Purdue survived the trap game with flying colors. Valparaiso was overmatched and run out of the gym Thursday night, and now the Boilers basically have one extremely challenging game in the next six. That is next Saturday against Butler in Indianapolis at the Crossroads Classic. The other five games (IUPUI, Lipscomb, Tennessee State, Rutgers, and Nebraska) are all in the friendly confines of Mackey Arena. We should be heavily favored in each.
Up next is an IUPUI team that is really struggling.
From: Indianapolis, IN
Date : Sunday, December 10, 2017
Tip Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
Arena: Mackey Arena (14,804)
Radio: Purdue Radio Network
SiriusXM Satellite: XM (Ch. 381); Internet (Ch. 968)
Live Stats: bit.ly/PurdueLiveStats
Odds: Purdue by 29
2016-17 Record: 14-18, 7-9 Summit League
2017-18 Record: 2-5, 0-0 Horizon League
Opponent Blog: None
Series with Purdue: Purdue leads 2-0
Last IUPUI Win: None
Last Purdue Win: 80-53 at Purdue on 12/7/2015
NCAA Tournament History: 1 appearance in 2003
Coach: Jason Gardner (39-63 in 4th season)
The Hoosiermakers are off to a slow start this season. Their lone Division I win is a 67-61 win at home over Morehead State on November 21st. this past Wednesday they dropped an 82-81 home game to the same SIU-Edwardsville team Purdue blew out on the opening night of the season. They have also lost to Bradley, Ball State, and both Eastern and Western Illinois. Things do not get much easier after this game as they head west to face Washington State and Gonzaga.
IUPUI is also in year one of a move up in conferences. They moved from the Summit League to the Horizon League to replace Valparaiso, who moved to the Missouri Valley Conference to replace Wichita State. Things have been rough for their program since Ron Hunter left for Georgia State. Their last winning season was in 2010-11, and they last threatened to make the NCAAs the year before when they were 25-11, but lost in the Summit League title game. Their best team was probably in in 2007-08 when they were 26-7 with George Hill, but again came up short in the league tournament.
This year has not been great. They are 257th nationally in scoring at 70.9 points per game and 298th in rebounding at only 33 per game. They have not even been playing the usual high-majors that a lot of mid- to low-majors teams play this time of year. Purdue is their first game against a major conference school.
The Jaguars are led by senior Aaron Brennan, who played his high school ball at Guerin Catholic in Noblesville He won a state championship there and the 6’6” forward if averaging 14.9 points per game. Last season he shot 47% from three, but he has dipped to 30.8% this year. Fellow senior Ron Patterson in the only other player in double figures at 11.6 per game. If the name is familiar its because he is the last player left in college basketball from “The Movement”. Patterson was originally committed to Indiana with that super class, but did not make grades and spent a year at a prep school. He was then at Syracuse for two years before transferring, sitting out 2015-16, and playing last year and this year at IUPUI. The 6’2” guard is having a career season so far and he had 19 against Eastern Illinois.
After those two the stats drop off a bit. T.J. Henderson, a 6’ junior, averages 9.9 points and 3.1 assists, but overall IUPUI lacks size. Their tallest player is 7’1” Ahmed Ismail, but he has not played since he is a transfer. That leaves a trio of 6’9” guys to defend Isaac Haas inside.
Perhaps the most curious omission from the roster is one-time Boilermaker Grant Weatherford. After spending a year at a junior college in Texas, Weatherford was set to join the Jaguars this season. This game would have likely been his first competitive game played in Mackey Arena, which is odd to say for a former Purdue player. He is not on the roster, however, and I was unable to find out why.
IUPUI does have a heavy local flavor to its roster. A total of nine players are from Indiana with four being from Indianapolis itself or the surrounding suburbs. Noah Thomas is even being listed as from Lafayette, but he played in high school at Trader’s Point Christian Academy in Zionsville.
Overall, this is a game Purdue should win quite easily. It is an in-state buy game against the parent school. I don’t expect any trouble whatsoever. Purdue 97, IUPUI 62