Purdue Boilermakers

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 14: Caleb Swanigan #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers celebrates during the game against the Villanova Wildcats at Mackey Arena on November 14, 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

No. 15 Purdue uses 3-pointers to beat Morehead State 90-56

Leave a comment

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Freshman guard Carsen Edwards scored 16 points, and No. 15 Purdue made 11 3-pointers in the first half Saturday on the way to a 90-56 victory over Morehead State.

The Boilermakers (6-2), coming off a Wednesday loss at No. 14 Louisville in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, used a 15-0 first-half run to stretch a 10-9 lead to 25-9, and Purdue continued to pull away.

Dakota Mathias added 14 points, and Caleb Swanigan and P.J. Thompson had 13 each for Purdue.

Miguel Dicent had 11 points for Morehead State (2-5), which played without coach Sean Woods, who has been suspended with pay since Nov. 22, when the university launched an official investigation into Woods’ treatment of players.

Purdue made 11 of 20 from 3-point range during the first half when it built a 47-25 lead. Carsen Edwards, who made his first start in place of slumping Vince Edwards, and Mathias made four 3-pointers each in the first half.

The Boilermakers played without fifth-year graduate student transfer point guard Spike Albrecht, who suffered a back injury this week.

BIG PICTURE

Morehead State: With Woods suspended indefinitely, the Eagles are a distracted basketball team, and it shows as their losing streak reached five on Saturday, including 0-3 for acting coach Preston Spradlin.

Purdue: It’s a byproduct of opposing defenses centering their attention on Boilermaker big men Swanigan and Isaac Haas, but Purdue entered this game leading the Big Ten in 3-point field goal shooting percentage at 41.8 and made 55 percent from beyond the arc during the opening half on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Morehead State: The Eagles do not play until going to Lipscomb on Dec. 10.

Purdue: The Boilermakers travel to New York City for a Tuesday night game against Arizona State in the Jimmy V. Classic.

 

No. 14 Louisville’s first-half defense enough to down No. 15 Purdue

Purdue's Isaac Haas (44) looks to take a shot over the defense of Louisville's Mangok Mathiang (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley
Leave a comment

Louisville’s first-half defense was enough to carry it past some late shaky play.

The 14th-ranked Cardinals defeated No. 15 Purdue, 71-64, in a game that featured dominating first-half defense from Louisville and some tense moments as it tried to close out the victory.

Louisville led by 18 points in the second half, but the Boilermakers cut it to four in the final minute to make Rick Pitino’s group work for the victory rather than cruise to one.

In the first half, Louisville lived up to its No. 2 KenPom defensive ranking, absolutely swarming Purdue and making life difficult on every single possession for the Boilermakers, who didn’t get into double-figure scoring until over 14 minutes had elapsed in the game.

Vincent Edwards, Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas, Purdue’s three leading scorers who averaged a combined 47.5 points per game, combined to score one point in the first half. They went 0 for 12 from the floor. One point. Zero made shots. From the team’s three best offensive players.

That’s simply domination for Louisville, which also forced 10 turnovers while allowing just seven made shots (Purdue shot 25 percent) in the first half.

In the second, the Cardinals weren’t able to control things quite as well.

Purdue shot a respectable 48 percent from the floor, got 21 points from Haas and Swanigan, hit 6 of 11 3-pointers and got to the line for 20 free throws, making 15 of them.

Late turnovers also stopped Louisville from claiming a drama-free victory as a pair over 30 seconds with 2 minutes to play allowed Purdue to turn a nine-point deficit to just four quickly.

Still, that first half was a perfect example of how devastating the Cardinals’ defense can be, which gives them plenty of margin for error on the other end most nights, even against a top-15 opponent.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge: Previews, picks and what to watch for

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 25:  Nate Britt #0 of the North Carolina Tar Heels highfives teammate Joel Berry II #2 in the second half against the Indiana Hoosiers during the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Wells Fargo Center on March 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
1 Comment

The ACC/Big Ten Challenge kicks off tonight.

Here is a preview of the 14-game slate.

No. 3 North Carolina at No. 13 Indiana, Weds. 9:15 p.m.

Easily the biggest game of the event, the streaking Tar Heels will make their way to Bloomington to face-off with an Indiana team that has been knocked back after a perfect start to the season. The Hoosiers not only lost to Fort Wayne on the road last week, but they may have lost James Blackmon Jr., the hero in the win over Kansas, to a knee injury. Tom Crean said the injury isn’t serious, but for a team that lacks weapons in the half court, not having Blackmon against the Tar Heels would be a major blow.

Why?

Because North Carolina is playing as well as anyone in college basketball right now. Joel Berry II looks like an all-american, the trio of Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks and Tony Bradley are averaging 39.0 points and 22.4 boards and the Tar Heels are hitting 39.2 percent from beyond the arc this season. Playing in Bloomington will be by far their biggest test of the season. The Hoosiers are lethal when their threes are going down, and when Assembly Hall is packed to the gills, those threes tend to go down.

