#1 Purdue (22-1, Big 10 11-1) vs. #21 Indiana (15-7, Big 10 6-5)
February 4, 2023, 4:00 p.m. EST
Assembly Hall, Bloomington, 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’re good shooters overall but tend to go on cold spells against bigger teams, and buddy is Purdue a bigger team. All of Indiana’s minutes at center are played by a 6’9” tweener, but good ones at that. They will have their hands full with Edey, who’s gotten good at guarding beyond the free throw line as well. I don’t see the Hoosiers creating the open jumpers they’re used to in statement wins, but they do sit at 16th nationally in effective field goal percentage (55.2%), ranking 20th in three point percentage at 38% and 36th nationally in two point percentage at 54.5% while avoiding turnovers (55th at a rate of 16.7).
Like many medium-sized teams, they set up with four high and their center around the corner of the free throw line, but they may have to resort to shifty small ball based upon perimeter passing until a guy has a decent look at an open jumper or any semblance of a lane through which to drive. That would deviate from their regular pace of play; they’re not known for being patient offensively and at 16.2 seconds per possession, only 44 teams in the country have quicker possessions.
Purdue’s defense is quite adept at closing out open jumpers following good communication and switching assignments, so Indiana will have to play some of their most patient ball of their season to attempt to take advantage of a typically tight Boilermakers perimeter defense with the length to poke the ball away if the Hoosiers’ passing gets even the slightest bit sloppy.
They are, however, 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 against a much larger roster. 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 caught in transition.
I envision Purdue using a lot of rotations on the floor but using a heavy dose of the Edey-Furst length combo, especially given how the two big men have grown at playing perimeter defense white being able to recover with driving guards and forwards. That reach is hard to overcome when you don’t have a single seven footer.
Again, they can be really hot and really cold in shooting, and only when they seem to be flustered and off-rhythm, they start throwing the ball away. We saw this in their loss at Maryland, and Purdue is, uh, very good at frustrating defenses to the point of panic which manifests itself through forcing careless, desperate passes.
If they plan on getting points down low, they’ll have to throw the kitchen sink (or a bench chair) at Matt Painter’s team.
Indiana on Defense
The Hoosiers may be slightly on the smaller side collectively, but they play tenacious defense and actually are the seventh best division one team in terms of blocking percentage. That’s going to be almost non-exist against Purdue’s star center, but I am a bit worried about the Boilers’ guards jumping the gun in driving to the lane and getting some layups blocked from behind.
This is what bodes well for the Boilermakers: especially evident in their most recent loss at Maryland, Indiana can get lost in switching and give up open looks from three. Guys like Ethan Morton, Mason Gillis, David Jenkins, Jr. and even guards Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith thrive in those situations, especially as of late.
As Mason Gillis proved in Purdue’s most recent win against Penn State, if even one guy can get hot with open jumper opportunities for Purdue, your team is going to have a long night (or afternoon) while having to deal with a red-hot shooter in conjunction with a player of the year candidate down low who’s almost guaranteed 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. Indiana’s chore will be limiting Edey while not losing assignments (or rather, giving up too much space) on the outside. Much easier said than done given Purdue’s size, ball movement, and arsenal of players capable of having high percentage shooting nights on anything including or beyond a mid-range jumper.
Indiana forces a 42nd-ranked 46.7% effective field goal percentage. Purdue has a 71st ranked effective field goal percentage, but a clear size advantage. This aspect of “something’s gotta give” is a difficult one to judge as Purdue and Indiana respectively have the 30th- and 31st-ranked strengths of schedule in college basketball, but the Hoosiers haven’t seen a Zach Edey and Purdue’s 2022-23 slate is somehow harder despite not having to play, ya know, themselves, the top-ranked team in the country, twice in one season.
X-Factor - Transition Points/Pace In General
Indiana’s one of the most shot clock impatient teams in the country, so if they can play at that pace by increasing their defensive turnover percentage from a less-than-stellar 16.9%, they stand a chance at stealing points and keeping themselves in it for the long haul. Otherwise, in a total flip of hypothetical offensive strategy, the Hoosiers will have to milk the shot clock as they look for open jumpers against a group of boilermakers who excel at perimeter defense. Indiana’s best chance at a win is controlling the turnover game, forcing rare mistakes, and strolling to transition layups. They simply can’t rely on mid-range/long-range shots to win unless they have a record-setting or near-record-setting shooting percentage game.
Purdue - 72
Indiana - 70
Purdue - 75
Indiana - 69
Despite Indiana’s size, when they’re hot, they’re hot. They’re playing at home against their biggest basketball rival. They’ve had some ugly losses, but they’re a talented team coming off a road loss, so I expect them to play as close to out-of-their-minds as they can against a team that, on paper, should body them and force the Hoosiers to win on shooting insanely well from outside. I predict this being a game filled with scoring runs for both offenses, but Indiana will end up having to foul frequently in the waning seconds with Purdue having a two-possession lead.