2. Purdue (17-2)
Despite having a pair of losses in conference play already, you can easily argue that Purdue is the Big Ten’s best program, and clearly this ranking defends that. Those losses came on the road at Northwestern and Nebraska, with the Boilermakers looking really potent in many of their other outings. In fact, Zach Edey and company were back on the road again this week and didn’t add to that losing total.
Tuesday was certainly fun for the Boilermakers, who took down rival Indiana 87-66 on the road, led by Edey’s 33 points and 14 rebounds. Fletcher Loyer (19 points) and Lance Jones (17 points) also starred against the Hoosiers. The story was similar on Saturday, with Purdue building a nice lead at the half before coasting to an 84-70 victory at Iowa. Edey had 30 points and 18 rebounds to cement an amazing week while Jones added 17 points in another nice road performance.
You cannot ignore what happened in those two losses, but if you look at the bigger picture it’s clear why the Boilermakers are one of the nation’s top teams. Edey is trending towards a second straight year claiming national player of the year awards while the rest of this roster has shown talent and growth already. Their only outing in the next week is at home against a Michigan team that’s really off-kilter, meaning it could be another field day in West Lafayette.