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Minnesota at Purdue: TV, Time, Odds, Streaming, & More

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Will we see good Purdue or bad Purdue in the Big Ten opener?

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The second season is here. The non-conference season is over, and it was a struggle. Purdue now has a second chance to make amends for itself with 18 games against top 100 KenPom and RPI teams that can greatly improve its profile. Even Seth Davis, whom I normally disagree with, thinks Purdue can do well thanks to a FanShot by DanGMan:

"Purdue (8-5, NR): BUY

This one is worth a flyer, because the Boilermakers' stock could hardly be lower right now. They just lost three straight, including one at home to Gardener-Webb, but perhaps that's to be expected from a team that has two freshmen amongst its top three scorers. Beyond its youth, Purdue's main problem right now is poor defense, but it's hard to believe Matt Painter can't get them to improve in that department. Purdue probably won't make the NCAA tournament, but it will get better, so this is a smart little bet."

I sure hope that Davis is right, because the defense has been the critical issue so far and it will need to be vastly improved to beat an excellent offensive team in Minnesota. What Davis doesn't say is that defense has not only been an issue this year during our slump, but for the last three seasons. If it does get fixed, Purdue can have an excellent Big Ten season. If not, we are in for a long few months.

Opponent:

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Location:

Minneapolis, MN

Date:

12/31/2014

Venue:

MackeyArena (14,846)

TV:

BTN

Radio Stream:

TuneIn

Satellite Radio:

SIRI 136, XM

Odds:

No line yet

Tickets:

As low as $12.96 on Stubhub

Tipoff:

3:15pm

KenPom Ranking:

27 of 351

RPI:

75

Blog Representation:

The Daily Gopher

2014-15 Record:

11-2

All-time series

Purdue leads 99-81

Last Purdue win:

2/5/2014 at Purdue 77-74 3OT

Last Minnesota Win:

1/5/2014 at Minnesota 82-79

2013-14 Record:

25-13, 8-10 Big Ten (NIT Champions)

Last NCAA appearance:

2013 (12 appearances overall)

Coach:

Richard Pitino (54-29 overall, 36-15 in 2nd year at Minnesota)

Minnesota is an excellent test for our supposed improved defense. Purdue has given up over 80 points in each of the last three games and Minnesota is one of the best offensive teams in the nation. They are 12th nationally in points (83.1 per game), 13th in field goal percentage (49.9%), and first in assists at 20.2 per game). They are pretty similar to BYU in terms of teams we have played. They have been over 80 points in each of their last seven games and this past weekend they dropped 108 on UNC-Wilmington.

What's encouraging is that they really haven't beaten anyone. They lost to Louisville and St. John's, while their best win is probably either against Georgia or at Wake Forest. Their last six games were against glorified cupcakes, but since we choked on two of our own who are we to judge?

This is an incredibly balanced team with four players scoring in double figures and two more just below it. Andre Hollins and Carlos Morris can both score and distribute while Hollins is a deadly three-point shooter. If you leave Hollins open he is going to make it. He is 32 of 67 from long range on the season.

Maurice Walker is an efficient scorer at 11.9 points per game in only 19.9 minutes. Nate Mason averages 10.7 points and three assists, while Joey King and DeAndre Mathieu average 9.8 and 9.7 respectively. These six players do the majority of the scoring and share the ball well. Mason is an even better three-point shooter at 22 of 43 for the year.

Honestly, this is a nightmare matchup for Purdue. Last season we played the Gophers dead even for 95 minutes of basketball, but that was only because of a stunning comeback in Minneapolis. King, Hollins, Morris, and Mason can all shoot the three well and where we will struggle is that that everyone they put on the floor can score. Walker and Elliott Eliason can both neutralize Isaac Haas and A.J. Hammons, too.

Offensively, Minnesota is who we need to be. Everyone is both a threat to score and can make the pass to set up a basket. Purdue is back to running the clogged toilet offense. No one is shooting the ball well and unless we get a good entry pass to Hammons/Haas we look confused. Defensively, we're a complete mess. We defend the perimeter like we don't think the three-point line exists and as shown against Notre Dame, we can't do diddle-squat against the screen and roll.

All these stats and figures are important, but in truth, they don't matter a single iota unless Purdue starts playing Purdue-style basketball again. It is really that simple. Purdue looked good in Maui and against NC State because it was playing tough defense and sharing the basketball while moving on offense. Since then, we've played like crap defensively with our hands down, allowing shooters good looks at the basket. We're not making adjustments and we're settling for contested jumpers on offense.

I have seen this team play well this season. If it plays well, it can beat Minnesota. If it plays like it has in the last three games we're going to get run out of Mackey.