The #17 ranked Iowa Basketball team goes on the road to Mackey Arena to take on the Purdue Boilermakers.
Who?: Iowa Hawkeyes (16-6, 7-4 conference) at Purdue Boilermakers (12-10, 5-6 Conference)
When?: 6:00 PM CST, 2/5/20
Where?: Mackey Arena; West Lafayette, Indiana
Where to watch?: Big Ten Network
It’s always tough to win on the road in the Big Ten and this is contest will be no different. Purdue is 9-2 at home on the season overall and has only lost once on their home court in conference play. Iowa, on the other hand, has struggled on the road in conference play with their only win on the road coming over Northwestern.
The Boilermakers boast one of the best defenses in the country allowing opponents to score just 60.4 points per game to rank the Boilermakers 11th in scoring defense. Purdue is also holding opponents to just 40.7% from the field. KenPom has the Purdue defense ranked 16th in defensive efficiency.
The bright side for the Hawkeyes is that Purdue is one of the worst offenses in the Big Ten averaging just 62.6 points per game during conference play ranking 13th in the Big Ten. Purdue is also shooting just 38.7% from the field in their eleven conference games which ranks dead last in the Big Ten. On the season, Purdue ranks 75th in the KenPom offensive efficiency.
Purdue is led in scoring by sophomore Trevion Williams who is averaging 11.3 points per game while adding 7.7 rebounds both of which lead the team. Watching him and Luka go at it all night will be a treat. The backcourt of Purdue is deep and everybody can score it but leading the way is sophomore guard Eric Hunter Jr. who averages 10.2 points per game while adding 2.8 assists per game.
Purdue is good at home, in fact, they are REALLY good at home. They blew out Michigan State and their only home loss in conference play fell at the hands of red-hot Illinois and the other loss was their second game of the year to Texas. They also have beaten Wisconsin and Virginia on their home floor.
Iowa is not favored, actually 3.5 point dogs (I will be placing a month’s rent on that) so naturally I think Iowa can win this game. And I’d bet the guys on the team feel the same way, they know how important games similar to this can be on Selection Sunday. And If Iowa wants to avoid the February Fade, this could be a big momentum boost.
Iowa has a great chance here to win a game on the road here, but it can not have another offensive performance like we had on the road at Nebraska. Michigan State had an off-night and Purdue made them pay for it to the tune of a 71-42 thumping. If Purdue takes away Garza and Iowa shows even a little sign of panic, the Hawks will suffer a similar fate.
Purdue center Matt Haarms is experienced, listed at 7’3 and is averaging over two blocks per game and likely be given the tall order of guarding Luka Garza. Haarms’ length could give Garza troubles as we saw on the road at Maryland. Purdue’s sophomore forward Trevion Williams is no slouch of player, he is big and strong enough to get Luka in foul trouble to the point where other guys are going to need to step up and make plays.
CJ Fredrick and Joe Weiskamp both played really well against Illinois with Fredrick scoring 18 points on 6/8 shooting and 2/4 from beyond the arc. Weiskamp added eighteen of his own and finished second on the team in rebounding with 6 rebounds. Those two are the clear 2a and 2b options behind Luka Garza. Speaking of Garza he took over the game against Illinois scoring twelve straight points and would go on to finish with a 25 point double-double.
How they Match-Up Statistically
Iowa Offense: 78.9 PP/G (27nd in NCAA, KenPom Adjusted 4th)
Purdue Offense: 67.2 PP/G (288th in NCAA, KenPom Adjusted 77th)
Iowa Defense: 70.2 PA/G (207th in NCAA, KenPom Adjusted 80th)
Purdue Defense: 60.4 PA/G (11th in NCAA, KenPom Adjusted 16th)
How they Match-Up in Rankings
Iowa Hawkeyes: 13
Purdue Boilermakers: 28
Iowa Hawkeyes: 21
Purdue Boilermakers: 39
AP Top 25:
Iowa Hawkeyes: 17
Purdue Boilermakers: Unranked
Iowa Hawkeyes: 15
Purdue Boilermakers: 29
Vegas Prediction (based on line): Purdue 70 Iowa 66.5
My Prediction: Hawks by a MILLION! (but actually I think Iowa wins on the road here something like 74-67)