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Purdue Basketball: Florida State Preview

The Red Hot Boilermakers Face the Ice Cold Noles in the ACC vs Big10 Challenge

NCAA Basketball: Mercer at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

#5 Purdue Boilermakers (6-0) @ Florida State (1-7)

Big10 vs ACC Challenge

Donald L. Tucker Civic Center - Tallahassee, Florida

November 30th, 7:15


Purdue heads into the Big10 vs ACC Challenge as one of the hottest teams in the nation. Florida State comes in as one of the worst major conference teams in the early season. The Boilermakers can’t get complacent in this one. Even though FSU has played like trash, doesn’t mean they will continue playing like trash. They’ve got talent and if history is any indicator, that talent will eventually figure out how to play together. Hopefully they wait a little longer.

Purdue Roster

Now Starting For You Purdue Boilermakers

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Hometown
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Hometown
Center 15 Zach Edey Jr 7'4" 295 Toronto, Canada
Forward 1 Caleb Furst So 6'10" 230 Ft. Wayne, 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

Bench Mob

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Hometown
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Hometown
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

Florida State Roster

Florida State Starters

Position Number Player Class Rivals * Rating Height Weight Hometown Former Team
Position Number Player Class Rivals * Rating Height Weight Hometown Former Team
Center 24 Naheem McLeod So 3 7'4" 255 Philadelphia, PA
Wing 21 Cam'Ron Fletcher Jr 4 6'7" 215 St. Louis, MO Kentucky
Wing 35 Matthew Cleveland So 5 6'7" 200 Atlanta, GA
Wing 22 Darin Green Jr. Jr 3 6'5" 195 Charlotte, NC UCF
Guard 4 Caleb Mills Jr 4 6'5" 180 Arden, NC Houston

Florida State Bench

Position Number Player Class Rivals * Rating Height Weight Hometown Former Team
Position Number Player Class Rivals * Rating Height Weight Hometown Former Team
Center/Forward 3 Cameron Corhen Fr 4 6'10" 225 Allen, TX
Center/Forward 5 De'ante Green Fr 3 6'10" 210 Asheville, NC
Wing 12 Tom House Fr 3 6'7" 200 Dayton, OH
Wing 0 Chandler Jackson Fr 4 6'5" 215 Memphis, TN
Wing 1 Jalen Warley So 4 6'6" 200 Mt. Airy, PA

Purdue Stats

Purdue Stats Through 11/29

Starters Position Minutes 3 Point % FT % Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Turnovers
Starters Position Minutes 3 Point % FT % Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Turnovers
Zach Edey Center 29.8 NA 76 21.7 12 1 0.3 2.3 1.8
Mason Gillis Forward 19.5 44 89 5.8 3.7 1.7 1 0.2 1
Ethan Morton Wing 23.3 18 90 4.7 2.5 5.2 1 0.3 1.2
Fletcher Loyer Wing 27.3 39 69 11.3 1.8 2 0.7 0 1
Braden Smith Guard 28 44 95 9.8 4.7 3.2 2 0 2.5
Caleb Furst Center/Forward 17.3 29 64 6.5 5.5 0.5 0.2 0.7 0.2
Trey Kaufman-Renn Center/Forward 12.3 17 50 4.2 2.8 0.2 0.2 0.5 0.5
Brian Waddell Wing 11 0 100 1.2 0.8 0.7 0 0 1
Brandon Newman Wing 17.8 33 67 7.3 4.2 1 0.3 0.5 1.3
David Jenkins Guard 15 36 80 4.8 1 0.6 0.2 0 1.2

Florida State Stats

Florida State Stats Through 11/29

Starters Postion Minutes 3 Point % FT % Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Turnovers
Starters Postion Minutes 3 Point % FT % Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Turnovers
Naheem McLeod Center 15.3 NA 30 3.6 3.7 0.4 0 1.7 0.7
Cam'Ron Fletcher Wing 29.3 36 61 12.1 7.3 1.3 1.4 0.6 2.4
Matthew Cleveland Wing 31.6 17 69 11.4 4.4 1.3 1 0.5 2.6
Darin Green Jr. Wing 31.3 40 89 11.4 3.1 2 0.8 0.5 1.5
Caleb Mills Guard 27 20 80 12.6 2.4 3.3 2.3 1 2.1
Jalen Warley Wing 25.4 17 56 5 2.6 3.3 1 0.3 2.4
Cameron Corhen Center/Forward 23.6 22 80 7.3 2.8 0.6 0.3 0.4 1.3
Tom House Wing 10.5 30 100 1.9 1.5 0.4 0 0 0.6
Chandler Jackson Wing 8.2 0 50 0.8 0.8 1.2 0.4 0 0.8
De'ante Green Center/Forward 4.4 33 0 1.4 0.8 0 0.2 0 0.2

Purdue On Offense

Florida State’s starting 5 is typical for a Leonard Hamilton team. They feature 4 long, interchangeable wings and a giant center. They’re better athletes than they are basketball players at this point, but Coach Hamilton has a long history of winning with similar rosters. That usually starts on defense, but this team hasn’t figured it out yet. In 8 games, they’ve only held an opponent under 70 points once (Central Florida, 68) and still lost that game. Stetson and Siena both put up 80 and Troy dropped 79.

