Well, things didn’t go as planned against Minnesota. Unfortunately, it’s not getting any easier for the Hoosiers as they welcome Purdue to Bloomington on Tuesday. The talk about post-season needs to be put on hold. There are more immediate concerns with the team and program and that starts with “drastic changes” when Purdue comes to town.

The in-state rivals first played amidst IU’s 7 game losing streak in January. The Boilermakers defeated Indiana 70-55 and were in control for most of the game. Purdue’s performance was highlighted, as usual, by Carsen Edwards who posted 20 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. Despite Edwards only going 6 for 18 from the field, the lackluster Hoosier offense provided little pushback.

In the first meeting, IU shot a lowly 20% from three (4-20) and 30.9% at the free-throw line (7-18). Purdue had 10 steals, which largely accounted for IU’s 14 turnovers (4 more than Purdue). Similarly, the Boilermakers narrowly out-rebounded the Hoosiers (only by 1) and had 5 more assists.

Individually, it was a game of season-highs and season-lows. Justin Smith had his best offensive night of the year against Purdue. Smith led Indiana with his season-high 15 points and also added 6 rebounds. Conversely, Romeo Langford had a night to forget. Langford made only 2 out of 10 field goal attempts, posting only 4 points in his 22 minutes of action. If IU is going to turn around its season, Langford will need to be much better this go-round.

Meet the Boilermakers

Departing Players

  • Vince Edwards – 6’8” / 225 lbs / Forward – Middletown, OH.
  • Isaac Haas – 7’2” / 290 lbs / Center – Hokes Bluff, AL.
  • Dakota Mathias – 6’4” / 200 lbs / Guard – Elida, OH.
  • PJ Thompson – 5’10” / 185 lbs / Guard – Indianapolis, IN.
  • Jacquil Taylor – 6’10” / 240 lbs / Forward – Cambridge, MA.

Projected Starters

  • Carsen Edwards – 6’1” / 200 lbs / Guard / Junior – Atascocita, TX. – Edwards is one of the best scorers in the country, averaging 24.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. He shoots 36.4% from three and is one of the team’s best free-throw shooters at 85.3%. He also commits 3 turnovers per game.
  • Grady Eifert – 6’6” / 195 lbs / Forward / Senior – Fort Wayne, IN. – Averages 5.1 points (shooting 40.8% from three) and 4.8 rebounds per game.
  • Trevion Williams – 6’9” / 280 lbs / Forward / Freshman – Chicago, IL. – Williams has become a crucial X-factor for Purdue. He came into the season overweight and needed to work on his endurance. He has reportedly lost over 50 lbs and has substantially improved his stamina. Now that his minutes have increased, Williams has been playing very well. He is currently averaging 6.1 points and 4.0 rebounds. It has been a rapid rise for Williams who went from playing limited minutes to now becoming a starter. (Williams was ill and played, but did not start, against Penn State. His status as a starter for Tuesday is unknown. If he does not start, look for Haarms to be inserted into the starting lineup).
  • Ryan Cline – 6’6” / 195 lbs / Guard / Senior – Carmel, IN. – Cline posts 12.6 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game. He is an outstanding shooter, attempting 7.4 threes a game and making 43.8% of shots beyond the arc. However, he is more than just a shooter and has greatly improved his playmaking skills this season.
  • Nojel Eastern – 6’6” / 220 lbs / Guard / Sophomore – Evanston, IL. – Eastern is an elite defender. He is terrific on switches with the perfect combination of speed and size. He also adds 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.

The Rotation

  • Evan Boudreaux – 6’8” / 220 lbs / Forward / Junior – Lake Forest, IL. – Boudreaux averages 6.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. He provides physicality and fundamentals. Boudreaux began the season as a starter and has recently been replaced by Williams.
  • Matt Haarms – 7’3” / 250 lbs / Center / Sophomore – Amsterdam, Netherlands. – He averages 7.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, providing quality minutes in the post. He leads the team with 43 blocks on the year (30 more than anyone else on the team).
  • Sasha Stefanovic – 6’4” / 195 lbs / Guard / RS Freshman – Crown Point, IN. – Stefanovic has been a nice surprise this season. He plays about 12.6 minutes per game and is a viable shooting option off of the bench at 40.8% on the year from three.
  • Aaron Wheeler – 6’9” / 200 lbs / Forward / RS Freshman – Stamford, CT. – Wheeler averages 4.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. He can provide a nice scoring boost. He is typically used as a perimeter shooter, although he has a solid all-around offensive skill set.
  • Eric Hunter Jr. – 6’3” / 170 lbs / Guard / Freshman – Indianapolis, IN.
  • Tommy Luce – 5’10” / 155 lbs / Guard / Junior – Jeffersonville, IN.
  • Kyle King – 6’5” / 215 lbs / Forward / Freshman – St. Charles, IL.

Injury Watch

Race Thompson returned to the floor against Minnesota after missing most of the season due to a concussion.

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Zach McRoberts has been shut down for now until he can fully recover from a “stress reaction” in his foot.

Jerome Hunter has declared his intention to sit out the rest of the year as a redshirt. Hunter suffered a leg injury which required surgery and has not seen the floor this season.

For Purdue, Trevion Williams was ill over the weekend and played limited minutes against Penn State.

Want to Watch for:

  1. Defend the Arc – Purdue is an elite offensive team and their most utilized weapon is the three. Nearly 40% of Purdue’s points come from three-point shots. While the Hoosiers will need to be on their toes the entire night, the defensive strategy must start at the arc. If IU is to pull the upset, they must not allow open perimeter shots and they must make the Boilermaker offense work on every position.
  2. Intensity – Despite IU’s rough patch, in-state rivalry games usually provide a certain spark that can elevate a team. With the crowd hyped and pride on the line, rivalries rage with a certain emotional intensity often not on display for a regular game. It will be interesting to see how the Hoosiers play and whether they bring this passion. Can they capitalize off of this emotion and use it to their advantage?
  3. Coaching Strategy – With the team still trying to lift itself out of the quagmire, how will Archie Miller approach this game and the rest of the season? Will he make substantial changes and overhaul his strategy in an effort to turn things around? Or, will he ride the wave making only minor alterations in hopes that the team will find confidence and better execute? This will be an interesting storyline going forward.
  4. Stop the Bench – Carsen Edwards is one of the best players in the country. Edwards is going to score. The key for IU is to prevent the rest of the team from catching fire. If the Hoosiers can force Purdue into becoming a one-man show, this could help disrupt Purdue’s rhythm and potentially slow down their high-powered offense.
  5. Controlling the Boards – Purdue is a great rebounding team, particularly on the offensive boards. The Boilermakers are top 30 in offensive rebounding percentage (meaning if there is an offensive rebound to be had, there is a high probability they are going to come away with it). Thus, rebounding is going to be one of the most important statistical categories of my game. Being that Purdue is one of the top 5 most efficient offenses in the nation, it is going to be imperative for IU to limit Purdue’s production on the glass in order to prevent second chance opportunities.

How to Watch

DateTuesday, February 19th
Time7:00 PM EST
RadioHoosiersTV Audio

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