Last night was a rough one for the Boilers, but we played well on the road against one of the nation's top teams. Things could have honestly been a lot worse. The effort was there, however, and if that effort can continue Purdue can win a lot of Big Ten games.
Purdue's current RPI is not great and the Gardner Webb loss got a lot worse over the weekend, but the profile is going to be built on two quality non-conference wins and what we do in the Big Ten. We have to be able to separate ourselves from a lot of teams that are in similar circumstances to us. I still think 12 wins in league play will be enough, and we already have two. In the meantime, here is the non-conference profile:
Purdue RPI: 112 (It jumped 18 points last night alone)
Purdue KenPom: 64
Best wins: BYU (RPI 31, KenPom 27), NC State (RPI 47, KenPom 58)
Bad Losses: North Florida (RPI 197, KenPom 180), Kansas State (RPI 157, KenPom 105), Gardner-Webb (RPI 117, KenPom 190)
Samford - 6-10, 0-4 SoCon, RPI: 326, KenPom: 299 - Samford was doing well with a modest four-game winning streak, but it went back into Southern Conference play with a pair of losses. They lost 68-65 at home to Wofford, who is ridiculously high in the RPI at 23. They also lost 76-74 to East Tennessee State, so they are sitting last in their conference.
IUPUI - 5-11, 1-1 Summit, RPI: 265, KenPom: 293 - IUPUI is now in conference play and they started off with a nice win by beating IPFW in Fort Wayne. They then fell in overtime at Oral Roberts 69-61 to just miss starting the league 2-0. While IPFW was originally the league favorite the Summit League is...well... really bad. The only teams with a winning overall record at North Dakota State and South Dakota State.
Grambling State - 2-10, 0-2 MEAC, RPI: 305, KenPom 351 - Is Grambling the worst team in the country? Their only wins are over non-D1 competition and they started MEAC play with a 71-50 loss to Alabama State and a 67-46 loss to Alabama A&M. At least they finally get a home game on Saturday against Southern. The loss to Alabama A&M was the only D1 victory for their opponent.
Kansas State - 8-7, 1-1 Big 12, RPI: 157, KenPom: 105 - The Wildcats had lost three in a row before stunning TCU last night 58-53. It was only TCU's second loss on the season and it gives the Wildcats a very nice conference win in a tough conference. Kansas State goes to Oklahoma this weekend, who is No. 17 in the RPI.
Missouri - 6-7, 0-0 SEC, RPI: 178, KenPom: 156 - Finally, Missouri starts SEC play tonight by hosting LSU, who is No. 39 in the RPI. They just beat Lipscomb this past weekend and could do us a huge favor if they won at Kentucky next week. Regardless, we could benefit greatly from them catching fire in one of the weaker power 5 conferences.
BYU - 13-4, 3-1 WCC, RPI: 31, KenPom: 27 - BYU's overall profile remains strong and they are rolling through WCC play. They beat San Francisco since the last update 99-38. Tonight they host Pepperdine before hosting Loyola Marymount this weekend. Their conference results will be decided by their two games left against St. Mary's and the one remaining game against Gonzaga.
North Carolina State - 11-5, 2-1 ACC, RPI: 47, KenPom: 58 - For awhile NC State was still atop the ACC after blowing out Pittsburgh 68-50 over the weekend. They then went to undefeated Virginia and pushed the Cavaliers before losing 61-51. On Sunday they host undefeated Duke before getting North Carolina next week. It would be great if they could win at least one of those.
North Florida - 8-9, 0-0 Atlantic Sun, RPI: 197, KenPom: 180 - North Florida has not played a conference game yet, but they did blast Trinity Baptist this weekend 106-60. That came after a weekend loss to Alabama. They only have 14 conference games in an eight team conference, so a true round robin decides things. The best team is either Florida Gulf Coast or South Carolina-Upstate.
IPFW - 7-8, 0-2 Summit, RPI: 286, KenPom: 270 - I am starting to doubt that IPFW will keep being the favorite in the Summit League. They started 0-2 with a home loss to IUPUI (mentioned above) and a 73-67 loss at Western Illinois. Tonight they host Denver before playing South Dakota this weekend.
Arkansas State - 6-6, 1-2 Sun Belt, RPI: 314, KenPom: 227 - We can't blame Jacob Lawson for hurting us. He did not score as Appalachian State beat Arkansas State 74-73 this past weekend. They then went on the road and lost 70-61 at Louisiana-Monroe on Monday, dropping them to 1-2 in their conference. Those two losses broke a four game losing streak.
Vanderbilt - 11-3, 1-0 SEC, RPI: 76, KenPom: 51 - Vanderbilt is playing some pretty good basketball, so that helps Purdue. They beat a good Yale team 79-74 before starting SEC play with a 64-52 win over Auburn. Their three losses to Rutgers, Baylor, and Georgia Tech are not that bad according to the RPI.
Notre Dame - 15-1, 3-0 ACC, RPI: 42, KenPom: 13 - There is no shame in losing to Natre Dame this year. They walked into the Deandome and won 71-70 Monday night after beating Georgia Tech 83-76 over the weekend. That has them leading the ACC at 3-0.
Gardner-Webb - 9-6, 1-1 Big South, RPI: 117, KenPom: 190 - You had won job, Gardner-Webb, and that was to go out and win the Big South since you were the highest RPI in that conference. You just had to go and lose 80-55 at crappy UNC-Ashville. Tonight they host Radford and then host Winthrop this weekend to get back on track in Big South play. They are only behind two other teams in their conference in terms of RPI. That loss to Asheville caused severe damage to them, however.