Purdue’s offense starts and ends with Zach Edey. This will be the only game on the schedule where he looks his primary defender in the eyes. McLeod is the type of player I thought Purdue was getting in Edey. He’s 7’4”, but not coordinated or strong. His best basketball skill is his size. It will be interesting to see how Zach looks against a guy that, in theory, should be able to deal with his height (Zach still has a 40 pound weight advantage).

The one thing that concerns me is FSU’s length. They can’t guard Zach, but they can make getting the ball into him a chore. Purdue needs to move the ball and then feed the post. You can’t casually lob the ball inside against Florida State or they’ll pick it off and head the other direction. At the same time, if Purdue moves them, they have no discipline, and the post feeds and post finishes by Edey will come in bunches.

Their length could also give Braden Smith issues. They pick up man pressure at 34 court and make life difficult on the ball handler. I expect Caleb Mills to guard Smith, and his 4.7% steal percentage is 54th best in the nation. Smith can’t get lazy with his dribble or Mills will poke the ball out with his long arms. Braden is quicker than Florida State’s endless supply of 6’6”+ wings, and his ability to get the ball high off the glass when attacking the basket could set up another big offensive night for the freshman point guard.

Finally, shooting is going to be the question moving forward. When Purdue hits their outside shots, they’re the best team in the country (bold statement, I know). Florida State is going to make it difficult for Purdue’s shooters. They can double and recover out to shooters better than most teams. Much like feeding the post, if Purdue moves the ball, the FSU defense crumbles, and the open shots will come. It’s just a matter of knocking them down.

I like this match-up. Florida State wants you to rush the ball down the court and put up contested shots over their slinkyesque players. Purdue shows patience and determination on offense. Teams try to speed them up, but they’re good at picking spots to attack and spots to pull it out, slow it up and feed Zach.

Purdue on Defense

Florida State likes to play fast. They also like to turn the ball over. They’re 319th in the nation in non-steal turnovers. If you heat them up, they tend to travel, throw the ball out of bounds, commit offensive fouls, etc. Purdue is better at turning over teams this season. They are 68th in the nation in steal percentage after finishing last season at 120. They don’t need to gamble for steals against the Noles to create turnover. Playing solid defense and making Florida State work on offense is enough to make them cough it up.

On top of their turnover woes, the Noles can’t shoot. They’re 240th in the nation in 3 point percentage, and that’s mostly because Darin Green and Cam’Ron Fletcher shoot a decent percentage. They want to play fast and get good, early looks at 3 for Green and Fletcher. I don’t see Purdue giving them that opportunity. Matt Painter is going to control the tempo of this game from the bench.

The only match-up that makes me nervous is their 6’5” point guard Caleb Mills against Braden. I don’t think they’re patient enough on offense to make it work, but if they post up Mills, it’s going to be tough for Smith. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Morton defend Mills if they start exploiting this match-up, but again, I’m not sure they’re patient enough to exploit their size advantage at point guard.

If this is a referendum on which team can run faster and jump higher, the Noles have a chance. If it’s a referendum on half court basketball, this thing will by ugly and could be done and dusted by halftime. The only chance Florida State has on offense is turning this game into a track meet.

Purdue’s too smart to play along.


I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a team as long and athletic as Florida State be this terrible at rebounding. Central Florida pulled down 18 offensive rebounds and out-rebounded the Noles 18-44 overall. Florida pulled down 12 offensive rebounds and out-rebounded them 28-40. Stanford crushed them on the boards, with 14 offensive boards and 41 total rebounds to Florida State’s 23. Even the undersized Huskers beat them on the boards. Derrick Walker, Nebraska’s 6’8”, 230 pound center grabbed 6 offensive rebounds on his own.

Purdue should crush them on the boards, and if that happens, I don’t see a way forward for Florida State. Purdue turns offensive rebounds into 3’s and dunks. This offense is tough to stop the first time, giving them multiple bites at the cherry is death.



Purdue - 77

Florida State - 63


Purdue - 87

Florida State - 64

Purdue is the worst case scenario for a struggling team that can’t rebound or shoot. I expect FSU to come out fast and then fade hard about midway through the first half. This thing could get ugly.