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Purdue at Indiana Game Preview: Hoosiers try to shock the world with a signature win over the Boilermakers

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It will take nothing short of the best performance of the Archie Miller era to pull off a win this weekend.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Who? Indiana Hoosiers (12-9 (5-4), #92 KenPom) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (20-2 (9-0), #3 KenPom)

When? Sunday, January 28 at 3:30 PM EST - FOX

Where? Assembly Hall, Bloomington, IN

Vegas? TBA

Pomeroy? Purdue 78-65, 13% chance of Indiana victory

_____________________________

[sim-to-end]

Following the loss to Illinois, it all ended for the Hoosiers. Whatever scant hopes you held onto that Archie would engineer some massive turnaround, rack up double-digit B1G wins and get this ragtag group of players to fall ass backwards into the First Four evaporated in Champaign.

The team isn’t good this year.

And that really doesn’t need to mean anything more than it says. I like Archie as a coach. I have a deep well of faith that he’ll get things turned around. I don’t think this roster was constructed in a way that was conducive to success this year and that was before I found out literally every single shooter would regress and De’Ron Davis would miss half the year. God bless Juwan Morgan’s breakout campaign, I don’t think this team clears six wins without him.

Unfortunately, we won’t have a real-life sim-to-end option. Transition years are tough on everyone. The new coach is trying to make the players he didn’t pick play the way he wants to play while the players are now trying to fit into a system they didn’t sign up to play in. It’s been an exhausting year that is still at least ten games from its conclusion and we’re still contractually obligated to invite the Boilermakers to town.

And it’s probably gonna suuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

FOUR FACTORS

- eFG% TO% Off. Reb % FT Rate
- eFG% TO% Off. Reb % FT Rate
INDIANA (#98 adj. offense) 51.2% (152nd) 18.3% (136th) 32.3% (86th) 36.6% (102nd)
PURDUE (#10 adj. defense) 44.5% (10th) 19.2% (150th) 28.2% (137th) 22.7% (4th)
-
PURDUE (#3 adj. offense) 59.8% (4th) 16.7% (47th) 29.9% (145th) 35.0% (142nd)
INDIANA (#110 adj. defense) 51.2% (197th) 20.1% (105th) 29.3% (196th) 31.8% (138th)

My GOD.

These Boilermakers have the goods. Their similarities to 2013 Indiana are insane. LOOK AT THIS NONSENSE:

2013 INDIANA: 1.21 PPP on offense, 0.92 PPP on defense, 3rd on KenPom

2018 PURDUE: 1.23 PPP on offense, 0.92 PPP on defense, 3rd on KenPom

Really the only blemish you can find on Matt Painter’s squad is they’re a little bit more untested than you would expect a Big Ten team to be, but that’s not really their fault. They’ve played one team inside KenPom’s top-15 and that was a loss to Tennessee before Thanksgiving. That Indiana Hoosiers side played ten such teams, going 6-4. Granted, the Big Ten was the nation’s best conference in 2013 and it wasn’t particularly close, clearing the field by almost 4 entire points in adjusted efficiency margin. Whereas, this year the B1G is in 5th, almost 2 entire points behind the SEC.

But that doesn’t make Purdue any less great. They’ve taken this watered-down conference and chugged it. They’re going to finish the season with one conference loss at the most and the only question left between now and Selection Sunday is if they get the #1 overall seed or just a 1-seed, period. The Boilers may never have a better chance to exorcise their postseason demons than they will this year.

They’re as complete of an offense as you’ll see, of their eight regulars, five hit 40% (!!!) or better from beyond the arc, seven have offensive ratings north of 110, and four have assist rates that exceed their turnover rates. Vince and Carsen Edwards are putting together B1G POY campaigns that will probably cancel each other out while PJ Thompson and Dakota Mathias are perfectly content to let the Edwardses dominate the ball and demand the defense’s attention, waiting for a kick out pass or missed switch to shoot (and frequently make) an open three.

And then there’s the large boys.

Isaac Haas and Matt Haarms, both of whom I assume were created in some sort of laboratory deep beneath Mackey Arena, present the most stark matchup issues for an undersized Indiana team that is missing De’Ron Davis. I don’t envy Archie Miller’s job at the moment, as he spends the next 48 hours trying to figure out how you guard a pair of 7+ footers with zero rotation players over 6-7. Juwan Morgan has been Indiana’s “designated center” since Davis went down, but as Indiana’s most valuable player, I don’t think you can risk playing him straight-up on Haas and pick up quick, cheap fouls.

Good luck, Arch!

THREE THINGS

  • Everyone clear out and make Matt Haarms and Tim Priller go one-on-one: We’re starving for content here. Make each team trot out their under-recruited stretch big man for halfcourt some make it-take it. Will this benefit Indiana in any discernible way? No! Will it give us something hilarious to write about during a season that has been exhaustingly devoid of content? Yes!
  • Give me control of @HammerAndRails for the duration of the game: TRAVIS I KNOW YOU’RE READING THIS. Let me drive, baby. No one can roast Indiana better than I can. I’ve got a list of great heckles and fresh material to disseminate among the Purdue faithful. Your fans are -still- trotting out a GIF from like four years ago. It’s embarrassing. Isaac Haas basically ran away scared from Troy Williams two seasons ago– these things have a shelf life of like, a week. Let me resurrect the brand. Let’s build.
  • Remember to have fun and stay hydrated: Our next two games after this are at Ohio State and home against Michigan State. Eat at Arby’s.