointers (54.6% 2PT, 25th) so maybe shoot more of those instead. Easier said than done against a Purdue team holding teams to 45.2% (38th) but I'd rather predicate the game plan on something Indiana is good at rather than hoping they'll get hot from the arc on the road against the presumptive conference champs.
Well if Purdue shoots the three well: We're probably screwed. As mentioned earlier, the Hoosiers did a good job at the arc in the first meeting, not letting guys like Ryan Cline and Dakota Mathias get clean looks. Against teams as good as Purdue, teams as flawed as Indiana have to pick their poison. I think it was wise to focus on locking down the perimeter shooters / post players and taking their chance that the Brothers Edwards (not actually related) wouldn't consistently punish them for it. On a percentage basis, that was your best shot, credit them for making Indiana pay for it anyway. If Cline or Mathias shake loose early, it's going to be a long night.
- De'Ron Davis could be the key: He was limited by injury (and rather ineffective) in the first meeting, but Davis has started to push for heavy minutes in the rotation since and could give Indiana the ability to actually match Purdue (from a physicality standpoint) when they're playing Biggie and Haas together by going equally big with their lineup. Davis gives Indiana the true post player to bang down low with Haas, freeing up Bryant to play as a stretch and roam around the court with Swanigan, while Juwan Morgan or Freddie McSwain can check Vince Edwards. The Hoosiers have often had to surrender size in their recent games against Purdue, but it won't be an issue this time around. So ... there's one thing.
Anyway this is a rivalry game and you gotta throw it all out: ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN FAM JUST PLAY BALL AND GET THAT DUB WE'RE GOING ALL THE WAY AND MATT PAINTER HASN'T WON AN NCAA TOURNAMENT GAME SINCE 2012 AND ALSO HAS LESS BIG TEN TITLES THAN TOM CREAN.