Purdue at Northwestern: TV, Time, Odds, Preview, & More

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue visits a suddenly hot Northwestern team tonight in Evanston.

Northwestern did the Lord's work on Saturday, making sure Indiana left a Movement on the floor of Assembly Hall. Unfortunately, their recent victories over Illinois and Indiana mean they are now a team to be taken seriously. Just a few weeks ago it was questioned if they would win a single conference game. Now they are tied with a team that was No. 3 in the nation a few weeks ago. Even I once said there would be no easy conference games unless you were playing Northwestern. That statement is now simply, "There are no easy conference games".

Projected Starters

Purdue Boilermakers (13-5, 3-2)

Northwestern Wildcats (9-10, 2-4)

Terone Johnson - Sr.

Kale Abrahamson - So.

Ronnie Johnson - So.

Alex Olah - So.

Rapheal Davis - So.

JerShon Cobb - Jr.

Basil Smotherman - Fr.

Sanjay Lumpkin - Fr.

A.J. Hammons - So.

Drew Crawford - Sr.

Series with Purdue:

Purdue leads 123-44

Last Purdue win:

74-43 at Purdue on 2/24/2013

Last Northwestern win:

75-60 at Northwestern on 2/2/2013

Odds:

Purdue by 3

Blog Representation:

Sippin' On Purple

Location:

Evanston, Illinois

Best Postseason Result:

NIT Quarterfinals, 2011

2012-13 record:

13-19, 4-14 (No postseason)

Coach:

Chris Collins (9-10 overall in first season)

RPI:

128

Time:

9pm

Streaming Video:

BTN2Go.com

TV:

Big Ten Network

Radio:

Purdue Radio Network

Streaming Audio:

TuneIn.com


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Drew Crawford 18 34.7 5.1 12.4 40.8 1.4 4.2 33.3 3.6 4.6 78.3 1.6 5.6 7.2 1.9 1.8 0.5 0.9 2.1 15.1
JerShon Cobb 17 31.9 3.8 9.6 39.3 1.2 3.6 32.8 2.6 3.4 77.2 0.3 4.2 4.5 2.4 2.1 0.8 0.4 3.2 11.3
Tre Demps 19 25.4 3.4 8.9 38.2 1.3 3.9 33.8 2.2 3.2 68.3 0.6 1.7 2.4 1.6 1.1 0.1 0.1 1.4 10.3
Alex Olah 19 27.3 3.4 6.4 52.9 0.1 0.6 16.7 1.9 2.7 71.2 1.5 3.8 5.3 1.0 1.3 0.3 1.8 3.2 8.8
Dave Sobolewski 16 27.4 1.8 6.8 25.9 0.7 4.0 17.2 2.5 3.4 72.7 0.3 2.1 2.4 3.2 2.5 0.8 0.3 2.4 6.7
Kale Abrahamson 19 13.7 1.4 3.4 41.5 1.0 2.5 40.4 0.6 0.9 61.1 0.2 1.5 1.6 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.9 4.4
Sanjay Lumpkin 19 26.3 1.4 3.4 40.6 0.4 1.4 30.8 0.9 1.5 60.7 1.6 3.5 5.1 1.4 1.4 0.8 0.2 3.5 4.1
Nathan Taphorn 18 11.3 1.0 2.9 34.6 0.8 2.3 33.3 0.3 0.6 54.5 0.2 0.9 1.2 0.3 0.8 0.2 0.0 0.9 3.1
Nikola Cerina 19 8.7 0.3 0.7 46.2 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.3 0.8 40.0 0.5 1.1 1.5 0.3 0.5 0.2 0.1 1.5 0.9
James Montgomery III 15 3.8 0.2 0.5 37.5 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.1 0.7 0.4
Aaron Liberman 6 0.8 0.2 0.2 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.5 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.3
Chier Ajou 1 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

What's impressive about Northwestern's recent play is that they are getting it done with one of the worst offenses in all of Division I. They average just 61.9 points per game, good for 339thout of 351 teams. In their last three games they have played great defense, holding opponents to 50 points per game. It is ugly basketball, but all basketball is beautiful when you win.

They are even winning with their point guard out due to injury, as Dave Sobolewski missed all three recent games. Offensively Drew Crawford, JerShon Cobb, and Tre Demps have been leading them. Demps has come off the bench to hit some very big threes in both victories while Crawford can get to the basket on both ends. Against Indiana he had 17 points and 12 rebounds, so Purdue needs to keep a man on him at all times.

Defensively Alex Olah has been protecting the rim extremely well. The 7-footer is playing the role of token Eastern European for Northwestern (he is from Romania) and he had six blocks against the Hoosiers on Saturday. He is also a steadying presence at the foul line for a big man.

Northwestern is not a good shooting team, as they are below 40% from the field and barely above 30% as a team from three. Where they are making headway is their defense, which inexplicably started clicking after giving up 93 points at Iowa. It would be one thing if their win over Illinois came from a horrid night shooting by the Illini, but the close loss to Michigan State and win at Indiana have seen three straight teams struggle against them. Indiana shot 25% from the field, Illinois 37%, and Michigan State 38.5%. None of the three turned the ball over much, either. All three just had lousy nights shooting the basketball.

From a Purdue perspective the Boilers cannot have another cold spell like they did at the end of the Penn State game. The boilers were very, very lucky to win that one, as a challenged three-pointer to tie from Terone Johnson is not exactly a high-quality look. The good news is that it is unlikely Northwestern is going to just drop 90 and dare us to beat them. They are still a mess offensively and have gotten by with much of the scoring at the free throw line.

On paper Purdue is far better, but Northwestern is playing some very good defensive basketball at the moment and they are one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten. They have even taken a tour of former Boilermakers with a win over Illinois-Chicago (and Kelsey Barlow) and a loss to DePaul (and Sandi Marcius). They may be 9-10 overall, but they are still a dangerous team as the past week has shown.

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