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Purdue Basketball Preview: Morehead State

NCAA Basketball: Morehead State at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Morehead State Eagles

Basic Information

Location: Morehead Kentucky

Type of School: Public

Mascot: Beaker

Head Coach - Preston Spradlin

Years at Morehead State: 8

Career Record: 115-101

Conference Championships: 2 (one regular season, 1 tournament)

NCAA Appearances: 1

2023-’24 Kenpom 4 Factors


Effective FG%: 49.2 (139)

Turnover %: 20.4 (182)

Off. Reb. %: 33.3 (87)

FTA/FGA: 30.6 (156)


Effective FG%: 64.9 (260)

Turnover %: 17.7 (154)

Off. Reb. %: 46.7 (261)

FTA/FGA: 66.7 (266)


Morehead State Starters

Position Number Player Class Height Weight PreviousSchool Points Assists Rebounds 3 Point % Blocks Steals
Position Number Player Class Height Weight PreviousSchool Points Assists Rebounds 3 Point % Blocks Steals
Point Guard 22 Riley Minx Gr. 6'7" 230 Southestern (Fla.) 18.5 3.5 10 14.3 0.5 3
Shooting Guard 3 Drew Thelwell Jr. 6'3" 195 11 4.5 3.5 33.3 0.5 1
Forward 15 Kalil Thomas Gr. 6'5" 200 UMass-Lowell 10.5 1 2 50 0 0.5
Forward 2 Jordan Lathon Sr 6'5" 195 Milwaukee / UTep 9.5 9.5 5.5 25 0.5 0.5
Center 23 Dieonte Miles Gr. 7'0" 240 Xavier 4 2 2 0 0 0

Morehead State Reserves

Position Number Player Class Height Weight PreviousSchool Minutes Points Assists Rebounds 3 Point % Blocks Steals
Position Number Player Class Height Weight PreviousSchool Minutes Points Assists Rebounds 3 Point % Blocks Steals
Guard 4 Eddie Ricks Fr. 6'7" 205 27 12 1 6 28.6 2 1
Forward / Center 5 Zach Iyeyemi Sr. 6'9" 260 21 4.5 0.5 3 0 0.5 1
Guard 1 Jerone Fr. 6'4" 200 16.5 7 1 3 0 0 0.5
Guard 12 George Marshall Fr. 6'3" 185 12.5 4 1 2 66.7 0 1

Playing Style


Morehead employed a 3-man high pick-and-roll game utilizing two screeners with wings on opposing sides of the floor for spacing. When they run it well, they run it well... if that makes sense. Riley Minx is a big, strong, experienced dude and is tough to stop once he gets going downhill. He’s also a capable passer adept at finding the roll man or wings spotted up behind the 3-point line waiting for a kick out.

Against Alabama, they hit 10-23 3’s, an impressive 43.5%. They don’t have one guy; rather, their entire starting lineup outside the center hit at least 1 3. The wings get good looks off their drive-and-kick game, and several of their guards have the length to shoot over closing defenders. The only chance they have to keep things close with Purdue is to go nuclear from 3. Containing Minx on the pick-and-roll will be an interesting test for Purdue’s defense


Credit to Morehouse for playing straight man against Alabama, but it didn’t work. The Crimson Tide put up 105, and Purdue should do something similar. Their group of veteran small school transfer guards and wings are fun on offense but they’re not athletic enough to hang with high major talent. They’ll improve as they come together as a team, but I don’t think they have a super high defensive ceiling.

Against Purdue I assume they’ll double Zach. They’ve got Dieonte Miles, a 7’0”, 240 pound transfer from Xavier. He was a high ceiling / low floor recruit that found the bad half of that equation. He started against Alabama, but only played 10 minutes and didn’t play against Shawnee State. He has a history of knee problems and they may be limiting his minutes early, I’m not sure. If he plays, in theory he’s a decent size matchup and was rated as a high 3-star prospect because of his athletic ability.

If Miles doesn’t play, 6’9”, 260 pound Zach Iyeyemi will draw Edey duties and some serious Zach on Zach crime will occur. Iyeyemi plays strong and will try and push Edey of the block, but the only thing that should limit the reigning, defending, National Player of the Year, Zach “The Big Maple” Edey, is minutes. When he’s on the floor he’ll dominate, but I’m expecting another 20 minute outing for the best player in college basketball.

Morehead’s overall strategy won’t be any different from any other small school’s against Purdue. They’ll try and swarm Zach, break up the game with fouls, and hope Purdue misses 3’s. A few more performances like the Boilermaker’s put up in their opener against Samford and that plan may start to look different.

Matchup to Watch

Riley Minx vs Braden Smith

You guys are going to like Riley Minx. The former NAIA and NABC All-American scored more than 2,000 points and pulled down over 1,000 boards for Southeastern University over his four year career. He decided to use his Covid year to transfer up a level and test his skills at the Division 1 level.

So far he’s passing the test with flying colors. Alabama had a hard time stopping him. He put up 19 points on 8-15 shooting and threw in an additional 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and a blocked shot. On the negative side of the ledger, he committed 5 turnovers, most coming off errant passes in the pick-and-roll.

Corralling Minx will be an interesting task for Purdue’s defense. Smith and Purdue are going to have to deal with Minx at the top of the key, with two screeners at his disposal. If the Boilermakers don’t communicate, they’ll give up easy buckets. Morehead found easy buckets against Alabama and looked confident on offense. It’s up to Smith to keep Minx from dominating the game from the top of the key.

When it’s Smith’s turn with the ball, Morehead will cross match with another guard most of the time, but when Braden does get a chance to go at him, he needs to put his head down and go. Minx isn’t exactly the most fleet of foot and getting him in foul trouble is one way to keep him from dominating the game on offense is to put him on the bench with foul trouble.



Purdue - 85

Morehead State - 59

Confidence: 99%


Purdue - 107

Morehead State - 72

If Purdue plays like they did against Samford, this thing is going to be a slaughter. It should be interesting though. Morehead is an experienced team that are tough to stop on offense. They can’t play a lick of defense, at least against high major teams, but the offense is fun.

They put up some points and give Matt Painter some good practice film to prepare for next week. Purdue buries them by halftime and things get crazy in the second half. This Boilermaker team is on a mission to stomp out every mid-major in its path, and the Eagles will be no exception.