|Pos.||Minnesota Golden Gophers||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||Purdue Boilermakers||Pos.|
|PG||Deandre Mathieu||9.7||7.5||Jon Octeus||PG|
|G||Andre Hollins||13.7||4.1||Dakota Mathias||G|
|G||Carlos Morris||13.0||9.2||Rapheal Davis||F|
|F||Joey King||9.8||10.4||Vince Edwards||F|
|F||Maurice Walker||11.9||11.5||Isaac Haas||C|
|Bench||Nate Mason||10.7||9.9||AJ Hammons||Bench|
|Bench||Elliott Eliason||4.9||10.6||Kendall Stephens||Bench|
|Bench||Charles Buggs||4.5||6.2||Bryson Scott||Bench|
Purdue has struggled a bit this year dropping games to Gardner-Webb at home, trailing by as much as 18 in the second half, and the North Florida Ospreys earlier in December, contributing to an 8-5 record. What is their problem? It appears as though the one thing that has traditionally been a hallmark of Purdue basketball...defense; has been missing. Insert Pur_ue joke here.
Currently the Boilermakers rank 13th in the Big Ten in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency giving up 0.988 points per possession. And they are doing a particularly poor job of defending the three ranking 295th nationally in 3pt% allowed. That hasn't cut it against the likes of Gardner-Webb or North Florida and it is going to be a pretty significant issue in the Big Ten if Matt Painter doesn't get this team back to defensive basics.
Looking at the rosters, this is one of the Big Ten teams with a couple of legit post players in freshman Isaac Haas and A.J. Hammons both talented 7-footers. And Purdue has implemented a 4-out, 1-in offense to take advantage of these big men. This should make for a very intriguing match-up with the Gopher bigs in Walker and Eliason.
Efficiency Stats (national rank in parenthesis if significant)
|Off PPP||1.084 (33)||1.067|
|Def PPP||0.930 (43)||0.989|
|Def TO%||28.0% (3)||20.5%|
|Off Reb %||30.1%||37.9% (27)|
|Def Reb %||67.3%||70.7%|
Keys to a Gopher Win
Avoid Foul Trouble - This is a Big Ten road game and you are typically fighting the five guys in the lighter colored jersey as well as the three guys wearing stripes. Considering both teams have need their big men to not only be playing well, but they need them available. The Gophers need to avoid foul trouble in the paint.
Make Your Open Threes - This year's Gophers are better at shooting the three and the Boilermaker's have been particularly bad at defending the arc. I believe we are going to get open looks and I'm looking forward to Hollins, Mason, Morris and King knocking them down all night. Getting hot when on the road is tougher but it isn't unheard of. Gardner-Webb hit 56% of their shots from three, North Florida hit 45.5% so it can be done.
Box Out - Purdue hits the offensive glass rather well and we are not particularly good at defensive rebounding (not bad, but not good either). I like our chances in this game but if we give them second chance after second chance then I doubt we'll come away with an undefeated Big Ten record.