  • Prediction: It sounds like Blackmon has a good chance of playing, so I’ll go with Indiana (+4.5) at home.

Michigan State at No. 5 Duke, Tues. 9:30 p.m.

Michigan State has been playing better of late, but this is still a dreadfully young team missing key players and at the end of a long, long three weeks. they’ve been to Hawai’i, New York and the Bahamas already this season, and they will be heading back out to Durham for this one at some point on Monday.

Miles Bridges is playing much better after the trip to the Battle 4 Atlantis than he did against Kentucky at the Garden and Duke, frankly, does not have anyone that can guard him. That said, I think the Blue Devils will be too much, even with Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden and Harry Giles III out and Grayson Allen limited.

  • Prediction: Duke (-11.5) coasts, but keep an eye on the status of Grayson Allen’s toe.

No. 22 Syracuse at No. 17 Wisconsin, Tues. 7:30 p.m.

Two teams trending in the wrong direction. Let’s start with Syracuse, who couldn’t find a way to run offense against South Carolina’s half court pressure. It was not a promising performance from the Orange, who mustered all of 50 points as the issues with their point guard play – Franklin Howard and John Gillon – rose to the surface.

On the other hands, the Badgers are still trying to figure out how they are going to be able to turn Nigel Hayes back into an efficient basketball player. A year after getting criticized for settling for too many threes, Hayes is shooting more three per game at a worse clip than he did last season, just 29.0 percent. Someone’s streak has to snap on Tuesday.

  • Prediction: I think Syracuse wins so of course I’ll take the Orange (+7.5).
SYRACUSE, NY - DECEMBER 02: Ethan Happ #22 of the Wisconsin Badgers drives to the basket as Tyler Lydon #20 of the Syracuse Orange defends during the first half on December 2, 2015 at The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Ethan Happ (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

No. 15 Purdue at No. 14 Louisville, Weds. 7:15 p.m.

This is a matchup of two very different teams. The Boilermakers want to pound the ball inside, to take advantage of the fact that they have Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan and you don’t. Louisville? They press, they try to force turnovers, they want to speed the game up and take advantage of the talent and athleticism on their perimeter.

There are two keys to this game. 1. Can Louisville’s bigs stay out of foul trouble? The sheer size of Haas and Swanigan got Georgia State into foul trouble and cost them a win in Mackey Arena, and it nearly cost Villanova their win at Purdue. 2. Will Louisville make perimeter shots? Deng Adel and Quentin Snider are shooting under 30 percent from the floor this season. Donovan Mitchell is under 40 percent. That’s not good.

  • Prediction: I’m on Louisville (-5.5) as I think Louisville’s guards overwhel Purdue’s back court and nullify the advantage the Boilermakers have inside.

Ohio State at No. 6 Virginia, Weds. 7:15 p.m.

Virginia is giving up an average of 41.3 points per game through six games. Their opponents are shooting 31.7 percent from the floor and averaging just 0.708 points-per-possession, which is an insane number. The question here is: Can Ohio State break 50 points on the evening?

  • Prediction: I’m going to say take the under (119.5) here. Virginia is a 12-point favorite, meaning the predicted final score is 66-54. The Wahoos haven’t given up more than 52 points this season and are allowing an average of just 41.3 points. Iowa, who put up 92 on Memphis and 78 on Notre Dame, scored 41 points against Virginia. Ohio State, however, has also been pretty good defensively on the season, and the only proven scored Virginia has on their roster is London Perrantes, who isn’t really a scorer. And all that is before you consider Virginia is the slowest team in the country and Ohio State is 185th in pace. If you’re only into betting lines, I’d say take Ohio State (+12).

Virginia Tech at Michigan, Weds. 9:15 p.m.

This is a win the Hokies badly need after they blew a 16-point second half lead to Texas A&M, missing out on their chance to take a swing at UCLA in the Wooden Legacy title game. Buzz Williams has a good team in Blacksburg, one that will improve their NCAA tournament candidacy with a win at Michigan. The Wolverines looked good at the 2K Classic in New York two weeks ago, but took a beating on the road against South Carolina over the weekend.

  • Prediction: I like Virginia Tech (+5), mainly because I’m not convinced Michigan isn’t overrated and I love the Hokies this season.

Monday, Nov. 28

  • Minnesota at Florida State, 7:00 p.m.: This is going to be a nice gauge game for both of these teams. The Seminoles should, in theory, be able to take care of Minnesota at home, but Richard Pitino’s team is sitting at 6-0 on the year with a 14-point win over Arkansas.
  • Wake Forest at Northwestern, 9:00 p.m.: Is this the year that Northwestern makes the tournament? It looked like it in their 19-point win over Texas. Not so much against Butler and Notre Dame. Wake Forest is 5-1 on the year with a couple of decent mid-major wins.

