What to Expect: Purdue

  • 02/18/2015 1:02 pm in

Indiana will look for its ninth conference win on Thursday night when it welcomes Purdue to Assembly Hall for the first time since 2013. The Boilermakers are 17-9 overall and 9-4 in Big Ten play.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET with Rece Davis, LaPhonso Ellis and Seth Greenburg on the call:

As we wrote in the preview for the first Indiana-Purdue game this season back in late January, the rivalry has failed to produce much drama in recent seasons. The Boilermakers have won the last two meetings between the two teams handily and prior to that, Indiana beat Purdue four straight times by double figures.

Still, it’s a game that fans on both sides look forward to and Thursday night’s tilt will be no different with both teams fighting for positioning in the Big Ten standings and NCAA tournament bids.

Purdue sits in a three-way tie for second place in the league standings, but still has plenty of work to do make the tournament due to a shaky non-conference record that included losses to Gardner-Webb and North Florida. And with road trips to Columbus and East Lansing still to go, Thursday’s tilt at Assembly Hall looms large. Indiana is just a game behind the Boilermakers, Maryland and Michigan State and is playing to move up in the standings and potentially grab a double bye in the Big Ten tournament.

MEET THE BOILERMAKERS (Note: All stats are conference games only)

Purdue dominated the first game in West Lafayette for a couple of reasons. First, it shot 71.9 percent on its 2s and held Indiana to just 44.7 percent on its own 2-point attempts. Indiana took the ball right at A.J. Hammons and had eight shots blocked. The Boilermakers also limited Indiana to just 4-of-19 shooting from behind the 3-point arc and shot 15 more free throws than the Hoosiers.

With IU’s defense overcompensating for Hammons and Isaac Haas, driving lanes were opened for guys like Raphael Davis (19 points) and Bryson Scott (11 points). When the final buzzer sounded, the result was a 83-67 beatdown that had the Mackey Arena faithful in a frenzy.

The same matchup problems remain for Indiana going into Thursday, but the Hoosiers will likely be better equipped to handle them with Hanner Mosquera-Perea available this time. Hammons is still playing the majority of the minutes at the five (nearly 60 percent) and is making 60.6 percent of his 2s in league play. He’s also leading the league in block percentage and is in the top eight in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. Haas, meanwhile, is making just 51.2 percent of his 2s and only 48.9 percent of his free throws in Big Ten play, which makes him a good candidate to foul if he catches the ball too deep in the post.

Painter played a more extended rotation in the first game in West Lafayette with Scott playing 22 minutes, but the last two games, he’s used just nine players and Scott didn’t log a single minute in either game.

Junior Raphael Davis continues to draw fouls at a very nice clip in league play (4.7 per 40 minutes), but has really struggled from the perimeter (31.8 percent). Senior guard Jon Octeus also gets to the line frequently (4.9 fouls drawn per 40 minutes) and is a high energy player who can get to the basket and finish. Octeus is shooting the highest percentage on 2s among Purdue’s perimeter players at 54.1 percent.

Freshman wing Vince Edwards is coming off Big Ten freshman of the week honors and is in the top 20 in the conference in both offensive rebounding percentage (7.5) and assist rate (24.7). Sophomore Kendall Stephens battled a finger injury earlier in the season and is streaky from the perimeter, but is coming off a 4-of-7 performance from deep against Nebraska. When Stephens gets going from 3, it’s typically from the right wing or left corner, per Shot Analytics:


Assuming Painter sticks with the nine-man rotation, the others you can expect to see are freshman guard Dakota Mathias, who starts, but is hitting just 24.4 percent of his 3s in Big Ten play. Freshman guard P.J. Thompson is a low usage backup point guard and sophomore Basil Smotherman is a wing who can bring energy and get into the lane. There’s always the possibility that Painter will again call Scott’s number based on his success as a defender and slasher in last month’s game, but that opportunity was partly due to foul trouble to Octeus, who played just 16 minutes.



With six wins in its last seven games, there’s no doubt that Purdue is playing well. It’s defense has emerged as one of the best in the conference, particularly from inside the 3-point arc as Big Ten teams are making just 41 percent of their 2s against the Boilermakers.

Indiana hopes to remove that as being a major part of the equation as the Hoosiers are scoring 39 percent of their points in Big Ten play from behind the 3-point line, which leads the conference. The game in West Lafayette was a woeful shooting performance by Indiana from the perimeter and simply cannot be repeated if Thursday’s outcome is to change.

