The nation’s top team hits the road for a clash of two intrastate rivals as Wooden Award front runner Zach Edey leads his top-ranked Purdue Boilermakers to Assembly Hall to face the Indiana Hoosiers.
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Indiana (-1, 139.5)
Saturday’s matchup with Trayce Jackson-Davis might be Edey’s toughest test of the season with both entering averaging a double-double.
Edey is the top-five nationally in points and rebounds per game with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game while Jackson-Davis is logging 19.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game.
The big difference in the player’s game is Edey’s has translated more to defense while Jackson-Davis has helped the offense flow a bit more with 3.5 assists per game.
This battle will likely be won or lost based on which team gets their tempo as Purdue has not allowed a single team to score more than 70 points per game on them and rank 341st out of 363 Division I teams in total possessions per game. Indiana ranks 131st in the country in possessions per game, but averaging 3.5 more points per game, is averaging fewer points per possession than Purdue.
The Boilermakers have Edey controlling the glass, which has led to Purdue leading the country in rebound rate. With the double teams and overall attention Edey commands, it leads to Purdue’s guards having to worry only about cutting off the perimeter, and they have executed to the tune of allowing opponents to shoot just 29.4% from 3-point range in games away from home, which ranks 23rd in the country.
With Edey facing a test that figures to be one of his most difficult of the season with Indiana 27th in the country in rebound rate, it will likely lead to Purdue taking more outside shots and the Boilermakers enter Saturday ranked 181st in America in 3-point shooting percentage at 33.9%.
While the Purdue defense has the most superlatives, the Hoosiers do enter Saturday having allowed 70 points or fewer in six straight games and with the way Purdue has gotten their slow pace in games all season, fans will be treated to an old-school defensive battle in the paint on Saturday.
The Play: Purdue vs. Indiana Under 139.5
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