clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Purdue Basketball: Late Game Offensive Defense

Purdue’s late game defense has been poor. That needs to change for this team to reach its full potential.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning folks, Kyle and I have spent the week fighting a terrible case of the manflu (not Covid, trust me, I had my brain stem tickled twice). I wish I had a more positive article for my glorious somewhat comeback (I’m still in my pajamas but have made the long trek down the stairs to the desktop. I plan on napping again soon). Purdue, unfortunately, did not provide me with the opportunity. I know I’m treading on dangerous ground with this article, but I’m willing to suffer the consequences.

Prepare Yourself For Some Hard Truth

Mike Woodson and Indiana worked Matt Painter and Purdue when it mattered most. Woodson dialed up a play that got their best shooter (on this night at least) wide open. He missed it. Purdue couldn’t get the rebound. Mike Woodson drew up another play, and got their best shooter wide open again. This time he didn’t miss.


I’ll freely adit that I don’t know all the basketball jargon, but that doesn’t matter. I think describing what happens is better than putting it behind some sort “basketball coach” only barricade anyway.

Set Up



Yellow Box: Rob Phinisee

Purple Box: Race Thompson

Aqua Box: Trayce Jackson Davis

Red Box: Trey Galloway


Blue Circle: Jaden Ivey

Green Circle: Tre Williams

Orange Circle: Eric Hunter Jr.

Desired Shot Location

Green Triangle

I picked this up a few seconds late, but I think it gets the point across. I.U. is looking to run Phinisee (yellow box) off two screens to get him an open 3 point shot to take the lead in the green triangle. Make no mistake about it. Woodson is looking for the lead on this possession, not the tie.

Screen 1

Phinisee (yellow box) circles around Race Thompson (purple box) who set the initial baseline screen. Ivey (blue circle) is in trail position and is trying to stay attached to Phinisee. Jackson-Davis (aqua box) is preparing to set the second screen. Tre (green box) is hanging out. I’m not basketball savvy enough to know what he’s supposed to be doing, but to an untrained eye, it looks like his hanging out, possibly vibing (not sure).


This doesn’t seem ideal for Purdue. Thompson (purple box) has picked off Ivey (blue box) on the baseline. He’s stuck. Meanwhile Phinisee (yellow box) is curling hard to his preferred shooting spot (green triangle). He’s looking to scrape off Jackson-Davis’s (aqua box) outside shoulder. Tre (green box) continues to vibe. The I in BIG is well guarded.

Screen 2

This screen is just for fun, because Ivey (blue circle) has already been dusted by Thompson on the baseline (who no longer gets a box). Jackson-Davis (aqua box) sets another screen on Ivey because he’s got nothing much better to do on this play. Pinisee (yellow box) is about as wide open as you can get in college basketball when the other team probably knows you’re getting the ball. Tre (green circle) continues to vibe. He’s got the B in BIG locked down tight.

Wide Open

If I.U. did anything wrong on this play, it’s Phinisee (yellow box) drifting a little to far up the court, allowing Hunter Jr (who doesn’t merit a circle yet on this play) a chance to waive his hand at Pinisee’s belly button. You can’t see Ivey (blue circle) but trust me, he’s stuck behind Jackson-Davis (aqua box). Tre (green circle) continues to vibe on the B.


I assume this is considered a wide open look, based on the fact that Ivey is still 2 step behind and Hunter is getting a good look at Phinisee’s under carriage.

As I mentioned before, I don’t know the basketball parlance of the time, but I believe this would be considered getting cooked.


Bullet dodged, Phinisee misses the wide open shot, and Purdue is in good rebounding position. Tre (green circle) has moved off the logo, but has drifted too far under the goal for a clean rebound off the short shot. Hunter Jr (orange circle) is also in great position. This looks like it has to be Purdue’s rebound. Enter Trey Galloway (red box). He’s recovered from being on the receiving end of a Jaden Ivey temper tantrum, and is about to outwork Purdue and save the game for the bad guys.


Tre (green circle) and Hunter Jr (orange circle) still look like the favorites for this board, but the shot coming off the front rim makes this a long rebound. Tre is having to reach back with one hand. Hunter Jr is trying to come in and grab the rebound with one hand...which seems problematic. Galloway (red box) refuses to accept being boxed out and gets his paw into the mix as well. We’ve got 2 Purdue players and 1 Indiana player trying to grab the ball with 3 total hands. This seems challenging.


Hunter Jr manages to emphatically spike the ball out of bounds with his left hand. While an excellent play in volleyball, it’s not as useful in basketball. Tre doesn’t appear to get a piece of anything and Galloway makes himself enough of a nuisance to make an impact on the play.


I’m naturally snarky. If you’re turned off by the snark, pretend I wrote this in regular, old, boring sports language. Regardless of my tone, Mike Woodson drew up an absolute banger of a play, and Purdue got bailed out by a missed wide open shot. That should have ended things, but Galloway didn’t give up on the play and managed to interject himself in the rebounding situation. Consequently, Woodson gets a chance to draw up another play.

There’s no way he can draw up 2 plays in a row to cook Purdue. Right? RIGHT!?!

Stay tuned for the next episode if you’re interested in seeing how this thing ends.\


I’m not saying Matt Painter is a bad coach. I’m also not saying the Purdue is a bad team. In fact, Matt Painter is a great coach and Purdue has the potential to be a great team, but they’ve got to get this squared away before the tournament unless they plan on running everyone out of the gym. I mean, I hope that’s what happens, but better fix the defense just in case.