While simply shooting the ball better is a major key for IU, Purdue is vulnerable on the defensive glass as Big Ten opponents are rebounding 32.5 percent of their misses. Purdue is also the second worst team in the conference at turning the ball over, which is something it did on 19.4 percent of its possessions in the first contest and IU was unable to take advantage of it.

With Mosquera-Perea and also Jordan Fuchs available in this game to go along with Emmitt Holt, the Hoosiers are still undersized in the paint, but should be better equipped to defend the post and not get constantly caught in over help situations that lead to easy buckets. Purdue is making 51.3 percent of its 2s in Big Ten play, which is a number that Indiana can probably live with, but giving up 71.9 percent on 2s again would be tough to overcome.


The Pomeroy projection likes Indiana by five and gives the Hoosiers a 68 percent chance at victory while Sagarin’s model likes IU by just 3.5 points.

Indiana has been fantastic at home this season with a 15-1 record and a unblemished 6-0 mark in conference play at Assembly Hall. Purdue has three Big Ten road wins (Penn State, Northwestern and Rutgers) and sits at 5-6 overall in games played away from Mackey Arena.

At stake for Indiana is pride after being embarrassed last month in West Lafayette and for Purdue, it’s a chance at a season sweep and another win to bolster the NCAA tournament resume. Assembly Hall, after some average atmospheres since the Maryland win, should be at its best this season and Indiana must establish its offense early after a disappointing start in the first meeting between the two teams. Ultimately, this one will come down to how well IU is able to contain the post defensively and whether the Hoosiers can find the open looks it needs to generate a lead and turn the crowd into a significant advantage.

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  • JWaltFTW

    Dress warm!

  • Joe

    I’m a student and I have general admission ticket for tomorrow’s game. My friends and I will be heading to the stadium tomorrow at 5:30 am. The student section will be everything you want and more.

  • PBzeer

    Sad when the Purdue game is a battle for 3rd best in the state instead of 1st.

  • ForeverIU

    He announced that is graduating early, but I don’t think technically he reclassifies until he is deemed eligible by the NCAA? Not sure though.

  • ForeverIU

    I know I’ve been preaching “one game at a time”, but I’m less worried about beating a good team at home (Purdue) than a weak team on the road (Rutgers, Northwestern). As we speak Northwestern is ahead of Minny at Minny. I hope we’ll go to Rutgers and NW with the same mindset we had at Maryland, and maybe even better.

    I think Purdue will get the lesson of their lives in small ball tomorrow. They will be running with their tongues hanging out. And I hope our fans will brave the cold weather and meet the PUkies all the way out where their bus drops them off (just returning their hospitality, that’s all, lol). Go Hoosiers!

  • KmanCRK

    IU did beat Butler for what’s its worth.

  • IU diehard from CT

    That’s it!! It’s attitude. Some kids get it. Some don’t. Tonight, they all need to follow yogis lead. They need to know the importance of this matchup. Give NO QUARTER

  • KmanCRK

    Two Basic Keys to the game:

    Offense – what will we do to counter what Purdue did in the first meeting by putting Hammons on Troy and camping in the lane knowing he doesn’t have an outside shot. That was very smart on Painter’s behalf.

    Defense – don’t let these average at best guards, get to the rim with such ease.

    That’s it.

  • KmanCRK

    AWESOME to hear.

  • KmanCRK

    Anyone who is concerned about students on a Thursday night game against the Boilers just isn’t thinking clearly.

  • IU diehard from CT

    Agree. The attitude and intensity must be there tonight. Essentially, of years(about 30) watching our beloved Hoosiers grit and intensity defines Purdue ball. Absolutely cannot come out flat.

  • KmanCRK

    Crean knows Lombardi through his connections with Harbaugh in SF. Belichick tagged along. Forget the Colts for 2 seconds (half of our roster has no ties to the Colts) and realize maybe the greatest coach in NFL history just gave our guys a pep talk this week. That is freaking unbelievable. I assumed we might see John Harbaugh on the bench tonight, but if not, happy we got a legend there to help motivate this kids and give them some perspective about winning.

  • Bill

    Yes. The difference between real life and sports world. What next – jim harbough can’t sit behind bench. Get a grip. Belichek came when Bob knight was there. Get a grip and I’m a life long Colts fan. For goodness sake.

