Know Your Opponent: Purdue
Indiana is looking for its first win against Purdue under head coach Archie Miller when facing off on Thursday night.
The Boilermakers have won 10 of the last 11 meetings, with five coming by double-digits.
Purdue comes into this matchup at 8-5 (3-3). It's been an up-and-down season thus far, but the physical style of play remains the same.
Led by Trevion Williams, Purdue uses a strong inside-out offense. Williams is averaging 15.0 points - 18.2 ppg in the last eight - and 9.5 rebounds per game. Williams is a load to handle in the paint at 6-foot-10 and 265 pounds. He has very good touch and agility with tremendous footwork. When teams look to double, he is a willing and good passer. He averages 2.4 assists per game and has had both a five and eight assist night this season.
On the wing, Sasha Stefanovic leads the Boilermakers and is often the recipient of a Williams pass out of a double. He is a true knockdown shooter, shooting 49.3 percent from three this season. 71 of his 85 attempts come from three, so if IU is able to run him off of the three-point line, it will find success. On the season he is averaging 10.7 points per game, but just 8.1 in Big Ten play.
Eric Hunter is another perimeter player who is someone to watch out for. He is averaging 10.3 points per game, but has been struggling as of late, averaging just 5.3 points per game in his past three games, shooting 3-of-21. He is still trying to get back to playing at a consistent level, but he had good showings against Notre Dame, Ohio State and Maryland. He also averages a team-high 3.4 assists per game.
Redshirt freshman Brandon Newman has been another terrific perimeter player for the Boilermakers this season. He is averaging 9.3 points per game and has stepped up when Hunter has struggled. Newman has scored in double-digits in four of the six conference games this season. Overall, he is shooting 40 percent from three this season.
Zach Edey enters off of the bench as a 7-foot-4 freshman. He is averaging 8.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game and is an absolute threat around the rim, as you would imagine. He struggles to play long stretches, however, averaging 7.1 fouls and 5.2 turnovers per 40 minutes.
Purdue Projected Starters
G - Eric Hunter (Jr; 6-4; 190)
Stats: 10.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.4 apg
G- Sasha Stefanovic (Jr; 6-5; 200)
Stats: 10.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 49.3 3pt%
G - Brandon Newman (Fr; 6-5; 195)
Stats: 9.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.9 apg
F - Mason Gillis (Fr; 6-6; 230)
Stats 4.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.2 apg
C - Trevion Williams (Jr; 6-10; 265)
Stats: 15.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.4 apg
Things To Watch For Indiana:
Indiana has struggled with size and length in opposing front courts this season. With Trevion Williams and Zach Edey, that is exactly what Purdue brings. Purdue also has the 15th tallest team in the nation according to KenPom. Purdue isn't necessarily deep in the front court, but is talented and big. IU needs to be able to stay out of foul trouble.
We saw Nebraska double-team Trayce Jackson-Davis every possession and that resulted in multiple wide open looks for IU. The Indiana guards need to make sure to knock down the open shots like they did on Sunday, but don't fall in love with the three like they also did.
It all comes down to toughness. IU has been able to buy into the toughness calling card multiple times this season and it will need to do so again on Thursday. Making sure to finish every possession will be a key with Purdue's rebounding ability.
Who: Purdue (8-5; 3-3) at Indiana (8-5; 3-3)
When: Thursday, Jan. 14 @ 7:00 pm ET
Where: Bloomington, IN
TV: FS1 (Tim Brando and Donny Marshall)
Radio: IU Radio Network with Don Fischer, Errek Suhr and Joe Smith
• Purdue leads the all-time series 120-89 and has won the last seven matchups. The last time out, Purdue won, 57-49.
• Senior guard Al Durham is averaging 15.8 points per game in the last four games, shooting 38 percent from three in that span.
• Rob Phinisee is the first scholarship recruit from Lafayette to play for the Hoosiers since 1948 (Bob Masters and Charlie Vaughn).
• According to KenPom, Purdue and Indiana are the Big Ten's two-least experienced teams. Purdue ranks 326th in experience (1.09 years) & Indiana ranks 289th (1.35 years).
• Trevion Williams is one of just two players in the nation with an assist and rebound rate of 20+ percent.