After a slow start, an Indiana (19-9) basketball team has had a long stretch of success in this Big Ten season. The Hoosiers won the big one a couple of weeks ago when they defeated rival Purdue. Since then, they have upended Rutgers as well as Illinois. Unfortunately, Indiana is only days away from a very difficult performance at Michigan State. This weekend’s battle won’t be any easier. The Hoosiers have gotten little bench production as of late and that has led to a team that looked tired against Michigan State,
After a blazing start, Purdue has cooled off and come back to the pack in Big Ten play. They still hold the Big Ten regular season championship in their hands, and a win here puts them on the brink.
It is clear that senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (11.1 RPG, 20.5 ppg) has been one the country’s top players and would be the Big Ten Player of Year if it weren’t for someone from Purdue. Jackson-Davis scored 25 points in the win over the Boilermakers and has been their top scorer in almost every Big Ten game. Freshman guard Jalen hood-Schifino (12.8 points per game, 4.0 apg), has had some impressive performances. Senior forward Miller Kopp (8.8 points per game) has also stood out. Indiana still awaits Xavier Johnson’s return from his foot injury.
The Hoosiers began the week 17th in AP Top 25. They now rank 24th in KenPom and 19th in NET. The Hoosiers are a formidable team on both ends of the court, and they can also make outside shots which could be a threat in the postseason. They don’t rely on long-range shooting and feed Jackson-Davis and other players in the paint a lot more often than they should. This strategy has worked, leading to a huge win for Indiana the last time they met.
Purdue (24-6) lost the game to the Hoosiers in early February. They didn’t stop there, however. The team has dropped two more road games. Purdue will be playing at home this time and has had impressive performances in Mackey, including a 27-point win over Ohio State. The Boilers’ only loss at home this season was to Rutgers.
This team has a potential national player of the year, with junior center Zach Edey scoring 22.1 points per game and 12.7 RPG. He also had a huge game for the Boilermakers, including a 33-point, 18-rebound effort in the loss to the Hoosiers. The Boilermakers’ freshmen guards Fletcher Loyer (11.8 ppg and 2.5 apg respectively), and Braden Smith (4.3 ppg and 4.3 apg respectively) have been a revelation, with Smith scoring 24 in the win over Iowa a few weeks back. The junior forward Mason Gillis, who is quietly enjoying a solid season with ten rebounds in the win over Iowa, should have a big game.
Purdue was the #1 team in these games and currently sits at #5 on the AP Top 25 and the NET. It is also up to 4th in KenPom. This is a phenomenal offensive team, so it shouldn’t surprise that they are one of the top rebounding teams in America. Edey has a significant impact on the floor on both ends. Although the Boilermakers aren’t dependent on the 3 for their survival, they have experienced some terrible shooting in recent losses. They will be hoping for better play in weeks to come, particularly from the young guards.
The matchup between Edey & Jackson-Davis will be the deciding factor in this rematch. Both stars should have amazing days. It’ll be great to see these potential All-Americans go up against one another for the second time this month. Although it’s difficult to argue against the accomplishments of either player, Edey is likely to have the upper hand, especially when playing at home.
Indiana won the last game between these two teams and controlled the tempo from the start of the game. Indiana has seldom won at Mackey arena, which will be a big hurdle for the Hoosiers to overcome.
Guard play is important, even if it’s not in the frontcourt. How can Purdue’s young guards manage their pressure and play better basketball under pressure? It’s challenging not to back Purdue with revenge in their minds. Expect Edey’s to post monster numbers and prove early February’s loss against their rivals was a fluke. However, this game should be intense from the opening tip. The Hoosiers will need some production from the bench and more consistent play from their guards.
If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”
Contact us: [email protected]
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.