For the first time in almost six years Purdue has a record under .500 overall. It is a strange place to be, but this already feels like a strange college basketball season. Kentucky was #1 in the nation but lost a buy game at home to Evansville. Last night Towson took top 15 Florida to the final minute. Northwestern lost to Division I newcomer Merrimack, then comfortably beat a Providence team that was a fringe top 25 team.
The good news is that Purdue will not be under .500 for long. It won’t be 72 hours, even. Chicago State is bad. Very bad. “Shouldn’t even have an athletics program” bad. I recognize that the Boilers have issues right now, but this is the type of game where if we win by less than 30 you should be gravely concerned.
From: Chicago, IL
Game Location: Mackey Arena (14,240)
Date: November 16, 2019
Time: 2pm ET
Radio: Boilermaker Sports Network
Odds: No Line Yet
2018-19 Record: 3-39, 0-16 WAC
2019-20 Record: 1-2, 0-0 WAC
Record vs. Purdue: Purdue leads 3-0
Last Purdue win: 111-42 at Purdue on 11/12/2017
Last Chicago State win: None
Blog Representation: None
NCAA Tournament History: None
Coach: Lance Irvin (1-2 in first season at Chicago State)
I am not kidding when I say that Chicago State shouldn’t even have an athletics program. The school itself is broke, owing more than $350 million in debt with an overall graduation rate of just 11%. How this school still has Division I athletics is beyond me. They had a vagabond existence as an independent for years before landing in the zombie WAC. On top of being broke they also have convenient conference travel to Bakersfield, Seattle, Phoenix, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Last year the Cougars were 3-29, but their lone win over a Division I program was over Eastern Illinois. Two years ago they were also 3-29 with the only D-I win over Missouri-Kansas City. One of those losses was to Purdue by 69 points, our largest margin of victory in the modern era of college basketball. The only game Purdue has EVER won by more was over Indiana State 112-6 in 1911.
This year does not look to be much better. Yes, Chicago State has a win, but it was over Judson College, a non D-I team, 103-60. They have since lost to Loyola-Maryland 98-85 and Eastern Illinois 98-34. They currently are rated 353rd nationally by KenPom, which is dead last in the country. They are the worst team in adjusted defense, but the offense is rocketing up the charts at 349th.
Xavier Johnson is their leading scorer at 20 points per game, but he had 37 against Judson and only 4 vs. Eastern Illinois. Andrew Leis averages 14.3 points per game and has been more consistent, with 15, 14, and 14 in their three games.
I’ll be honest: there is almost nothing to analyze here. This is one of the worst teams in Division I if not THE worst team. Given Purdue’s recent struggles this is a game that serves as a reset. We couldn’t score against Marquette in the second half, so we get to see the ball go through the basket a lot and regain confidence that way. We couldn’t hold on to the basketball against Texas, so we get to practice catching passes. This is beyond a glorified scrimmage because Purdue’s second team could likely beat Chicago State by 25 or more.
The only mystery here is how long do the walk-ons plus Emmanuel Dowuona play. We’re going to win by a lot, so enjoy Kid’s Club Day.