1 | Zach Edey vs. Whatever Defensive Plan FDU Uses
Well, this is clearly the biggest indicator of why Purdue just couldn’t ever get anything going offensively. Edey was fine against the smaller sized FDU defenders but he just couldn’t get the ball enough to truly be effective. Edey scored 21 points on just 7/11 field goals and that was a number that should have been doubled minimally against a team like FDU. All to often, however, Purdue’s wings and guards stagnated on the offensive end and didn’t get FDU to move laterally enough to prevent the double and triple teams effectiveness. Instead, players caught passes, hesitated when they couldn’t pass to Edey immediately, and then didn’t move the ball quickly enough to take advantage of the presence of Zach inside.
This game isn’t on the shoulders of Purdue’s latest generational talent, not by a long shot. He is reliant on the players around him to get him the ball but when those players just freeze and can’t be effective, it isn’t his fault. I saw very little penetration from the wings or baselines from Purdue players which meant FDU could often times defend 2 players with 1 man while focusing all of their attention of preventing Edey from getting the ball. FDU knew the only way to stop Zach was to not let him get the ball in the first place and Purdue’s other players failed in that regard.
Advantage: FDU, decidedly
2 | Braden Smith vs. Demetre Roberts
Braden picked the wrong time to finally really look like a true freshman on the biggest stage of the season. He shot just 2/10 from the field and hit just 1/6 from behind the arc. The bigger issue was his 7 turnovers that prevented Purdue from really taking control of the game. Turnovers were an issue all game for the entire team as they had 16 total but Braden’s total was more than double that of the next player (Loyer, 3).
Roberts was good but not great against Purdue as he was just 4/11 from the field and scored only 12 points but he had only 2 turnovers and contributed 4 assists. He didn’t hurt this team’s ability to control the pace and flow of the game while Smith failed to get Purdue into any sort of rhythm other than the 13-0 spurt the had late in the first half.
Advantage: FDU, decidedly
3 | FDU’s Fouling vs. Purdue at the Free Throw Line
FDU was called for 19 fouls throughout the game and Purdue did connect on 15/19 from the line for the game but Purdue should have been more aggressive than they were at times on the offensive end. In the final 7:30 of the second half, Purdue just failed to go at FDU defenders to put them into bad positions and get to the foul line when shooting was obviously an issue. Purdue seemed to get tight and thought they HAD to make threes to jump start the game when being patient and ball movement could have opened up driving lanes and post entry passes for Edey as the defense moved.
Well, I pretty much hit FDU’s score on the head but man I couldn’t have been any more wrong about Purdue’s. Purdue struggled to understand what FDU was doing defensively and couldn’t attack the weaknesses with quick passes along the perimeter, hitting cutters through the lane, and attacking off the dribble from the 45’s. When your shot chart for the second half looks like the one below, you are probably not going to have a good time.