Indiana Basketball vs. Purdue: Game Info, preview, prediction and more

BLOOMINGTON, IN - JANUARY 14: Romeo Langford #0 of the Indiana Hoosiers shoots the ball against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Assembly Hall on January 14, 2019 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
BLOOMINGTON, IN - JANUARY 14: Romeo Langford #0 of the Indiana Hoosiers shoots the ball against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Assembly Hall on January 14, 2019 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Indiana Hoosiers look to bounce back from Monday’s loss by bringing composure and intensity to West Lafayette.

Now a protected rivalry series, Indiana and Purdue will play twice every season from now on, and the Boilermakers play host in West Lafayette on Saturday for the first of two matchups this season between the two programs.

Since falling to Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic on December 15th, the Boilermakers have turned things around lately thanks to better production and support from players not named Carsen Edwards.  Purdue now sits at 4-2 in the Big Ten, with their two losses coming on the road against both Michigan and Michigan State.

For Purdue, everything starts and ends with potential Big Ten Player of the Year, Carsen Edwards.

So far this season, Edwards is averaging 24.9 points per game, shooting 38.4 percent from deep all while attempting 5.4 free throws per game, so Indiana will have to pick their poison when it comes to Edwards’ offensive game.

Edwards can catch fire from anywhere on the court, but the Hoosiers will need to focus on preventing him from probing the lane on Saturday to have any chance of leaving West Lafayette with a win.  If the Hoosiers can keep him out of the lane as much as possible, there will be fewer opportunities for players like Ryan Cline to catch fire from deep.

Cline, the Carmel High School product, will play a major role in this game, as he is the only other Boilermaker averaging double-digits with 12.6 points per game. While attempting nearly 8 three-pointers per game, sharpshooter Ryan Cline is making them at a 40.9 percent clip.

Purdue is ranked 27th in the country in three point attempts (28 per game), and 56th in three point percentage (37.4), so preventing Edwards’ dribble penetration will be vital for Indiana. If Purdue is able to break down the pack-line defense, Ryan Cline will surely be the beneficiary who makes Indiana pay from deep.

Nojel Eastern rounds out the back court for Purdue.

Averaging 6.2 points per game, most of Eastern’s value will be derived through his strong perimeter defense at 6-foot-6.  Eastern is still developing a jump shot at this stage in his career, so look for Indiana to take advantage of this by helping off of him to prevent dribble penetration.

Recently the strength of their team, Purdue’s front court rotation of Evan Boudreaux (7.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG), Matt Haarms (7.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG), and Trevion Williams should not present the same defensive headache as Isaac Haas did in last season’s matchup.  However, Trevion Williams has burst onto the scene over the past few weeks.

In their last three games, Williams has averaged 12.7 points and 12 rebounds per game.  He should be a handful on the glass for Indiana, which fell to Maryland in College Park as a result of being outrebounded by 17, due to its lack of size.

On the other hand, look for the Hoosiers to take advantage of Juwan Morgan’s versatility and ability to stretch the floor against Williams, who is more of a back-to-the-basket big man.

Keys to the game

Indiana will need elite defensive play from back court players Devonte Green and Rob Phinisee, who should be the main personnel tasked with defending Carsen Edwards.

Expect the Hoosiers to focus on shutting down Purdue’s supporting cast in Ryan Cline and Trevion Williams, forcing Carsen Edwards to shoulder the entire offensive load for Purdue.

Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan will need to carry Indiana’s offense, and will need to knock down multiple threes, in order to stretch the floor for Indiana’s struggling offense.

Expect Purdue to assign Nojel Eastern to guard Langford, using Eastern’s length and defensive tenacity to prevent Langford from catching fire.

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In the end, it all comes down to rebounding.

Indiana needs to collectively rebound at a high level, with extra help from guards crashing down at the end of defensive possessions.

Trevion Williams has proved to be a beast on the boards recently for a Boilermakers team that ranks 42nd in the NCAA with 13 offensive rebounds per game, so Indiana will need to prevent second chance opportunities resulting from Williams’ outrebounding of this undersized Hoosiers squad.

What you need to know

What? Indiana 12-5 (3-3) vs Purdue 11-6 (4-2)
When? Saturday, January 19 – 2;00 PM EST
Where? Mackey Arena – West Lafayette, Indiana 
Radio? Indiana Radio Network
All-Time series? Indiana leads series, 66-60
Prediction? Purdue 75, Indiana 67