#5 Purdue (23-4, Big 10 13-4) vs. #17 Indiana (19-9, Big 10 10-7)
February 25, 2023, 7:30 p.m. EST
Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Indiana
Indiana Starting Lineup
|C||23||Trayce Jackson-Davis||Jr||6'9"||245||Greenwood, IN|
|F||25||Race Thompson||RS Sr||6'8"||235||Plymouth, MI|
|F||12||Miller Kopp||Sr||6'7"||215||Houston, TX|
|G||32||Trey Galloway||So||6'4"||203||Culver, IN|
|G||1||Jalen Hood-Schifino||Fr||6'6"||213||Pittsburgh, PA|
|C/F||5||Malik Reneau||Fr||6'9"||233||Miami, FL|
|F||22||Jordan Geronimo||So||6'6"||225||Newark, NJ|
|G||53||Tamar Bates||So||6'5"||198||Kansas City, KS|
Indiana On Offense
They’ve stayed shooting the ball incredibly well. With an effective FG% of 54.4 (28th), the Hoosiers are hitting a killer 38% from three point land (17th) and 53.4% inside (57th). Sure, a lot of that is having a physical presence down low, but in the teams’ last meeting, Indiana was very adaptive to Zach Edey’s presence around the rim and had an impressive showing of mid-range jumpers and floaters.
The Hoosiers’ pace has slowed down a tad to 16.5 seconds per possession, but still only 52 teams in men’s college hoops play faster. If Purdue can play tighter than they did in the first half of the last matchup, things slow down to the Boilermakers’ preferred tempo.
This statement from my previous Indiana preview still rings true: They are a very good passing team, especially in close quarters down low. Misdirection and threading the needle through tight passing windows may be their best bet in getting points down low with Edey in the fray. Even though they shoot well from three, they’re disciplined enough to pass up open deep shots with a fake-out drive, bounce pass, and layup while defenders are scanning the floor and getting caught in transition.
In that loss, Purdue’s defense got a taste of their own medicine in terms of offensive style. Early on, Indiana was moving the ball, Purdue was looking lost and allowing open shots while not being very aggressive from half court to the top of the key.
Indiana on Defense
The Hoosiers have seen slight decreases in most defensive categories since the beginning of the month, but still boast an adjusted defensive efficiency of 97.5, 43rd best in college basketball.
Really the only defensive knock on them overall is the fact that they don’t create turnovers; their 16.7% turnover percentage puts them at 278th nationally. The most frustrating part of Purdue’s loss on February 4th, for me, was that the Boilers allowed the Hoosiers 11 steals. In Indiana’s games since, they’ve recorded five steals (Rutgers), then three (Michigan), then one (Northwestern), then eight (Ilinois), then five (Michigan State). When you’re not known for creating turnovers, to have 11 steals against a team who takes pretty good care of the rock is definitely an anomaly.
Beyond that, they allow a 46th-ranked field goal percentage of 47.2, including allowing 32.5% from beyond the arc (92nd) and just 46.2% from inside (33rd). They remain one of the best shot blocking teams in the land with a block percentage of 14.2 (10th).
Indiana plays very physical defense, especially down low, and saw success with the hard double team on Zach Edey a few weeks ago. It’s the only time you ever see the big man panic, and he’s thrown the ball away quite a few times in such a scenario over the course of the season. In and around the painted area, they’re also quite adept at cutting off angles for driving guards, forcing less-than-ideal angles that are a little farther off to the side than somebody like Braden Smith or Fletcher Loyer would prefer. The result: layup attempts that border on circus shots, and Edey can’t always be there to clean up.
One thing I noticed in Purdue’s late comeback attempt in Bloomington was that once the Boilers started to maintain offensive rhythm and execute their style of basketball, Indiana was prone to getting lost with ball movement and over-committing to the double team, leaving open jumpers to shooters like Mason Gillis, David Jenkins, and Brandon Newman, each of whom are capable of getting hot and staying hot from long range. So long as Purdue doesn’t have a start like they did on the February 4th and can maintain pace from start to finish, the Boilers should be fine on offense. Such is to say: I don’t see Indiana doing it again.
X-Factor - Having More Than Two Boilers In Double Figures
Indiana’s success in double teaming Zach Edey left him “limited” to 33 points and 18 rebounds. The next leading scorer was Fletcher Loyer with 12. Beyond that, a few players had five or six points. And that’s all well and good, basketball is, of course, a team sport, and even point distribution with one dominant star going off is sustainable for some teams. Purdue has shown they can get by that way, but for a game of this magnitude, it’d be great to see more guys hover around 10 points while Edey goes, in the words of great American poet Waka Flocka Flame, hard in the [redacted] paint.
Even if Edey has one of those insane statlines and only one other Boilermaker hits double digits, it has to be more than 12 points. Somebody else has to get hot-handed against a very good Indiana defense.
Draft Kings Odds
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details
*Draft Kings Odds Provided by Jed
Purdue - 75
Indiana - 67
Purdue - 72
Indiana - 62
Indiana is a very good team, but they played out of their minds in the first half at home and the game still came down to the wire. I’d be very surprised to see that energy matched on the road in one of the toughest buildings to visit with a home crowd experiencing a certain degree of bloodlust.
I see Purdue getting back to their preferred pace of play and, while I do think it’ll be a solid back-and-forth for the first, let’s say 30 or 32 minutes, the Boilers should pull away down the stretch and outlast the Hoosiers who need to win out (with Purdue and Northwestern losing a few more) for any shot at the regular season conference title and a #1 seed in the Big 10 tournament.