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Purdue faces last place and desperate for a win Penn State in Happy Valley.
Tonight is the first rematch of the 2012-13 season, occurring a very late 22 games in. In terms of rematches it could not come at a better time. The Nittnay Lions enter in dead last place at 0-9 in the league and Purdue easily handled them in West Lafayette by 18 points.
Location: State College, PA
2011-12 record: 12-20, 4-14 Big Ten
2012-13 Record: 8-13, 0-9 Big Ten
2012 Postseason: None
Blog Representation: Black Shoe Diaries
Series With Purdue: Purdue Leads 28-11
Last Purdue win: 60-42 on 1/13/2013 at Purdue
Last Penn State win: 65-45 on 1/5/2012 at Penn State
TV: Big Ten Network
Odds: Purdue by 2.5
The last time around Purdue took advantage of a very poor shooting night by Penn State. The Nittany lions hit barel 25% from the field and were led by Brandon Taylor with 11 points. D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall were held to a combined 17 points, most that came long after the game was decided. For us, Ronnie Johnson had 13, D.J. Byrd and A.J. Hammons had 12 (with 10 rebounds), and Rapheal Davis had 10.
Much of the same is true from our last meeting. Penn State has no one who can match Hammons' size, so the reigning Freshman of the Week need to continue being an offensive force. After his poor defensive performance against Northwestern I'd like to see him get more involved on that end.
Really, that statement could be said for the entire Purdue team. Dru Anthrop seemed to be the only Purdue player whose defensive give-a-shit was turned on Saturday afternoon, and he is now out at least four weeks with a broken hand. Purdue had one of its best defensive efforts of the season the first time around against Penn State, but it cannot get much worse than the "effort" put forth against Northwestern because there was none.
Of all the home courts in the Big Ten Penn State is probably the weakest. Northwestern wasn't exactly a fortress and Purdue just lost there by 15, so we cannot take anything for granted. Purdue went to Happy Valley with a better team last year and got blown out by 20 points. This Penn State team isn't exactly much different from that one. The Nittany Lions also don't want to go 0-18 in league play and they have to see this game as an opportunity to get off the schneid.
Honestly, this game has one factor and one factor only: If Purdue's give-a-shit is turned on. I thought it would be on Saturday and it clearly was not. A similar effort results in an embarrassing loss to a team we have no business losing to. If Purdue's give-a-shit is turned on the Boilers should win easily against what is, statistically, one of the worst teams in Division I.
Purdue is the better team and needs to freaking act like it tonight.
Purdue gets back to .500 in the Big Ten if:
- It's give-a-shit is turned on
Purdue gets rightfully mocked by the rest of the conference if:
- The same effort given at Northwestern is repeated
Prediction: Purdue 65, Penn State 60