#1 Purdue (20-1, 9-1 Big 10) vs. Michigan State (14-7, 6-4 Big 10)
How To Watch
Sunday, January 29, 2023, 12:15 EST
Mackey Arena - West Lafayette, Indiana
Michigan State Roster
Michigan State Starting Lineup
|C||22||Mady Sissoko||Jr||6'9"||240||Bafoulabe, Mali|
|F||10||Joey Hauser||Sr||6'9"||220||Stevens Point, WI||Marquette|
|F||3||Jaden Akins||So||6'4"||190||Farmington, MI|
|G||2||Tyson Walker||Sr||6'1"||180||Westbury, NY||Northeastern|
|G||11||AJ Hoggard||Jr||6'4"||210||Coatesville, PA|
Michigan State Bench
|C||0||Jaxon Kohler||Fr||6'9"||240||American Fork, UT|
|F||1||Pierre Brooks||So||6'6"||220||Detroit, MI|
|F||25||Malik Hall||Sr||6'8"||220||Aurora, IL|
Michigan State On Offense
The Spartans are a top 50 team in shooting from three, but are middling in two-point field goal percentage especially against larger teams down low. This is going to be a game in which they need to shoot exceptionally well from mid-range and beyond the arc, but that can only happen if they create more open shots as they did in the first matchup on the 16th. They hit free throws relatively well at a 75th-ranked 74.3% (down from a 41st-ranked 75.7%) but don’t draw a lot of fouls, and against a disciplined defense like Purdue’s, Sparty can’t expect to win this game from the stripe.
They typically set up with four around the arc with one undersized center on the baseline just outside either the left or right border of the painted area, and last go-around I saw them flexing further outward when they had to mind a 7’4” center, and they did. They shot just over 47% from the field despite having an off day from three: they’re the 29th best shooting team from three in the country at 37.4% and hit only 31.6% against the Boilers two weeks ago. Purdue needs to mind the perimeter, because that’s Michigan State’s bread and butter when it comes to staying in and/or getting back into a game. Let’s hope it doesn’t mean a hot start.
Michigan State On Defense
In the matchup a few weeks ago, an undersized Michigan State had no answer for Edey. He put up an astonishing 32 points and 17 rebounds, adding two blocks and going six-for-seven from the free throw line. He scored half of the team’s points in a 64-63 nail-bite of a win on the road two weeks ago, so I expect that in Michigan State’s trip to West Lafayette, the Boilers will play a more sound game collectively and not require that sort of production from Edey. Additionally, they don’t block a lot of shots and that’s going to be a tough task against a big team like Purdue with college basketball’s premier center.
The Spartans still use substitutions with bigs a lot more evenly than most division one teams, but if they’ve learned anything from the last meeting, Mady Sissoko will likely be the go-to defender trying to take care of Edey down low. Like I said in the previous preview, the wildcard is freshman Carson Cooper, who has shared 14% of court time at the five (down from 17% since their last game against Purdue). Cooper, at 6’11” and 230 pounds, is Michigan State’s closest in stature to Zach Edey. Sissoko’s shared playing time has gone down from 53% to 52% while freshman Jaxon Kohler’s play time has increased to 29%, clocking in 23 minutes against Rutgers and 18 minutes against Indiana before going back down to a more average seven minutes against Iowa.
Such is to say, I expect Tom Izzo to experiment with a lot of combinations down low to try and slow down the Boilermaker’s gargantuan center.
As is typical of Izzo’s teams at MSU, they excel at playing disciplined defense even when outsized low, but how many times to we need to mention that the current top candidate for player of the year is 7’4” and 285 pounds?
They still rank lowly in steals, ranking 353rd (up from 357th in the last matchup) in the nation in turnover percentage at 14.7. Elsewhere, however, they are very good at closing out open jumpers and allow a 35th-ranked effective field goal percentage of 46.4. They’re one of the twelve best teams in college basketball when it comes to disallowing offensive rebounds, but again, that’s a lot more of a test when you’re playing a team with Purdue’s size. We saw how it went last time, and the Boilers should have no trouble winning the battle of the boards again.
X Factor - Turnovers
This year’s edition of Tom Izzo’s Spartans ranks among the lowest in the country in terms of creating turnovers. As we’ve discussed many times this season, Matt Painter’s Boilers are pretty good at not coughing up the ball.
Draft King Odds
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details
Michigan State: -390
Purdue - 76
Michigan State - 63
Purdue’s guards and forwards didn’t play their best in East Lansing, and I see some of the sloppy play being corrected in a less hostile environment. Well, Mackey’s super hostile, just not for us, obviously. Loyer did come alive in the second half at MSU, but the first half was essentially the Zach Edey Show for the Boilermakers, and I expect a lot more of a collaborative and collected approach at home.
Purdue - 70
Michigan State - 60