This game counts just as much as the victory over Ohio State in terms of the Big Ten. Yes, it is against the worst team in the conference, but we need this game every bit as much as we have needed our other 14 Big Ten victories. I think most people thought a 15-3 conference season would lock up the Big Ten title, especially when Illinois, Michigan State, and Minnesota were expected to be up at the top with Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Purdue. If you had told me we would got 5-1 against OSU, MSU, and Illinois I would have thought we win the title hands down.
Unfortunately, we can win by 150 tomorrow and it still may not matter. We have to take care of business, but mostly because of the stellar play of Ohio State it is out of our hands at this point. I think most would accept that losses at Ohio State, Wisconsin, and a healthy Minnesota were forgivable. We still have to hope the Badgers can pull it off. Therefore, I urge you to visit Bucky's 5th Quarter so you can join up and invade their open thread on Sunday.
Meanwhile, we have business of our own to take care of, and that business is the Iowa Hawkeyes.
2009-10 Record: 10-22, 4-14 Big Ten
2010-11 Record: 10-19, 3-4 Big Ten
Postseason Result: None
Blog Representation: Black Heart Gold Pants
Series with Purdue: Purdue leads 83-70
Last Purdue win: 1/9/11 75-52 at Purdue
Last Iowa win: 2/21/07 78-59 at Iowa
Time & TV 4pm on ESPN
|Roy Devyn Marble||29||18.5||2.2||5.6||39.1||0.4||1.3||28.2||1.1||2.1||50.8||0.7||1.7||2.3||1.3||1.0||0.7||0.1||1.3||5.8|
Not a lot was expected of Iowa this year, but I would say they have exceeded expectations. Yes, three conference wins is far from success, but some people were expecting (especially after they lost the season opener to South Dakota State) that this would be a winless Big Ten season. Their three wins were a sweep of Indiana and a shocking 20-point blowout of Michigan State. They also beat another possible NCAA Tournament team in Alabama. Fran McCaffery has this team playing hard with probably the most limited amount of talent in the conference.
Although it hasn't paid off with wins, Iowa has scared the crap out of several good teams. Wisconsin escaped in overtime in Iowa City. Ohio State only won by five in Iowa City. Michigan also won in overtime there. The Hawkeyes are more than capable of making this game too close for comfort.
Our first game against them this year was the predictable blowout in West Lafayette. Ryne Smith splashed six three-pointers as we won by 23 at home. We led 11-0 and Iowa really never made a game of it. Kelsey Barlow also had eleven, and the Bastard Sons of Bobby Buckets in Bubba Day and Dru Anthrop got some late run. In fact, that was the last time they got in a game (so much for the Trillion Belt).
Obviously things went well if two of our role players led us in scoring while JaJuan Johnson and E`Twaun Moore had a pretty laid back game. They only had 27 of our 75 points, so it was nice to get everyone involved. Defensively we gave up very little. Matt Gatens was their lone double-figures scorer with 13 points. Devon Archie led them with eight rebounds. It was your basic blowout. Nothing more.
It is senior day in Iowa City, so Jarryd Cole and T.J. Sayre will be playing their final home games. In a way, that is a good thing in the long run. Iowa only loses these two players, and Sayre has played a total of two games this year. Cole has been a solid player at 7.7 points per game, but Iowa is building for the future with young guys like Gatens and Melsahn Basabe.
Basabe is going to be very good in this league by the time he is done, and I would definitely put him on the all-freshman team. He averages 11.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. By the time he is done he could easily be averaging a double-double. Bryce Cartwright has also been a nice young point guard averaging 10.8 points and a league leading 5.8 assists per game.
The thing holding Iowa back is that they do not shoot well. They hit just 44% from the field and 31% from three. That is not going to be good enough to beat us, especially if our defense is on. Those numbers went down to 36.5% and 28.6 % in West Lafayette.
With all respect to Iowa, who is showing improvement, this is a game that Purdue really has no excuse to lose. We have been in business mode for a month now. We're playing great basketball and we have a possible chance at getting a share of the conference title. That can only happen if we win this game. Purdue would have to play a completely different type of basketball than it has played over the past month in order to lose this game.