PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL GAME PREVIEW

(PURDUE SI)

Purdue Begins Challenging Week at No. 14-Ranked Rutgers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue men’s basketball team hits the road for a challenging week, facing off against two nationally-ranked teams. The Boilermakers open the week Tuesday at No. 14 Rutgers, then travel to No. 15 Illinois on Saturday. 

The Boilermakers are coming off a 73-70 victory over Maryland on Christmas Day and enter the Rutgers game having won four of its last five contests. Purdue is looking for its first road win over a top-15 foe since a 75-61 win over No. 11-ranked Michigan on Feb. 25, 2012. Tuesday’s game marks the first of three straight games on the road against nationally-ranked teams (Rutgers, Illinois, Michigan State). 

THE KEY TALKING POINTS
1) Purdue owns a 12-3 all-time series lead against Rutgers, but the Scarlet Knights won last year’s two meetings by a combined 10 points. 
2) According to KenPom.com, Purdue ranks 310th in experience (1.08 years). Indiana is the next least-experienced team in the Big Ten (1.31). 
3) In its seven wins, Purdue is shooting 49.5 percent from the field and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.52 (134 / 88). In its three losses, Purdue is shooting just 39.8 percent from the field, has attempted 24 free throws and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.78 (39 / 50).
4) In two road games, Purdue is averaging just 54.5 points per game and shooting 37.3 percent from the field and 24.0 percent from deep.
5) Two different freshmen (Zach EdeyMason Gillis) have earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week in the season’s first four weeks. 
6) Purdue has had nine different players score at least 10 points in a game this season. Eight of the players have done it at least twice.
7) Purdue’s freshman class is averaging 29.9 points per game, currently on pace to rank as the fifth-highest scoring freshman class in Purdue history (37.3 PPG – 2008; 34.6 PPG – 1997; 33.1 PPG – 1975; 31.0 PPG – 2013). 
8) Purdue has four of the top 11 freshmen scorers in the Big Ten this season (Newman – 2nd; Edey – 3rd; Ivey – 10th; Gillis – 11th). 
9) Opponents have made 38-of-103 (.369) of its 3-point attempts in the last three games. In the first seven games, foes made 46 trifectas. 
10) Purdue has shot 11 or fewer free throws in five of its 10 games this season. 
11) Purdue is 34-8 (.810) in the month of December since the 2015-16 season. 
12) Purdue is 45-1 since the start of the 2017-18 season when shooting at least 48 percent from the field (Virginia; 2019 Elite Eight).
13) Purdue has won 102 straight games when scoring at least 90 points, spanning over 33 years (last loss: Nov. 24, 1987, to Iowa State). 
14) Purdue’s 26 wins on Dec. 29, are the most on a calendar day in Purdue history. Purdue is 26-9 all-time on the day.