Remember back in early January when people wondered if the Purdue home game was a "must-win"? It wasn't, but today is absolutely a must-win! We are spiraling out of control and to the bottom half of the Big Ten. We managed to beat Michigan on the road, without Nolen in the second half. We need to be able to beat them at home.
Game Time: 3:30
TV: Big Ten Network
I'm sure we'll see the zone again today as Michigan has a couple high scoring guards that we'd be unlikely to defend well. As was the case before with Michigan they come down to whether or not they are hitting their threes. They don't have great shot selection but they take plenty. If they are hitting we'll be in major trouble. They attempted 35 threes last time around making 12 of them. Conversely we attempted just eight threes.
Once again we absolutely need to establish our identity. That obviously is owning the paint possession after possession. Don't quit with the plan. Even if Michigan does something special to take away Mbakwe or Sampson, we still can assert our will and pound the paint anyway. Mbakwe is greater than any frontcourt player Michigan can offer. Get him the ball.
No KenPom stats today, not because I'm lazy but because they are completely irrelevant today. If this team is going to win any more games it will have to be with some passion, desire and effort. All of which have been lacking at times over the last seven games.
A must win? YES. Can we win it? YES WE CAN. Will we? I don't know if we have the mental toughness to get it done but this afternoon would be a good time to show it.