Purdue is going for at least one record in Assembly Hall this Sunday afternoon. The Boilermakers have won 16 games for the first time since the 1987-88 season. That ties the school record, which was set in 1988 as well as from 1/23/1920 to 1/4/1921 and 1/25/1902 to 1/16/1904.
We have never won 17 in a row.
We have also won 20 in a row at home (third longest streak in school history). We have now won the most games (57) in a two-season span in school history. We also have an active winning streak over every Big Ten team. A Purdue victory would give us 6 of the last 7 over the Hoosiers, 3 of the last 4 in Bloomington, and 12 of the last 18 overall. Finally, the last time we faced Indiana they had to walk off of our court as confetti rained down and we were celebrating a Big Ten championship, moving back ahead of them in that category 23-22.
This is all very fun to think about, but there is nothing that can be taken for granted in this rivalry. Indiana may have just lost to the last winless team in Big Ten play, but they would love to spring an upset, beat the last undefeated team in Big Ten play, and gain bragging rights over us. We cannot take them for granted.
From: Bloomington, IN
Date : Sunday, January 28, 2018
Tip Time: 3:30pm
Location: Bloomington, IN
Arena: Assembly Hall (17,222)
Online: Fox Sports Go
Radio: Purdue Radio Network
SiriusXM Satellite: XM (Ch. 381); Internet (Ch. 968)
Live Stats: bit.ly/PurdueLiveStats
2016-17 Record: 18-16, 7-11 Big Ten (Lost at Georgia Tech 75-63 in NIT first round)
2017-18 Record: 12-9, 5-4 Big Ten
Opponent Blog: Crimson Quarry
Series with Purdue: Purdue leads 117-89
Last Indiana Win: 77-73 at Indiana on 2/20/2016
Last Purdue Win: 86-75 at Purdue on 2/28/2017
NCAA Tournament History: 5-time NCAA Champion (1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987). 43 appearances, last in 2016
Coach: Archie Miller (12-9 in first season at Indiana, 151-72 in 7th season overall)
Indiana has been all over the map this season. Game 1 under Archie Miller began with anticipation and ended with Indiana State beating them by 21 in Bloomington thanks to Brenton Scott hitting six 3-pointers and scoring 24 points. The trees led by 21 at the half and actually coasted to the win, but they were an impressive 17 of 26 from three. It is not like Indiana State is rolling through the Valley either. They are 10-11 and 5-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
It looked like Indiana might be turning things around when they gave Duke a great game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Blue Devils were No. 1 at the time, but Indiana led them 75-74 with just over 5 minutes left, but were outscored 17-6 down the stretch. They later got a nice win over a full strength Notre Dame, but followed that up with another famous thud at home against Fort Wayne 92-72 when Bryson Scott had 26. That’s 50 points and two losses given up to the Scott bothers, and Fort Wayne was 17 of 30 from long range.
Indiana went on a small run here in Big Ten play with three straight wins over Minnesota, Penn State, and Northwestern, but Wednesday’s loss at Illinois killed any momentum they had. Against the top 4 in the Big Ten they lost at Michigan 69-55 and at Michigan State 85-57.
On paper, it does not look good for Indiana. De’Ron Davis, their main post player, is out for the season with an Achilles injury. The 6’10” forward averaged 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. They have no size compared to us, with 6’8” Juwan Morgan as their tallest rotation player. The junior form Missouri is having a great year. He leads Indiana with 16 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He can step outside and shoot the three a little (8 of 30), but he has played mostly in the post this year.
The Hoosiers are going to have to go small against us almost out of necessity. Robert Johnson is second on the team at 13.6 points per game, but he is often mercurial at best. He was scoreless this year in their loss at Louisville. Last year he had 4 points in West Lafayette and 8 in Bloomington. He is a guy that can go off for 25, but he can also be a ghost on the floor and do nothing.
Indiana ranked 11th in the league in offense this week at 73.3 points per game and 11th in defense giving up 71.5 points per game. The way Purdue’s offense is clicking right now it is not a good sign for them. Then you see the three-point numbers.
Purdue has hit 231 3-pointers this season to lead the Big Ten. Indiana has hit 130, ahead of only Rutgers. Purdue also leads the league in three-point shooting percentage at 44.2% and Indiana is 13th at 31%. Even worse, Indiana is the worst team in the conference at defending the three. Teams are shooting 38.5% against them. Basically, you have a team with no interior presence aside from Morgan (and he is giving up 6 inches to Haas) and poor 3-point defense going up against the best three-point shooting team in the country and we also have a 7’2” 300 pound monster to stop in the middle.
Indiana has also been inconsistent offensively. Josh Newkirk and Devonte Green have their moments, but lack consistency. Collin Hartman is their No. 5 scorer and he averages 6 points per game. By comparison, Purdue’s No. 5 scorer is P.J. Thompson and averages 8.8 points per game. On KenPom Indiana is 102nd offensive and 109th defensively, while Purdue is in the top 10 of both categories.
Everything about this game screams mismatch, but that Duke game gives me pause. Davis had 16 and 5 in that game and he won’t be playing against us, but Indiana stayed alive because Duke was 3 of 17 from three. They limited turnovers, got good games from Davis and Morgan, and Duke was cold from outside. Marvin Bagley III still torched them for a 23-10-3.
Purdue should win this. In fact, we should win this with ease. It is still Indiana-Purdue and nothing can be taken for granted. Purdue 83, Indiana 73