Now that the Trophy of Badassery resides in West Lafayette thanks to the heroics of Robert Marve and Paul Griggs it is time to continue our domination of Iowa on the hardwood. The Hawkeyes travel to West Lafayette Sunday afternoon for a critical game for Purdue if it is going to stay close to the middle of the Big Ten standings. It is pretty much a must-win for a postseason berth, so let us preview it.
Location: Iowa City, IA
2011-12 record: 18-17, 8-10 Big Ten
2012-13 Record: 13-6, 2-4 Big Ten
2012 Postseason: Lost to Oregon 108-97 in NIT Second Round
Blog Representation: Black Heart Gold Pants
Series With Purdue: Purdue Leads 85-71
Last Purdue win: 75-68 on 1/17/2012 at Purdue
Last Iowa win: 67-65 on 3/5/2011 at Iowa
TV: Big Ten Network
Odds: No line yet
Aside from the stunning 67-65 win by Iowa in the final regular season game of the 2011 season Purdue has dominated the recent series with the Hawkeyes. That loss was the beginning of the end for Purdue as the Boilers lost three of four to finish an otherwise promising season with a thud. It is also the only time in the past 11 games that Iowa has beaten Purdue. They haven't won in West Lafayette since February 2006.
This year's team could be the one to break that streak. They had a brutal stretch to start Big Ten play and only went 2-4 against Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. They did keep it close with Indiana and Michigan State in Iowa City before upsetting previously unbeaten Wisconsin.
This is a very solid team overall. They are 56th nationally in scoring at 73.4 points per game, 22nd in rebounding, and 20th in assists. Roy Devyn Marble gets things going at 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists as an experienced guard whose size will cause problems for Purdue. Mike Gesell has played the point effective as a freshman while averaging 8.8 points and 2.9 assists. He's not quite the rebounder that Ronnie Johnson is, but he is another solid freshman point guard that will make this league exciting for the next few years.
Aaron White, a 6'8" forward, will play the three, likely against Rapheal Davis. He averages 13.5 points per game and leads the team in rebounding at 6.2 per game. He takes a lot of close-in shots and is a 54.4% shooter from the field. Melsahn Basabe also gives them size in the post with 7-footer Adam Woodbury anchoring the middle.
Iowa is a very deep team. They have 10 different players that regularly fit into the rotation and eight of them average five points or better. Josh Oglesby and Zach McCabe can shoot the ball from outside, but Anthony Clemmons and Marble are their best three-point threats in terms of average.
Because both teams play a lot of different players we can expect to see some very fluid lineups. Lately Sandi Marcius has been getting more minutes for Purdue while Jacob Lawson has found the bench. Given the size that Iowa has with Woodbury, Basabe, McCabe, White, and Gabriel Olaseni we can probably expect to see more of Lawson with Donnie Hale and Travis Carroll.
Iowa does have trouble taking care of the basketball. Marble and Gesell each average two turnovers per game and the Hawkeye shave 13 per game as a team. Purdue had success against West Virginia by taking advantage of turnovers, so that will need to happen again.
Taunt OMHR if:
- A.J. Hammons wakes up from his funk.
- Davis continues to be a scoring threat.
- Purdue plays in control in the second half.
- Iowa doesn't hit too many threes.
- Purdue's size trumps Iowa's experience.
Grumble about OMHR if:
- Basabe dominates like he did at times two years ago.
- Marble does his Trey burke impression.
- Hammons continues his bizarre funk.
- Purdue has another 8 minute cold stretch.
- RJ loses the freshman point guard battle with Gesell.
Prediction: Purdue 68, Iowa 64