Ivey the Distributor

While much has been discussed about Purdue defense, one can argue that inconsistency in their offense has led to their losses this year. You can't always count on your shooting, so the defense must improve. However it's not as if they are losing 85-80. They have failed to score 70 in each loss and would have won against Rutgers and IU if they had.

Ivey has been viewed as the transcendent player that can bring Purdue to a new level. His athleticism and ability to break down a defense can be the difference between a win and loss in the tournament when you need a basket most. I don't think his ability to make a shot is what is so important for this team though. I think it his ability to create shots that is so important.

In our biggest 3 non-conference games (UNC, Nova, FSU) which really propelled our reputation as an elite offense and team, he averaged 5 assists per game (along with his 17 points). In B10 play (excluding against Nebraska because they are just terrible), he is only averaging 2 assists per game while still averaging 17 PPG; he never has more than 3 assists in a game. Small sample size for the 3 non-conference games, but it is indicative of that trend in him looking to score and not creating offense for rest of the team.

When Tre and Edey are getting assaulted in post and rendered less effective or our shots aren't falling from deep, Ivey basically becomes our last source of offense. But he doesn't have to be the one to score. If he can drive past his defender, he can dish to the post, pass out to now open shooters on the perimeter, or pass to players cutting to the rim. All of this will lead to high percentage shots. It just feels like the offense has become "give the ball to Ivey with him only looking to score" too often. It obviously hasn't been enough. For Purdue to contend for the conference championship and be an elite team in March, their offense has to become more consistent. I think Ivey is the key to carrying them team, but I don't think we'll reach that level unless Ivey the Distributor returns to elevate the whole team.

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