Tuesday, Nov. 29

  • Pittsburgh at Maryland, 7:00 p.m.: Maryland is 7-0 on the season, but five of those seven wins have come by single digits, including late comebacks against Georgetown and Kansas State. What happens when the Terps face off with a good Pitt team?
  • Georgia Tech at Penn State, 7:00 p.m.: Penn State has struggled early on this season while Georgia Tech is … still Georgia Tech under Josh Pastner.
  • Iowa at Notre Dame, 9:00 p.m.: Iowa scored 41 points against Virginia and lost. They got 42 points from Peter Jok the next night … and lost to Memphis. The Irish, coming off of a
    win in the Legends Classic, have looked good this year.
  • N.C. State at Illinois, 9:00 p.m.: Dennis Smith Jr. has been phenomenal of late, but his team is still missing Maverick Rowan (concussion) and Omer Yurtseven (suspension). This is a win they should be able to get.

Wednesday, Nov. 30

  • Rutgers at Miami (Fla.), 7:15 p.m.: Don’t look now but Rutgers is undefeated. This will be their stiffest test of the season to date.
  • Nebraska at Clemson, 9:15 p.m.: I’m still unsure of what to make of either of these teams. Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame is a first round pick.

No. 17 Purdue hits 17 3-pointers to rout Auburn in Cancun

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 18: P.J. Thompson #11 of the Purdue Boilermakers chases down a loose ball as Isaiah Dennis #4 and Jeremy Hollowell #1 of the Georgia State Panthers defend at Mackey Arena on November 18, 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

CANCUN, Mexico (AP) Carsen Edwards broke out of his shooting slump with 21 points and No. 17 Purdue shot 17 of 26 from 3-point range to beat Auburn 96-71 on Wednesday night and capture the Cancun Challenge title.

P.J. Thompson and Vincent Edwards each added 15 points for the Boilermakers (4-1), who had six players score in double figures in their third straight win since falling to national champion Villanova.

Edwards, a highly recruited freshman, had been 2 of 16 from 3-point range. But the 6-foot guard made 4 of 5 shots from behind the arc. He hit two 3s and two free throws in a 16-4 run midway through the second half that broke open a close game.

Purdue shot 64 percent form the field and it was the second-most 3-pointers made in a game behind the 18 it had last season against Vermont.

Danjel Purifoy scored 22 points and Mustapha Heron added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers (4-1), who were seeking their first 5-0 start since 2004-05.

No. 15 Purdue needs 20-0 closing run to hold off Georgia State

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 14: Caleb Swanigan #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers celebrates during the game against the Villanova Wildcats at Mackey Arena on November 14, 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images
1 Comment

Georgia State had No. 15 Purdue dead in the water, down by 13 with seven minutes left in the game. The Boilermakers were 2-for-18 from three with 14 turnovers and looked totally and completely lost on the offensive end of the floor.

And then Purdue’s size took over.

Just like it did against No. 3 Villanova down the stretch on Monday night.

Purdue scored the final 20 points to knock off the Panthers, 64-56, as four different GSU players fouled out and a fifth had four fouls.

Don’t be surprised if this becomes a trend for the Boilermakers this season. They struggle on the offensive end of the floor when teams are able to pack in their defense because their shooters are not really all that good at shooting from the perimeter. That’s why the Panthers were able to get away with playing defense that looked like this:

But there has been a rule change this season that is an attempt to legislate physical post play out of the game, and the result is that Purdue’s opponents, particularly their front court, pick up fouls at a crazy rate. As those bigs start to foul out, the massive front line of Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan can start to assert their dominance. It happened against Villanova, who barely hung on after blowing a double-digit lead, and it happened against Georgia State.

It’s not a great way to try and win basketball games, but as Matt Painter tries to find a way to fix his perimeter’s issues, it’s good to know that it is at least a way to storm back.

Purdue suspends junior for opener

Basil Smotherman
Leave a comment

Purdue has suspended junior wing Basil Smotherman for its season opener due to a violation of team rules, the school announced Wednesday evening.

Smotherman will also miss the team’s closed scrimmage against Western Virginia and an exhibition against Southern Indiana before watching the season-opener against McNeese State.

The Boilermakers did not specify what the violation entailed.

“We hold our players to high standards and when they don’t meet those standards, there will be consequences,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said in a statement. “Basil knows he made a mistake and will learn from it.”

Smotherman redshirted last season with Purdue’s depth chart blocking potential minutes for him. He averaged  3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds through the first two seasons of his career. He will be able to travel and play with the team during their foreign trip to Spain this summer, according to the Journal & Courier.

McNeese State went 11-20 last season.