The Purdue Boilermakers were able to grab an important road victory against the Maryland Terrapins 67-53. The Boilers were led by another set of solid performances from Zach Edey with 23 points and 12 rebounds and Braden Smith who had 14 points. 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Purdue struggled in the first half with rebounding but shored up those issues in the second half and extended their lead out to 22 at one point before clinching a 13 point victory on the road.
Let’s get into it with ‘The Rebound!’
1 | Limit the Turnovers
Purdue did a great job of not only limiting their turnovers in the first half but not really having a series of unfortunate events lead into a big run for the Terps other than a spell in the second half when the game had already been decided. The lone issue was when Purdue had gotten up big and Braden Smith had a set of bad turnovers but none of those really led to Maryland going on big runs as Maryland’s largest run of the game was a 5-0 run that came in the second half off a flagrant foul on Fletcher Loyer that led to two made free throws and a made three pointer.
Overall, Purdue ended the game with 12 turnovers and that is right about where they have been most of the season. Matt Painter would like to be at less than 10 per game but the only players to have multiple turnovers were the two guys that are going to have the ball in their hands the most, Zach Edey (5) and Braden Smith (4). As long as the other guys aren’t having turnover problems, those are really numbers you should be able to live with if you are Purdue. Cut those down in half for both players and it’s going to take a massive game from any opponent to beat the Boilers.
I wanted to make note of how important it is to take care of the ball and limiting an opponent’s ability to score points off those opportunities are from another game. In Indiana’s game against Nebraska, both teams from a statistical standpoint played relatively even with the exception of turnovers. While Nebraska had just 8 turnovers, the Hoosiers turned the ball over 19 times and the Huskers turned that into 27 points. The final score saw the Huskers beat the Hoosiers by 16 points and that highlights the importance of protecting the basketball for the Boilers moving forward.
Overall, the way Purdue took care of the ball against a top 25 defensive team according to Kenpom was great. You can live with the 12 turnovers most nights but the way they came for the Boilers is 100% acceptable. Continue to improve in those areas for Smith and Edey and the Boilers just become increasingly difficult to compete with.
2 | Get the Power Forwards More Involved Offensively
For the second game in a row, TKR got the offense going by hitting a three on Purdue’s first possession when an opponent doubles down on Edey. Although Edey and Gillis didn’t score a ton of points, when you combine their output you have 7 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 turnovers, and were a total of +16 for the game. More importantly, the power forwards are doing a great job of defending without fouling as Gillis and TKR totaled only 3 total fouls and are doing a great job of helping on defense at all positions.
It is hard to be upset when the forwards are playing well and it is especially hard when they aren’t doing things that puts Purdue into bad situations. If those two can provide a bit more scoring for the Boilers from that power forward position that can be used to bolster the team on a night when Loyer or Smith may be struggling from the field.
3 | Force Maryland to Use Their Bench
This is probably one of the aspects that Purdue didn’t do a great job at throughout this game but Maryland is a team that doesn’t really foul all too often. Purdue didn’t generate a lot of offense from the free throw line as they only took 10 shots but they did a good job in hitting 8 of those attempts. This ultimately didn’t make much of a difference as outside of Jahmir Young the Terps didn’t provide much of anything in the way to effect the game.
This grade doesn’t mean Purdue was poor throughout the game but just that they didn’t generate a lot of fouls and attempts at the free throw line. This just meant that Maryland didn’t have to use their bench players, which benefits Purdue in a massive way.
4 | Limit Jahmir Young’s Effectiveness and Efficiency
This was about as good of a job as you could have hoped for against Maryland. Yes, Young got 26 points but he did so having to take 23 shots to get there and he didn’t have a single assist throughout the game. That is the definition of limiting his effectiveness and his efficiency. It is bolstered even more when you look at the stats of his teammates as no other Terrapin got into double figures and nobody else had more than two assists. Just a stellar job by Lance Jones, Ethan Morton, and Myles Colvin as primary defenders against one of the best guards in the B1G.
Forcing Young into taking that many shots to get 26 points and not allowing him to generate opportunities for others was as a key part of Purdue’s 13 point victory as any other for this game. The biggest key in this aspects was limiting Julian Reese to 0 points on only 4 shot attempts.
I likely overestimated Maryland’s defensive ability but their offense was really atrocious most of the night. Purdue wasn’t quite as efficient as they have been offensively but that might just be more of Maryland’s approach to playing versus anything else. Purdue winning by 13 on the road in the B1G is a really good victory, especially one where Maryland could very well figure themselves out a bit more and become an issue for anyone else they may face.
Purdue: 67 (81)
Maryland: 53 (67)
Player of the Game:
Zach Edey takes this distinction once again with a 23 point and 12 rebound performance against the Terps. Edey has now scored in double figures for the 47th time in his career and is just 9 rebounds away from becoming the second player in program history with 1,000 rebounds (Joe Barry Carroll). According to Kenpom, Edey is almost a full point ahead of the second player in the race for the NPOY. Duke Kyle Filipowski, San Diego State’s Jaedon LeeDe, Clemson’s PJ Hall, and Kasas’ Kevin McCullar round out the top 5.
Play of the Game:
Early in the second half, Purdue went to Lance Jones as Maryland was clearly still heavily focused on Zach Edey’s ability to score inside. The transfer guard paid dividends as he hit three consecutive three pointers to extend Purdue’s lead to 43-23 and prevent Maryland from really using their zone defense much after that. Edey’s ability to spin and locate Jones with a pass that hits Jones in the shot pocket so he can quickly get up a quality shot should not be overlooked. A part of Edey’s game that has grown exponentially over the last three seasons.
Your @HammerAndRails 'Play of the Game' from @BoilerBall's victory over @TerrapinHoops comes from early in the second half as @LanceBuckets hits his third straight three to push Purdue's lead to 43-23 & featured a great assist from @zach_edey. pic.twitter.com/d5Zc8zvtnU— Jed Wilkinson (@PurdueWilkie) January 5, 2024