Let’s take a quick look back at the three important matchups from the Florida A&M game from a few days ago.
1 | Zach Edey vs. Florida A&M’s Double & Triple Teams
Edey did another great job of taking what the defense gave him, finding open teammates on the arc without turning the ball over, and at times going quickly before the extra help could get there. In fact, Edey probably had two or three more assists that he didn’t get simply because Purdue again struggled to shoot from behind the arc shooting 6-25 for 25%. Against the better teams coming up in B1G conference play players are going to have to hit shots at a better percentage than they have recently but if they don’t Edey is going to have to be willing to take more shots as five field goal attempts isn’t going to cut it unless the perimeter shooters are hitting better than 35%.
2 | Outside Shooters Not Named Braden Smith & Mason Gillis vs. the Three Point Arc
Well, this was definitely something Purdue needed to see improve heading into conference play and although Newman getting going was great to see, the other guys going 2-14 for 14% isn’t great to see. Purdue is going to be able to win games if they can dominate the boards like they did against Florida A&M (43-25) but I don’t think there will be many games with that disparity moving forward. Purdue can 100% grind games out because they have shown great defensive cohesiveness but the long stretches without scoring and the poor shooting from behind the arc need to be left back in 2022.
Advantage: Neutral, because Newman is showing more comfort in his role but other guys have got to start hitting with some consistency
3 | Purdue’s Complacency vs. an Inferior Opponent
So the first half went about as you would think and Purdue appeared to start sleep walking to end the half with a 6-0 run for the Rattlers but Purdue came out for the second half and held the Rattlers to only 20 points and really only 10 of those came in the first 15 minutes of the second half where the walk-ons weren’t in yet. Purdue played with better focus against an inferior opponent and generally looked much better than they had in their previous three games. This was a good game for Purdue to get after the Christmas holiday and prior to the start of the conference season.