Purdue at Indiana: 2022-23 college basketball game preview, TV schedule
A major rivalry reunites in Indiana; can the Boilermakers continue their dominant season or do the Hoosiers have an upset brewing at home?
TV schedule: Saturday, February 4, 4:00 pm ET. ESPN
Arena: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana
It’s not just that things have gone according to plan for Purdue (22-1) this year, it’s that things couldn’t possibly have been better. A team unranked and unheralded to start the season sits atop the nation and has been extremely impressive for the past three months. Their only loss was a 1-point affair at home to Rutgers over a month ago, with the Boilermakers actually winning five Big Ten road games since that loss.
The clear force behind this team has been junior center Zach Edey (22.0 ppg, 13.0 rpg), the 7’4 big man who might be the favorite for national player of the year. But Edey hasn’t been a one-man show, as the emergence of these freshman guards has been key to Purdue’s success. That backcourt is anchored by Fletcher Loyer (12.4 ppg, 2.5 apg) and Braden Smith (9.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg), who have both had tremendous seasons, filling holes left behind by the departure of Jaden Ivey.
The Boilermakers are the #1 team in the nation in the AP Top 25 but sit at just 3rd in both KenPom and the NET behind Houston and Tennessee. They rank 2nd in offensive effiency and are one of the nation’s best rebounding teams, an unsurprising fact when you consider Edey’s remarkable campaign. The Boilermakers are simply firing on all cylinders and will not be intimidated by another road trip, even against a bitter rival.
Indiana (15-7) is trying to assert itself as the second-best team in the Big Ten, and entered the week as the only other ranked team in the conference. It’s not been smooth sailing, as the Hoosiers dropped their fifth conference game earlier this week in a rough performance at Maryland. Could a big bounce-back performance be in order?
The Hoosiers do boast who is probably the second-best player in the Big Ten in senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (19.5 ppg, 11.2 rpg), who just had an 18-point, 20-rebound performance in that road loss a few days ago. He’s eclipsed 30 points three times this past month and keyed the Hoosiers recent 5-game winning streak. Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino (12.3 ppg, 4.3 apg) will look to put a poor shooting effort behind him, while the Hoosiers will also look for contributions from a rotation that includes Miller Kopp and Race Thompson in the frontcourt.
Indiana entered the week at #21 in the AP rankings, though they’ll certainly drop out of the poll after that Maryland loss, barring a major performance against the Boilermakers. The Hoosiers currently sit 23rd in the NET and 21st in KenPom, third in the conference behind only Purdue and Rutgers. Those major pieces in the frontcourt make this one of the nation’s most efficient interior offenses, though they’ll certainly have a fight on their hands this weekend.
Edey is a matchup nightmare, and watching Jackson-Davis try to score and defend against the 7-footer is going to be interesting. It’s also important to remember that this is a rivalry game and anything can happen in these bitter rivalries. Purdue has looked virtually unbeatable at times this season and has yet to lose a true road game, but the fans in Bloomington will be ready, and so will Mike Woodson’s squad.
You figure that this Indiana offense won’t repeat their poor performance from earlier in the week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have an answer for Edey. It’s fair to presume that Jackson-Davis will put up more of a fight than some of these other frontcourt pieces in the Big Ten, but it’s just hard to bet against Purdue right now. The Hoosiers do shoot the ball well from beyond the arc and will need that kind of action to pull off this win. Expect a bitter battle.