Coming off of a dramatic win over Dayton in the last minute, Purdue will play the Incarnate Word Cardinals, out of San Antonio, Texas. Quite frankly it is hard to find an area of the game where Purdue will not have the advantage.
The Cardinals have lost their last 3 games, and their 3 wins have come against teams I never heard of. Their one bright spot is Junior guard Brianna Williams who is their leading scorer this year and who dropped in 21 points in their last game in a loss to Houston. Their only other player averaging in double figures is point guard Aricka Adams.
Incarnate Word doesn't have much in the statistics categories to impress. Their overall field goal shooting is at 38%, while averaging barely above 25% from beyond the arc and 61% from the free throw line. They do turn their opponents over at about 20 turnovers a game, but they also commit the same number of turnovers per game on offense. They are also lacking in height. Only two players are over 6 feet tall, at 6-1 and 6-2.
In short, if this teams gives us trouble, we are in trouble. The challenge as always though is not to play down to your opponents, and we have all seen that in a variety of college sports. That being said, Purdue will most likely run up the score by halftime, and be able to get more playing time for freshmen McBryde, Keisler, and Murphy. They will need all the experience they can get by the time conference season starts, which is not too far away. Coach V may also have the luxury of doing some experimentation with various schemes both on offense and defense. It would be nice to see the team feed into the post in the half court more effectively, as that area of the offense has been shaky at best. Team defense has definitely been a major strength this season, as Purdue has consistently switched back and forth between man to man and a 2-3 zone. Against Dayton they threw in a 1-3-1 zone which they were not expecting and it really created problems for the Flyers, which are a very good team. No team has scored more than 60 points in regulation against the Boilers, and we can expect that trend to continue. This is just a really tough match up for Incarnate Word.
Prediction: Purdue 74 - Incarnate Word 49
Footnote: It was announced today that sophomore forward Erica Moore has transferred out of Purdue, effective immediately. While she put forth a lot of effort and hard work, she was essentially our 4th option at the 5 position. We wish her well wherever she does decide to play.