*I normally post these on my own blog, but the guys at CrimsonCast have let me start posting them onto here as well. Just some little pregame tidbits about the next opponent’s players and my keys to the game for the Hoosiers. Hope you enjoy.
Taking care of two wins last week, the Hoosiers will have a fresh top-5 ranking coming into tonight’s showdown with in-state rival Purdue. Mackey Arena will surely be the loudest it has been all year as the Boilermakers will try to knock off the current conference leader. Last year at Mackey, the Hoosiers took care of business behind Victor Oladipo’s career high 23 points and the clutch 3-point dagger by Remy Abell late in the game. This year, Purdue has a mix of a couple decent upperclassmen and a talented young core. If Indiana truly wants to win the Big Ten they can’t afford slip ups in games like this one.
Matt Painter’s squad has traditionally been the team that is all up in your face defensively and will out hustle you and do whatever it takes, no matter how ugly, too win. This team is no different, however, the thin front court coupled with some poor shooting have set this team up to for pretty much a .500 win season the rest of the way out. The tough, grind it out style of play that is accustomed to the Big Ten actually favors Purdue so that has helped them get off to a 4-3 conference record. The catalyst in this game will be if the Boilermakers can make outside shots when it matters most. Coming into this game they are only shooting 31.4% from three.
With that, here is the scouting report for tonight’s game:
Game time: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 30, 2013
TV: BTN (Dave Revsine & Jim Jackson)
Purdue Boilermakers: 11-9 (4-3) Rank: 63 KenPom
#3 Ronnie Johnson: 6-0 170 Fr. G 9.2ppg 3.6apg 3.8rpg
-Ronnie is extremely quick from end to end and looks to penetrate on offense. He can hit the three but is only shooting 13.8% (4-29) so far this year. Yogi vs Ronnie will be the most intriguing match-up to watch tonight.
#0 Terone Johnson: 6-2 199 Jr. G 13.5ppg 2.9apg 5.1rpg
-Ronnie’s older brother has been Purdue’s best player this year. He is one of more improved players around the Big Ten. Although he is a 6’2 guard he is big and does a really good job of penetrating and getting inside and rebounding. He also has an improved three point shot as well but has been a horrible free throw shooter his whole career at Purdue.
#35 Rapheal Davis: 6-5 211 Fr. G 5.6ppg 0.8apg 3.4rpg
-Rapheal has been getting a lot more minutes as of late and he has put together some pretty good games, with the exception of his 0-fer against Iowa. He can score much better than Anthony Johnson, so Painter has gone with the freshman these last few games.
#21 D.J. Byrd: 6-5 228 Sr. G-F 10.5ppg 0.2bpg 4.1rpg
-D.J. has never found a shot he didn’t like. I have seen him go off on teams (see first half against Clemson) and then I have seen him be absolutely broke (see Xavier). He has put up 131 threes this year but is shooting just at 35.9% (47-131). He shouldn’t be playing the four spot but due to the Boilermakers lack of quality big man he is forced to guard bigger opponents.
#20 A.J. Hammons: 7-0 280 Fr. C 9.7ppg 0.7apg 6.3rpg
-Hammons is pretty good right now and he is only going to get better with time. He is one of the better shot blockers in the conference and rebounds well on both sides of the ball. The only question for A.J. is if he can keep up with Cody Zeller running the floor.
Coming off the bench:
#1 Anthony Johnson: 6-3 191 So. G 5.8ppg 1.3apg 3.3rpg
-The third Johnson on this team was supposed to be a bigger contributor than he has been this season. He has been pretty much a non-factor for the Boilermakers in conference. Although he is a poor shooter, he is athletic and can guard multiple positions on defense.
#15 Donnie Hale: 6-8 221 Fr. F 4.3ppg 0.4apg 3.1rpg
-Donnie had one of his better games of the season coming off the bench against Iowa on Sunday. Right now, Painter probably trusts Donnie over any of the other big men options off the bench.
#50 Travis Carroll F – Jr.
#55 Sandi Marcius F – Jr.
Keys to the game:
- Purdue is not a good outside shooting team so the Hoosiers must force the Boilermakers into taking shots they are uncomfortable with. Easy buckets at the rim will get the crowd into it and give the Purdue players that much more confidence throughout the game.
- While Purdue isn’t the most athletic or biggest team out there they will scrap and claw for every lose ball and rebound. IU hasn’t responded well this season to teams that are extremely physical so I will be interested in seeing how they handle this team.
- Victor Oladipo needs to keep playing at a high level. If there is one guy that can shut up a crowd in an instant, it is Vic. He had a career game last year at Mackey and he is coming into this game as the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week. I’m predicting a another huge game out of him.
- Over/Under: 10 minutes into the broadcast we here an “IU sucks” chant on TV. I’m going with under.