Pre-Game: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers

Tuesday February 28, 7:00 pm

ESPN2

 

Indiana travels to West Lafayette tomorrow evening for the second match-up of the year with 16th ranked Purdue.  The first game did not disappoint as it was back and forth both halves, until Purdue pulled away at the end and was able to secure a 69-64 win.  Indiana struggled to handle Vince Edwards and allowed him to score a game-high 26 points in addition to Caleb Swanigan’s 16.  Thomas Bryant played well against the Purdue big men and led the Hoosiers with 23 points.  Indiana is coming off their first win in six games after their dramatic comeback win over Northwestern on senior night, and is looking for a huge upset on the road tomorrow.  Purdue is coming off a loss at Michigan, who has quietly won five out of their last six ball games.  A win at Michigan could have put Purdue even further ahead at the top of the Big Ten standings, but they still remain just one game ahead of Wisconsin.  A win tomorrow evening will secure at least a share of the Big Ten championship for Purdue.  A young and struggling Indiana team on the road against their most hated rival, who happens to be playing for a conference championship, could mean bad news for the Hoosiers.

 

The Boilermakers

            Caleb Swanigan, a potential Player of the Year and All-American, is having one of the best seasons in Purdue history.  Swanigan is averaging an easy double-double with 18.6 points per game, 12.6 rebounds, and adds almost three assists per game.  In the first match-up at Indiana he was almost identical with his season averages as he finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 assists.  Swanigan has become almost automatic; he has scored at least ten points in every game this season since his 6-point game on December 6th against Arizona State.  Coach Matt Painter brings his second leading scorer off the bench.  The 7’2” Junior, Isaac Haas is averaging thirteen points per game and adding 5.4 rebounds.  De’ron Davis and Thomas Bryant did well against Haas during the first meeting holding him to only six points.  Vince Edwards is the next big threat for the Boilermakers, and was nothing less than a threat at Assembly Hall three weeks ago when he lead all scorers with 26 points.  Freshman, Carsen Edwards was third in scoring in the first game at Indiana with 13.  Edwards has been a big contributor this season as a freshman being the fourth guy in addition to Swanigan, Edwards, and Haas averaging double digit points per game.  The rest of the Purdue lineup was pretty quiet in the first contest, but don’t look for that to happen again.  Dakota Mathias is currently second in the Big Ten in three-point shooting percentage at just under 48% and teammate Ryan Cline isn’t too far behind in eighth place at 42.4%.  Starting point-guard, P.J. Thompson, has continued to improve and find his role.  He is second on the team in assists just behind Mathias with 3.1 per game.  Spike Albrecht finishes out Painter’s small rotation.  The graduate-transfer from Michigan has struggled during his first and only season at Purdue.  He is shooting 25% on field goals, and 17% from behind the arc.  Matt Painter’s version of Max Bielfeldt did not turn out quite as well.

 

Prediction

            Indiana is currently a 10-point underdog, and many people are taking Purdue by more than that.  It is hard to go against the Boilermakers who were playing some of the best basketball they have played all season, until their loss to Michigan.  Being at home, playing for a Big Ten championship, and coming off a loss are not good combinations for the Hoosiers.  Indiana has won only one road game all season and that was on a Blackmon buzzer beater against Penn State, but Mackey Arena is a whole new world compared to the Bryce Jordan Center.  Only four players on the Indiana roster have played at Purdue, with one of those four being Collin Hartman.  Tomorrow evening will without a doubt be the most hostile environment the Hoosiers have seen this year.  A slow start would make it nearly impossible for Indiana to make it competitive, and in an environment like the one tomorrow, a slow start seems almost inevitable.  I see Indiana getting themselves down early, battling back, but having one of those games where they just can’t get over that six or seven point hump, and Purdue will pull away in the last few minutes.  Indiana: 74 – Purdue: 87

Jonny Gee

Indiana University | 2020

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