On January 30th, the Indiana Hoosiers travel to West Lafayette to take on the Boilermakers. Despite an 11-9 record, this is never a game to take lightly. You can bet that the Matt Painter squad is going to get up for this game, especially coming off a nice overtime win against Iowa.
Terone Johnson will be the player to stop for the Hoosiers to get the win. The Purdue junior is averaging around 13 points per game with 5 rebounds. At 6’2″, a nice match-up would be with Victor Oladipo. The Hoosier guard displayed his superb on-the-ball defense against Michigan State, recording 6 steals and 20 deflections. Shut down Johnson from scoring, and Indiana will win the game.
Next on the list for Purdue is senior D.J. Byrd. The kid can shoot. He is Purdue’s Jordan Hulls. Indiana can’t let him catch the ball in a shooter’s position. They must go over screens that Byrd comes off, making sure that he doesn’t have time to get a shot off. If Crean decides to drop into a 2-3, which shouldn’t happen, Byrd will have a field-day. A zone defense is a shooter’s delight.
Now to talk about the Boilermaker big man, freshman A.J. Hammons. Not many people talk about Hammons, but he isn’t someone to look past. Zeller is quicker than him and can handle the ball better, but the one thing that Hammons has on Cody is pure size. A.J. is a big body that will cause trouble for Cody, but if Indiana stays in transition and pushes the ball, Zeller will for sure wear down Hammons and take advantage of his speed.
Purdue’s bench is not that deep, so keeping the speed up will play only as a favor to Indiana. Painter will try to slow the game down, like Wisconsin did to the Hoosiers. Crean just needs to keep the pressure on their top 3 players and push the ball the entire game.