After a Thursday night home win against UIC, the Lady Boilers will take a fast ride to Jacksonville, Florida to play the mighty Ospreys on Saturday afternoon. After that, Purdue will play in the Gulf Coast Showcase over Thanksgiving weekend.
So even though the UIC game just finished, I thought I would provide a brief preview of the Saturday game.
After the Boilers played a fast and athletic team with a bonafide star player in Ruvanna Campbell (and some terrible ball handlers), it doesn't look like the Ospreys of North Florida will be able to throw very much at the Boilers. The Ospreys are in the ultimate rebuilding mode. Their new coach, Darrick Gibbs, who just took over this season, only has one senior on the roster and a lot of inexperience and youth. Last season the wheels came off as they finished the year with a record of 11-17 but placed dead last at 2-10 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. This is the conference dominated of late by Florida Gulf Coast who ran the table last season in the A-Sun conference, going 14-0 in conference and 31-3 overall.
North Florida will play 10 players, with two sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules. Junior Point Guard Claire Ioannidis leads the team in scoring by a wide margin. Wing Taru Madekivi anchors the post, with some expected help from freshman Forward Katie Meckus, a 2015 McDonald's All-American nominee. Guard Kadesia Johnson is the lone senior, and Sierra Shephard is a contributor at Guard. Where do they get these names? Ioannidis is from Australia and Madekivi is from Scandinavia.
While North Florida has nothing to lose and will most likely play fast and loose, it just doesn't look like they will match up very well against the Boilers. Even though the Boilers shot poorly all the way around against UIC, we will be able to dictate tempo and wear this team down. Our defense will most likely give them big problems. Even though we are rebuilding in the post ourselves, I expect Purdue to dominate in the post as well as pretty much all over the court.
Prediction: Purdue 79 - North Florida 47