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Purdue Baketball: Samford Preview

A quick look at what the Bulldogs bring to table.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 28 Samford at Wofford Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Samford University

Basic Information

Location: Homewood Alabama

Type of School: Private (Baptist Affiliation)

Mascot: Spike the Bulldog

2022-’23 Information

Head Coach: Bucky McMillan (48-35)

Overall Record: 21-11

Conference Record: 15-3 (Southern Conference Regular Season Champs)

Points Scored Per Game: 78.7 (28th Nationally)

Points Scored Against Per Game: 71.6 (228th)

Best Win: UNC Greensboro

Worst Loss: Chattanooga (Conference Tournament)

2022-’23 Kenpom 4 Factors


Effective FG%: 53.5% (41st Nationally)

Turnover %: 17.9 (157th)

Off. Reb. %: 28.2 (195)

FTA/FGA: 42 (12th)


Effective FG%: 51.9 (260th)

Turnover %: 19.8 (80th)

Off. Reb. %: 27 (113)

FTA/FGA: 37.6 (310)

Projected Starting Lineup

*All Stats from 2022-’23 Season

Samford Starting Lineup

Position Number Player Class Height Weight PreviousSchool Points Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals
Position Number Player Class Height Weight PreviousSchool Points Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals
Point Guard 21 Rylan Jones Sr. 6'0" 175 Utah State 4.2 3.3 1.3 0.1 0.8
Guard 10 Garrett Hicks Sr. 6'0" 165 Alabama A&M 12.8 1.7 4 0.1 1.6
Forward 5 AJ Staton-McCray Jr. 6'5" 225 8.2 0.6 4.1 0.2 1.8
Forward 4 Jermaine Marshall Sr. 6'6" 225 Akron 13.3 1.1 6.5 0.5 1.3
Center 14 Achor Achor Jr. 6'9" 227 Chipola College 6.1 0.6 3.5 0.8 0.4

Projected Reserves

Samford Reserves

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous School Points Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous School Points Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals
Guard 2 Jaden Campbell Sr. 6'5" 200 Florida Southwestern 7.7 0.3 2.3 0.4 0.7
Forward 25 Nathan Johnson Sr. 6'7" 205 UMBC 4.8 0.6 2.8 0.2 0.2
Guard 12 Dallas Graziani So. 5'8" 140 Nova Southeastern 11.3 6.7 3.3 0 2.6
Center 32 Zach Loveday Sr. 7'0" 240 Baylor 0.9 0 0.5 0.1 0.1
Guard 24 Brody Boyer Sr. 6'4" 210 Eastern Florida State College 2.1 0.6 0.8 0 0.4
Guard 3 Chandler Leopard Sr. 6'3" 195 Auburn 0 0 0.2 0 0
Guard 1 Josh Holloway Fr. 6'2" 160
Guard 0 Lukas Walls Fr. 6'5" 203
Center 35 Riley Allenspach Fr. 6'11" 247

*Note: I’ll be able to cull the reserve section for most teams. I have no idea who is going to play for Samford tonight so I gave you everyone.

Playing Style

Samford pressed on about 40% of their possessions last season. They’ll try to recreate FDU’s formula for success and harass Purdue’s guards up and down the court. Turnovers are the ultimate goal, but making Purdue work the ball up the court is a benefit of pressing the Boilermakers as well.

They want Purdue to use a good portion of the shot clock getting into their set, rushing Purdue’s methodical offense. Edey is going to feast, but they’re going to try to ugly up the game, hang on the big man, and invite Purdue’s notoriously streaky shooters to hit late contested threes.

On offense, look for them to slow the pace of the game all the way down, get the ball in the hands of a playmaker late in the shot clock, and see if they can beat Purdue by playing hero ball one-on-one after getting a switch. The fewer possessions in the game, the better for Samford. One way to keep Purdue from crushing you with efficiency is to limit possessions with a slow-paced offense and then try to steal possessions from Purdue with an aggressive defense.

I hope you enjoy ugly games because every undermanned opponent on Purdue’s schedule is going to try the FDU game plan. I don’t expect any of them to succeed, but I do expect to fall asleep in the mid-second half during a few of the late tip games.

Matchup to Watch

Braden Smith vs Dallas Graziani

Teams are going to pressure Smith all season. I don’t have the diminutive Graziani in the starting lineup, but he led D2 powerhouse Florida Nova to a National Championship as a redshirt freshman. He’s quick, crafty, and was an elite distributor at the D2 level.

As a starter or off the bench, the lightning-quick Grazinani will pose an issue for Smith with his fast hands and feet on defense and his ability to turn the corner and distribute on late-clock pick-and-rolls.

I think Smith is more than up to the task and ends up physically dominating this matchup, but if he doesn’t, other teams will certainly take note. If Braden doesn’t want to be pressed all season, it’s in his best interest not to turn the ball over against Graziani and Samford and punish them in transition. If Smith can’t accomplish that task against Samford, he’ll have to accomplish it against every team on the schedule.

I don’t think Samford can challenge Purdue in this one, but they can provide Purdue’s opponents with great film if their press gets to Smith and the rest of Purdue’s ball handlers.



Purdue - 82

Samford - 62

Confidence: 97%


Purdue - 89

Samford - 59

The spread is -19.5. Good teams win, great teams cover. Purdue comes out and makes a statement against Samford. The guards handle the pressure, Edey puts up a double double in 20 minutes of action, and we get to see what the bench looks like early in the second half.

The walk-ons need to stretch at halftime because they’re getting at least 2 minutes, if not more. I’m hoping to see the late night Carson Barrett show at the end of this one.