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The Three Pointer: Purdue vs. Marquette

The Boilers will look to win another holiday tourney to vault them into a #1 ranking when they take on the Golden Eagles in the finals of the Maui Invitational

NCAA Basketball: Maui Invitational - Kansas Jayhawks vs. Marquette Golden Eagle Steven Erler-USA TODAY Sports

The Purdue Boilermakers will take on the Marquette Golden Eagles in the finals of the Maui Invitational. This is coming out late so let’s jump right into the keys!

1 | Contain Kam Jones

This is sort of the same concept here as it was with Knecht last night for Tennessee. Purdue probably isn’t going to shut down the talented junior guard but they can make it difficult for him. Lance Jones, Cam Heide, Ethan Morton, and Myles Colvin will get their chances at different times and they just need to make him inefficient if he is going to get to his 16 points pet game average. Holding him under that will be difficult but making him take 16 to 18 shots to get there and keeping him off the foul line would do wonders.

2 | Dominate the Rebounding Margin

Purdue will have a distinct advantage in the front court in this game with Edey, Furst, TKR, and Gillis. Ighodaro is ultra-talented but he is only 6’9 and it’ll be a challenge for him to keep the Purdue big men off the boards. Purdue can leverage another poor shooting night from outside, if it happens, by having another night of grabbing 15 or more offensive boards. Those second chance points are just brutal to deal with, especially when its the third game in three days against top level talent. On the other end, Purdue has gone to match the level of intensity to make sure Marquette doesn’t steal possessions by getting second chances of their own.

3 | Have to Find Consistency from Outside

Purdue has not gone back to back games shooting rather poorly from beyond the arc. That’s has sort of been the surprise for this tourney overall as all of the teams haven’t shot particularly well even though many of them came in shooting well. Purdue has to hit shots to take the intense ball pressure off that they’ll see from Marquette’s perimeter players and to give Edey more chances inside without doubles or triples thrown at him. Purdue doesn’t need to take twenty or thirty of them to get them but if they can be efficient and hit seven or eight of them, that’ll be a huge boost to their chances of winning.

And 1 | Handle the Pressure Defense Well

Purdue has got to handle the pressuring style that Marquette will bring to the floor in an attempt to disrupt the flow of the offense. This is in hopes of denying Edey the ability to get the ball inside by denying the perimeter players the ability to catch the ball cleanly. Smith struggled with that at times against Tennessee but figured it out late as Purdue pushed the tempo a bit more. That’ll be important.

Purdue also needs to ensure they don’t turn the ball over a lot and give away free possessions to Marquette. Turnovers are going to happen but the bad ones need to be limited and overall there needs to be less than 12.

Players to Watch:

Kam Jones | Guard | 6’4 185 | Junior | 16 pts, 3.4 reb, 2.4 ast

Jones is the primary scorer for a team that has plenty of them. Check above for why he is important to this team.

Oso Ighodaro | Foward/Center | 6’11 205 | Senior | 14.8 pts, 7.8 reb, 1.2 stl, 1.4 blk

Marquette’s only big man who is threat to score from the inside, he is ultra athletic and is playing like a big man who may get a sniff in the NBA as a four man. Doesn’t pose a threat to shoot outside but is elite in his rolls to the basket off a ball screen.

Prediction:

Purdue: 76
Marquette: 72