  • IU diehard from CT

    Living in the northeast, I can flat out tell you that he is an amazing motivator and coach. Cheating or not. The man has gotten to 6! Super Bowls. He knows how to win,motivate and gameplan. He also knows about being prepared and playing rivals….constantly. Having a coach that seasoned and that successful come in in anyway way is a good thing.

  • IU diehard from CT

    atta boy!! get after it brother

  • IU diehard from CT

    i watched the loss twice, and the main reason for IU’s collapse to me was their intensity on both ends and the failure to make shots. not seeing the ball go in for james and robert almost looked like wind blew out of their sails. of course the boys went to the rim, and got stuffed. but i attribute that to a lack of recognition and focus. they understand the rivalry now, they get it. there are so many undertones to this matchup, but after years of watching theses two play, its intensity and focus on the defensive level. not understanding the game plan. that won’t be an issue tonight. lets face it, painter will have them ready, but for some it will be like a tidal wave they have yet not heard. when the hall is rocking, watch out. game is nationally televised. espn…..the hall will be pumped no doubt.

  • IU diehard from CT

    well written and good insight. Purdue won, give them credit, as you did. but several teams could say the same thing either way. IU has had a couple close games, and maryland has too. in fact maryland has had several. but i see what you are saying. and agree that their luck and fortune is about to run out. they will be playing the rest of their games against tournament teams. purdue is slow, and IU likes to run. heres hoping the boys can enforce their will within the first 4 mins and establish tempo.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    Oh my, Yogi will have this team as high as possible and the whole team should now understand the rivalry after getting humiliated and abused at Mackey. Hanner will make a difference in this one, please no early cheap fouls, just tough aggression.

    What is everyone’s favorite name for Purdue? I grew up with Purdon’t, PUke, Boilerhaters, or simply PU, as in stench. GO HOOSIERS!

  • SCHoosier

    Find it hard to believe that somebody at the TC news conference didn’t ask the question” What does IU have to do to keep the Boilers from getting 46 points in the paint like they did in the first game.” It was IU’s worst defensive game of the year iMO…46 pts..and nobody asks about that??

  • PBzeer

    Must be why Butler is ranked and IU isn’t.

  • IU diehard from CT

    butler plays in an amazingly weak big east. please, if IU were in the big east they would be better off than butler. butlers best win came courtesy of a neutral floor win against UNC. xavier’s best win was georgetown on their own floor. oh, they beat alabama but alabama sucks. st johns best win was at providence..providence’s best win was at BUTLER. nobody outside of villanova has had sustained success beating anyone outside of their conference. minnesota would be .500 in the bigEast

  • IU diehard from CT

    butler gets to play marquette, dePaul, creighton, and seton hall TWICE! those 4 teams have combined to win 17 conference games. boy, everyone in the big10 would sure love to beat up on those teams a bit

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    pay back tonite!! Hoosiers by 10

  • TomJameson

    Now Forever, I’ve been quoting your “one game at a time” mantra (with all due credit of course). Don’t be giving up on it now. lol I am worried about ALL the remaining games. In the B1G a home court advantage is pretty huge. The crowd gets into it, the players have an edge, and of course the home cooking. That said I think the PU game is most dangerous to us.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Toiletmakers, little brother (I think that one makes them the most angry).

  • Gdaddy

    Has anyone else noticed the poor showing from the student section in recent games? Getting there late and leaving early. It’s pathetic. Sure hope that changes tonight.

  • SilentBob

    I agree with that some. I do wish the games in the big 10 tourney could be played further apart to cut down on injuries. However I’d much rather my team go into the NCAA tourney with a head of steam instead of coming fresh off a loss, possibly to a mediocre team. Especially if we play flat and get our butts kicked.

  • just a fan

    There are only three ways to get forty-six points in the paint, and yes we all know they’re bigger than IU, they got some put-backs last game, but those 46 points seemed to come off passes to the low post or drives to the basket–too many of those. First cut off the passing lanes to either of the big centers; neither player is a Kaminksi-type who can create his own shot, but being seven foot players shooting over IU is a bit (unfortunately) eassier. We HAVE to stop the drives to the basket, and I’m hoping Crean has a plan to do exactly that–plus that we don’t get burned from 3-land outselves. Go Hoosiers !

  • jerry

    Crean must owe Hartman money. No reason Holt shouldn’t be starting the way he pounds the glass and bodies up on defense. Hopefully April will get a chance sometime as well. Know he’s been hurt, but a 6’11 five star recruit shouldn’t be sitting on the bench. Won’t be surprised to see him somewhere else next year. Blows my mind!!!!