IU basketball game day: Hoosiers look to snap Purdue losing streak as schedule stiffens considerably

Indiana is looking to an end a seven-game losing streak against rival Purdue on Thursday night in Bloomington.

When the Hoosiers last defeated the Boilermakers, Tom Crean was the Indiana head coach, and Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams and the eventual 2016 Big Ten champion Hoosiers were still donning the candy stripes.

Yep, it has been a while.  Head coach Archie Miller is looking for his first win in the series, and IU is looking to end its longest drought against Purdue since 1972.

It is Hoosiers vs. Boilermakers in what is the first of 14 straight against KenPom top-60 opponents to close the regular season.

GAME DAY ESSENTIALS

Purdue (8-5, 3-3) at Indiana (8-5, 3-3)

  • Tip time:  7:00 p.m. ET
  • Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Television:  FS1 (Tim Brando and Donny Marshall)
  • IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith)
  • Series:  Purdue leads 122-89 (Purdue won last meeting 57-49 in 2020)
  • Point Spread:  Indiana is a 3-point favorite
  • KenPom has No. 25 Indiana by 3 points over No. 38 Purdue

Purdue is led by Matt Painter who is in his 16th year in West Lafayette and has a 345-178 record

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MEET THE BOILERMAKERS

Via Purdue Athletics

Purdue is coming off a big win.  The Boilers defeated then No. 23-ranked Michigan State on Friday night 55-54 after rallying from 17 down early in the second half.

Overall the Boilermakers have been solid but not elite on either end of the floor.  Purdue is No. 35 in KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency, and No. 48 on the offensive end.

Junior forward Trevion Williams is the centerpiece of the Purdue attack.  Williams is rated as the No. 8 overall player in the nation by KenPom.com, six spots behind Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis.  That matchup should be highly entertaining to the extent the respective coaches allow it to happen.  Both Matt Painter and Archie Miller are likely to throw everything they’ve got — double teams, traps, digs, you name it — to get the ball out of each player’s hands.

In four Big Ten road games, Williams is shooting 61.1 percent from the field, averaging 18.8 PPG and 9.5 RPG. He is one of two high-major players to average 15.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, and 2.0 apg, and he posts 24.2 ppg, 15.4 rpg, and 3.9 apg per 40 minutes.  Williams outscored Michigan State alone in the second half on Friday (24-23).

“They establish their front court players as well as any team in the country,” Miller said this week of Purdue.  “Their perimeter guys do an unbelievable job of feeding the post, but also playing off it.”

Purdue will do what they can to get Williams and his 7-foot-4 backup Zach Edey going in the paint.  They will play inside out and Williams is a good passer out of the paint.  Edey will be interesting to watch on both ends.  Indiana’s undersized front court will be giving up at least seven inches trying to guard Edey, but the Hoosiers will likely try to draw him out of the paint and into ball screens on the other end.

If Indiana can slow the Purdue big men down, the Boilers will look to throw it out to a host of weapons on the perimeter.

As a team the Boilermakers shoot 35.8 percent from 3-point range.   They have eight players with at least 12 attempts from behind the arc, and six with at least 29.  The biggest threats to make shots from long range of that group are Sasha Stefanovic (49.3 percent), Isaiah Thompson (41.2) and Brandon Newman (40).

According to KenPom.com, the Big Ten’s two-least experienced teams will be playing Thursday. Purdue ranks 326th in experience (1.09 years). Indiana ranks 289th in experience (1.35 years).

Purdue has four of the top 15 freshmen scorers in the Big Ten this season (Newman – 2nd; Edey – 5th; Jaden Ivey – 11th; Mason Gillis – 15th)

Through 13 games, Purdue’s freshman class has accounted for 351 (27.0 ppg) of the team’s 914 points (38.4 percent). It has accounted for over 50.0 percent of the team’s scoring in four of Purdue’s 13 games (Liberty, Clemson, Miami, Maryland).

Rebounding could be a big factor in the game.  Purdue corrals 31.8 percent of its own misses while only allowing opponents additional possessions on 21.4 percent of misses.  The latter mark is good for 19th in the country.  Both Williams and Aaron Wheeler rebound at a high rate on the defensive end.

In its last four losses to Purdue, IU is only averaging 53 points per contest.  On the defensive end Purdue will be everything you expect them to be.  Aggressive on the ball, fundamentally sound, and they will collapse hard on anything in the paint.  Ultimately Purdue will want to turn IU into a 3-point shooting team.  That is what they have done schematically all season, with nearly half of opposing shots coming from behind the arc.   That runs directly counter to Indiana’s style as only about a third of the Hoosiers’ field goal attempts come from long range.

Purdue’s defense hasn’t been as impactful when it comes to turnovers.  Their forced turnover rate is down three percentage points year-over-year and only No. 262 nationally.  Indiana will need to attack the ball pressure, and then make the right pass when the help comes.

“For us we are going to try to get into transition as much as we can and be spontaneous,” Miller said.  “We have to do an unbelievable job of taking care of the ball.”

When Purdue has lost teams have made assisted 3-pointers, either from passes out of the paint or off dribble penetration.  We’ll find out if these Hoosiers can make big shots on Thursday, and beat Purdue for the first time in five years.


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