clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Purdue vs. Indiana | Matchups to Watch

The Boilers look to secure their 25th B1G Title on Saturday against rival Indiana at Mackey Arena in what will likely be one of the loudest environments in program history.

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

The stage is set, the floor has been wiped down, the uniforms are clean, and the confetti is prepped to be dropped. All we need now is a Purdue victory over the rival Indiana Hoosiers in a grudge match from the loss earlier in the season at Assembly Hall. The game will feature college basketball’s two best players in Zach Edey and Trayce Jackson-Davis in what may amount to a game that either determines if Zach can put a lock on National Player of the Year or if TJD inches closer and closer.

Let’s get down to the important matchups!

1 | Zach Edey vs. Trayce Jackson-Davis

This might be the biggest individual matchup for the B1G in terms of national award potential in a very long time. These two players have been the most dominant players in the country over the entire year and it really isn’t even close. Although they may not end up having a lot of one on one matchups throughout the game as IU looks to protect TJD from foul trouble having to guard Edey and Purdue seemed to find success having Caleb Furst defending TJD.

Edey is averaging 22.1 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks and has been the single most dominant force Purdue has seen from a player since the Big Dog. His constant need for attention on the offensive end allows other players like Smith, Loyer, and Gillis to find open shots but his impact may be even bigger on defense. Opposing teams have struggled to score in the low post and paint area all season when Edey is in the game but IU put Edey in dribble hand off defense where Hood-Schifino and other wings were able to hit mid-range jumpers.

TJD is also having a great season averaging 20.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.9 blocks but his minutes have been incredibly high over the last month and it seemed to start to show in the second half of their previous game. TJD, on the season, is averaging 33.8 minutes per game but has sat very rarely for extended time in February. Until TJD sat the final 3 to 4 minutes of their game on Tuesday, Edey sat more minutes in their victory on Sunday against Ohio State than TJD had sat the entirety of February.

TJD is going to get his because he is that great of a player but I’m not sure IU has the horses up front to stop Edey over an entire game. Purdue has shown, at times this season, they can win when Edey scores under his average but I’m not sure Indiana can win if TJD doesn’t get above his average in this game.

2 | Ethan Morton vs. Jalen Hood Schifino

This may end up being the matchup that really determines the whole game. Hood-Schifino is a legitimate lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft and him being a legit 2nd scoring threat for IU makes them a very good team in the same way that Smith/Loyer/Gillis providing that scoring for Purdue does. Hood-Schifino is averaging 12.8 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists so limiting his ability to get into the lane and get to the rim or create for others will be a major key.

Purdue will look to Ethan Morton, their best wing defender, to slow down JHS enough to prevent IU from going on long runs slowing him down to prevent transition buckets. Morton hasn’t been a major scoring threat for most of the season but has provided more shooting of late from behind the arc. If Morton can hit 2 to 3 shots from behind the arc while providing good defense, they stand a good chance at winning tonight.

3 | Purdue Getting A Well Called Game from Officials

Again, this has been well documented here and throughout the Twitter-verse but officials calling a clean game will go a long way to Purdue winning. Edey getting the obvious calls when he posts up and goes up for a rebound along with calling screens illegal will likely give Edey and Purdue as many free throw opportunities as they want. Purdue fans aren’t clamoring for an unfair whistle but they are asking that the games are called clean. If that’s done tonight, I don’t think IU has the bench and the other scorers to keep up with Purdue.


IU is going to try and put Purdue and Edey into tough situations with dribble hand off situations on defense but Purdue has grown since that game 21 days ago. Has the extra time off this week provided more opportunities for growth and resting for the final stretch this season? I think so. Purdue isn’t going to come out with anything new and they certainly won’t change the starting lineup from the OSU game. It seems lately it’s been a revolving door of secondary scorers for Purdue to compliment Edey over the last month or so as Loyer has struggled. Tonight, I think it is Brandon Newman’s time as his defensive intensity and offensive decisions have looked as good as they ever have in his time at Purdue.

Purdue: 75

Indiana: 69