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The Rebound: Purdue 95 Penn State 78

Purdue shoots the lights out and runs away from Penn State in a bounce back game at Mackey Arena

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

That’s what you want to see a team do when they lose a tough one on the road. The Purdue Boilermakers really looked more like their early season selves against the Penn State Nittany Lions and dominated after a bit of a sluggish start. That middle part of the first half that saw Purdue go on a massive run was really the first time we saw Purdue play ultra-connected on both ends of the floor in a couple of games. That level of play is what makes Purdue different from just about any one else in the country this season. A 33-6 run in major college basketball is never something you should scoff at.

Let’s review a Boiler victory with ‘The Rebound!’

1 | Get Edey More Looks

Did Edey get more than 12 shots in this game? Officially, Edey went 10-12 but also had 14 free throw attempts. That means he was clearly over 12 shots total for the game and when he is being the effective and efficient, the Boilers need to continue feeding him the ball or getting him opportunities. I should have clarified that these don’t have to be post ups only as Edey has shown an incredibly effectiveness on rolls and dips to the hoop following on ball screens. What might be even more effective for Edey when the double and triple teams are too much to just jam the ball inside to him, is to get a clean shot onto the rim for him to rebound on the offensive glass and get put back points.

Teams are going to try and double Edey from almost any angle and opportunity and if Purdue isn’t hitting from the outside at a consistent enough basis to pull those double teams off of him, that option of taking a well timed outside shot may be the best chance for Edey to impact the game. Let’s be honest, playing solid defense for an entire possession, only to see it Edey rebound it and dunk like he is playing on a NERF hoop on the back of a door can be frustrating.

An aspect that Edey I think can continue to improve on is something we saw from him earlier in the season and finally saw again against Penn State on the interior. His sweeping shots across the lane should be switched to a more hook shot instead where he can avoid a lot of double teams by simply shooting over them on the move. If you can remember Zavier Simpson from a few seasons ago at Michigan, his across the lane hook shot he would use was nearly impossible to defend. Edey employing the same footwork (which isn’t much more than adding one more dribble before he turns over his left shoulder to get into the motion) and coming across the lane for a hook shot from the left to right side would add an immense amount to his game. He is almost there already but the shot he uses just looks kind of awkward (when you are as good as Edey, these miniscule points of contention are what you are going to get. The kid is a superstar).

Grade: A+

This is what the reigning NPOY should look like against over matched opponents. Purdue made a concerted effort to make PSU pay for how they were defending Edey and Edey did his part by running the floor more effectively than in previous games. He was rewarded with a massive slam off a transition opportunity from Braden Smith. If that happens more, watch out!

2 | Don’t Turn the Ball Over

The mark here for the Boilers has long been around 12 turnovers per game and not allowing those to be really bad ones like they often had at Nebraska. Against Penn State, Purdue had 14 turnovers but just 6 in the first half before stretching the lead way out to 28 in the second half. A key issue to watch moving forward is Purdue allowing an immense amount of points off turnovers, which Penn State had 17 in that regard. Some of that may simply be sloppy play at times in the second half as Purdue only gave up 4 of those in the first half, but still something that needs to be cleaned up and something Coach Painter will likely point to ahead of the games this week.

As has been pointed out many times, you can live with multiple turnover games from Smith and Edey because of the weight those two carry. What you can’t have is other guys having multiple turnovers games and in this one Lance Jones had 3 and Myles Colvin had 2. Cutting those 5 turnovers down to 2 instead makes the overall numbers look much better and doesn’t give up free possessions unnecessarily.

Grade: B

There are always things to work on and some times blowout wins can give a false sense of security. Even with a drubbing at home against Penn State, there are still things that are noticeable that the coaching staff can point to. The unnecessary turnovers are one of those areas.

3 | Dominate the Glass, Especially Offensively

Count this as another major take away from Purdue’s victory. The Boilers, after struggling a bit rebounding at the levels they should be, have seemed to find their way in that regard recently. Against Penn State, it was an insurmountable stat that can’t be ignored: +19. That is margin in which Purdue outrebounded Penn State, 43-24, along with grabbing 10 offensive reounds. There honestly weren’t that many chances on the offensive end because Purdue shot the ball well for most of the game.

Grade: A

Rebounding is all effort and it should come as no surprise that as Mason Gillis has seen his minutes go up with more effectiveness, Purdue’s overall numbers rebound the ball have gone up as well. Sometimes it is about more than just grabbing 20 rebounds a game as an individual can impact how the entire team rebounds. Gillis does that for Purdue.

And 1 | Is There A Starting 5 Shake-up?

Well, there was no shakeup in the starting lineup but Mason did have more minutes (18) than TKR (16) did again. I still firmly believe that Mason should just be given the nod while TKR is inserted as the backup at both positions because it just seems like Purdue’s offense runs more smoothly that way, but I’ll trust CMP’s decision making here. Gillis stretches the floor more with his shooting and can defend a bit better than TKR can on the wing but TKR provides a legitimate high-low post threat that is difficult to defend because nobody runs that in the college game like Purdue can.

At this point, I don’t think it has anything to do with Purdue winning or losing. I think it is simply a guy feeling that Coach Painter has with the guys he has starting a game. Having TKR and Edey in the game is punishing for an opposing team to defend against and that type of physicality can throw an opponent off the rails pretty quickly. Purdue has shown that more often times than not this season.

Grade: A?

I mean, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to grade this one but we’ll go with an A since Purdue dominated.

Overall Grade: A

Hard not to give an overall A grade when you are able to blast the doors off a conference opponent on your home floor and steal some extra minutes for Myles Colvin, Will Berg, and Brian Waddell. It’s also great when Edey can grab a 30 and 20 night to pad his stats towards a second straight consensus NPOY.

Prediction:

Purdue: 95 (84)
Penn State: 78 (70)

Purdue was in total control after PSU went ahead 10-8 with 15:36 left in the first half. From that point on, it was generally an onslaught from Purdue as the Boilers went from down 2 to up 25 in under 7 12 minutes of game play. That run of 33-6 put the conference on notice a bit more of what Purdue can do when both ends of the floor are clicking together.

Player of the Game:
This one is an easy one again as Zach Edey went for 30 points, 20 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks in 30 minutes and was an astounding +27 for the night (second only to Mason Gillis’ +30). Not much more you can say about the Boiler big man than what has already been said but when you start getting into the realm he is creeping in to from a scoring, rebounds, and double-double standpoint, you have to make sure to appreciate every game he plays in.

Play of the Night:

In the midst of that big run the Boilers went on in the first half, Edey had one of the plays that shows why his draft stock has gone from fringe 2nd rounder to solidly in the late first round and early second round right now. With 11:47 left in the first half, PSU turned the ball over and Braden Smith dashed down the center of the court with Edey trailing behind him. Smith turned and dumped the ball and Edey elevated for a massive slam.