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IPFW at Purdue: Preview, TV, Odds, Time, Etc.

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The Mastodons of IPFW are probably the best non-major team in Indiana.

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Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

If Saturday afternoon was a wake-up call then we will know tonight. Purdue faces off against a dangerous IPFW team that I thought would be more dangerous than the North Florida team that just beat us. They were the preseason pick to win the Summit League and they are full of Indiana kids that grew up probably wanting to play for Indiana or Purdue, but were overlooked by both schools.  They will play motivated tonight. This is their chance to shine on the big stage in-state, just like IUPUI a few weeks ago. If Saturday was not a wake up call Purdue will lose tonight.

Opponent

IPFW Mastodons

Location:

Ft. Wayne, IN

Venue:

Mackey Arena (14,846) West Lafayette, IN

TV:

ESPNU

Radio Stream:

TuneIn

Satellite Radio:

SIRI 136, XM

Odds:

Purdue by 14.5

Tickets:

As low as $4.25 on Stubhub

Tipoff:

7pm

KenPom Ranking:

191 of 351

RPI:

263

Blog Representation:

None

2014-15 Record:

5-2

All-time series

Purdue leads 5-0

Last Purdue win:

81-56 on 12/20/2011 at Purdue

Last IPFW Win:

none

2013-14 Record:

24-11, 10-4 Summit League

Last NCAA appearance:

None

Coach:

Jon Coffman (5-2 1st season)

IPFW is the only Division I team in the state that has never made the NCAA Tournament. They came ridiculously close last season, however. After the best year in their program's history they led North Dakota State at halftime of the Summit League Championship game and 55-54 with 97 seconds left before the Bison turned the game around and won to go on to the NCAA Tournament. This was a team less than 100 seconds from the Dance last year, and they are hungry to get there this season.

The Mastodons were invited to the small-school CIT Tournament where they won a game over Akron before losing to VMI. They returned enough to be one of the favorites in the Summit League, meaning this could be the year where they break through to the NCAA Tournament. So far they are 5-2 with a nine point loss at Georgia Tech and a one-point loss at Dartmouth. There wins have come over Manchester College (non-DI), SIU-Edwardsville, Jacksonville, Stetson, and Miami (OH).

The Mastodons are an extremely balanced team, much like North Florida. Steve Forbes, a 6'9" 295 senior forward has been dominant for them with 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He shoots nearly 60% from the field and has the bulk to play A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas almost straight up. He has also had double-doubles in three of the last five games.

Mo Evans, a 6' sophomore guard from Indianapolis is the team's distributor, but he shoots the ball well too. He averages 12.6 points and 4.4 assists per game and shoots almost 35% from three. He has almost twice as many assists as he does turnovers. He played in high school at Cathedral against the best competition Indiana has to offer, so he will not be afraid of the atmosphere. He also played against Basil Smotherman, eliminating him from the tournament when they were both seniors.

Joe Edwards is a dangerous senior guard from Chicago that averages  11.6 points per game. He also shoots 47% from three this season. Isaiah McCray is the fourth player who averages in double figures at 11.1 points per game. He is another dangerous outside shooter as a senior guard at 36% from three.

The Mastodons are a team that can score some points. They are 36th in the country at 78 points per game and 34th in the country in assists at 16.1 per game. They shoot the ball extremely well (48.8% from the field) and do not turn it over much. They also have no fear of playing in a Big Ten arena. Last season they went to Illinois and pushed the Illini before losing 57-55. They also lost by a point at Dayton (who went to the Elite 8).

This is an extremely dangerous team and they are more than capable of beating Purdue if the Boilers have a similar game to Saturday. We cannot take them lightly. They don't have a lot of size with no one over 6'9", but they have quickness. Forbes has the bulk to not be pushed around by Hammons and Haas, and can even push back a little. Joe Reed and Max Landis give them two more players averaging over seven points per game, so there isn't a single star among them. They are an excellent team that plays well together. Reed is a 6'8" sophomore that played at Center Grove in the same conference as Smotherman while Landis is a transfer from Gardner-Webb that played at Perry Meridian in Indianapolis.

I don't often do this, but after falling apart to lose to North Florida we're officially on Upset Alert tonight.