Marquette (2-0) vs Purdue (2-0)
Tuesday, November 15th - 8:30 EST
Mackey Arena - West Lafayette, Indiana
Fox Sports 1
Now Starting For Your Purdue Boilermakers
|Center||15||Zach Edey||Jr||7'4"||295||Toronto, Canada|
|Forward||0||Mason Gillis||Jr||6'6"||230||New Castle, IN|
|Wing||25||Ethan Morton||Jr||6'7"||215||Butler, PA|
|Wing||2||Fletcher Loyer||Fr||6'4"||185||Fort Wayne, IN|
|Point Guard||3||Braden Smith||Fr||6'0"||180||Westfield, IN|
Zach shook off a tough opening game and looked like an All-American against Austin Peay. He’ll need to do the same against the Golden Eagles, despite the gargantuan leap in competition. Marquette doesn’t have a huge front court, but Clemson transfer O-Max Prosper (6’8”) and Oso Ighodaro (6’9”) are by far the most athletic front court Purdue has seen thus far. They also have 6’11” freshman Ben Gold ready to come off the bench and commit fouls. When the starters are in, this is a battle of basketball philosophy. If Coach Painter’s low post oriented game wins the day, it’s because Zach dominates the paint on offense, dissuades driving guards on defense, and stays out of foul trouble. That’s a big ask, but Edey is capable.
Mason Gillis isn’t off to a great start, and will be challenged by Prosper’s elite athleticism. He’s only 1 of 4 from deep, after scorching the nets last season. He’ll need to provide Edey with a corner outlet, and shooting because I expect Shaka to swarm Edey and make the rest of the Boilermakers try and win the game (still might not stop Edey). He’s going to get open looks, he needs to take and make them. Propser will try and bully him on the other end of the floor and grab offensive boards, Gillis is a tough player to bully, but Prosper is a tough match-up for the undersized 4.
Ethan Morton may be the key to the game. He has to help Smith and Loyer get the ball up against Marquette’s pressure, and he has to punish them for pressing with his elite passing skills. The fastest way to get the ball up the court is to pass it, and the 6’7” Morton is an ideal receiver and distributor of passes. He may not score much, but if he can facilitate scoring in the open court, and help Purdue dictate the tempo by deciding when to attack the press and when to set up and wait for Zach, his contribution will be invaluable. The Golden Eagle back court doesn’t worry me much, in terms of scoring, but Ethan will probably end up on David Joplin. Joplin is a 6’7” wing that came off the bench and went for 23 in their last game. If he stay hot, Morton will end up glued to him.
After a sizzling debut, Fletcher Loyer was on the struggle bus against Austin Peay. The swimming pool sized rim he saw against Milwaukee shrunk to a shot glass against the Governors. He had open looks, but couldn’t find the bottom of the net (although one of his 3’s found every part of the net but the bottom). For Loyer, it’s not only a question of hitting shots, it’s what he brings to the game when his shots aren’t falling. Being strong with the ball against a team that loves to poke at the ball and making solid entry passes to Zach when he gets into position may be just as important as his shooting tonight. He’s going to be a great player for the Boilermakers, but Purdue needs him to be great now. We’ll have a better idea of how he looks against Big10 competition after tonight.
Finally, Braden Smith, welcome to college basketball, all you need to do is run Purdue’s offense against Shaka Smarts patented havoc defense. As Garrett mentioned in his preview, Smith looks good for the most part, but has been a little non-nonchalant in getting the ball up the court. He won’t be afforded that luxury tonight. Purdue is going to struggle to win the game if their point guard is a turnover machine. Smith has 7 turnovers and 5 assists on the season against inferior competition. He needs to fix that ratio or he’ll find himself sitting next to Coach Painter and watching David Jenkins and Ethan Morton run the shot tonight. On the defensive side of the floor, he needs to bring his own version of havoc, and get some of the turnovers Marquette forces back. This is a tough one for Braden, but the confident freshman won’t be scared of Shaka or havoc, I think he’ll be fine.
Help Off The Bench
|Center/Forward||1||Caleb Furst||So||6'10"||230||Ft. Wayne, IN|
|Forward||4||Trey Kaufman-Renn||Fr||6'9"||225||Sellersburg, IN|
|Wing/Forward||11||Brian Waddell||Fr||6'8"||195||Carmel, IN|
|Wing||5||Brandon Newman||Jr||6'5"||200||Valparaiso, IN|
|Wing/Point Guard||14||David Jenkins||Sr||6'1"||200||Tacoma, WA|
Jenkins and Newman better be ready to go because this is a game where their experience in handling pressure may earn them big minutes. Jenkins, in particular may need to log big minutes if Smith continues to be careless with the ball. If you turn the ball over against Marquette, they will turn it into points. Jenkins is a strong ball handler with the strength to step through double teams. That’s a handy skill against Havoc.
Newman, like Morton, is an ideal outlet to relieve pressure because he’s a a 6’5” guard. He doesn’t have the best handles, but he shouldn’t be putting the ball on the floor against Marquette anyway. Like Jenkins, Brandon might play a larger role against the Golden Eagles than he saw in the first two games. Purdue needs him to help relieve pressure, hit shots from deep and mid range, and play determined defense.
I’m not sure about Waddell in this game. On one hand, he’s a 6’8” wins, which is helpful in breaking a press. On the other hand, he’s not exactly an intimidating physical specimen, and Shaka plays a physical brand of basketball. The Golden Eagles wear out guards, and if Brian comes in to provide relief, he must be strong with the ball, because Marquette will come after him.
We’ve yet to see Kaufman-Renn’s versatile offensive game. He only played 11 minutes against Austin Peay. He’s playing like a conventional power forward, and not the stretch wing/forward capable of scoring at all 3 levels. He hasn’t been bad, but he’s 0-2 from deep on the season, and foul trouble limited against the Governors. He’s too talented to struggle for long. This would be a nice game to introduce himself to the college basketball world.
Finally, Caleb Furst has bounced around this year, playing some 4 next to Edey, and some 5 in relief of Edey. He’s too good to plant on the bench and only play as a back-up to Zach. This is his sort of game. He has solid handles for a big man, runs the court hard, and finishes in transition. When Caleb is on the court, Purdue should push the pace and try to score in transition.
Purdue Wins If
Matt Painter’s style of play wins out and Marquette doesn’t speed up the untested Purdue back court. The key to playing a coach like Shaka Smart is figuring out when to attack the press and when to pull the ball out and run the offense. Shaka wants you to attack all the time. He wants to speed you up, even if it means giving away an occasional layup. Purdue’s young guards must stay disciplined and not fall into the trap. Ethan Morton needs to help his young teammates navigate their first true test.
If Purdue can control the tempo, Edey should dominate in the paint, and subsequently, provide open looks from 3 for his teammates. Last game, those looks didn’t fall. Shaka will make Purdue prove they can knock down open shots before he allows Zach to play 1 on 1 in the post. If the shots don’t fall, he’ll be facing double and triple teams all game. Even if Purdue is hitting shots, Shaka may continue to double and triple Zach.
Marquette Wins If
They make Purdue play their game. If this is a referendum on which team is better in the open floor, this could get ugly fast for Purdue. This game is all about who controls tempo. If Marquette consistently turns Purdue over or forces them into quick shots they win the game, it’s that simple.
Purdue - 69
Marquette - 64
Purdue - 79
Marquette - 69
It’s unusual for Ken Pom to like Purdue more than I do in a game, but the youth of the back court and turnovers concern me. I think Purdue gets down early, acclimates to the game, and finishes strong down the stretch as the Golden Eagles start losing players to fouls.