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The Three Pointer: Purdue vs. Alabama

What does Purdue need to do to win?

Syndication: Journal-Courier Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Purdue Boilermakers head to Toronto to face off against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Hall of Fame Series presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Check out the preview of the Crimson Tide from Drew here to get an in-depth look on Alabama and the kind of team they bring to this matchup.

Let’s get into ‘The Pointer’ ahead of another big time out of conference matchup!

1 | Leverage Your Rebounding Advantage

It is likely that Alabama will not face a better defensive rebounding team all season than what they will face heading into this matchup with Purdue. The Boilers currently rank 13th in the country with 31.2 defensive rebounds per game and 42.6 total rebounds per game. Alabama is not going to have the length to deal with Purdue’s interior presence or their ability to rebound at the guard positions so being able to leverage that advantage into limiting second chance points and extending your own possessions is always paramount.

Limiting the Crimson Tide to less than 12 offensive rebounds and winning the total rebounding battle by 6 or more helps the Boilers win.

2 | Let Edey Feast!

Alabama is long basketball team that has five players who all stand 6’9 to 6’11 but just don’t have that one big body that can handle Edey on the inside. The biggest player they have, Mohamed Wague, stands at just 6’11 and 225lbs and that’s not typically a player who will be able to handle Edey one on one. That means Edey needs to be given the chance to have as many touches as possible. Getting him at least 15 shot attempts will either force Alabama into foul trouble or is going to allow Edey to feast on the inside.

3 | Limit Mark Sears as Much as Possible

Spears is one of the most talented point guards in the country and allowing him to operate freely and hitting shots is going to likely look more reminiscent of Boo Buie than anything else. Purdue’s one major weakness may be an ability to match up to a guard of that caliber so limiting him as much as possible is going to be a major key. In that Northwestern game, they didn’t make Buie inefficient and he was able to shoot at a high percentage and that allowed others to get themselves involved in their roles they were comfortable with. Don’t forget, three players for Northwestern scored 20 or more points and that isn’t a result anyone would be successful in playing against.

Sears is going to get his because really good players are unlikely to be stopped by much of anything other than themselves most of the time. Making him inefficient and forcing him to take a lot of contested shots is a key. He is going to get his near 20 points but forcing him to take 15 shots to get there or forcing him to involve others in ways they are comfortable with would be great.

And 1 | Get That Second Group Going

We all know how capable Edey, Smith, Loyer, and Jones are as primary scorers and that first line is just an absolute monster on both ends. What Purdue needs to find is that capable scoring threat from the second line where sometimes the offense gets bogged down. Heide and Colvin can be such x-factors for the Boilers if they are hitting their shots and can open up the offense for everyone else on the floor if they are threats. That is especially true for Edey as teams wouldn’t be able to bring a double team as quickly as they would like to.

Prediction:

Purdue: 87

Alabama: 77