My broom is out and ready to go!
Listen, the only way Indiana can beat Purdue tonight is for the Hoosier big men to hit the long-range jumper. If (a big IF) this happens, it will pull Purdue’s A.J. Hammons away from protecting the key. That would allow the athletic IU guards to drive to the basket, which, in turn, will open the outside shooting.
As we have witnessed IU in past games versus Maryland and Minnesota, this is a favorable scenario that plays to the Hoosiers’ offensive strengths. And when playing in Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers can shoot the lights out when given open and frequent looks (see recent record for three-pointers).
Indiana won’t win unless semi-big man Collin Hartman, a capable outside shooter, or Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Indiana’s explosive inside man who missed the first contest with a knee injury, drain numerous three-pointers. I would let them shoot away from anywhere on the court they want. When they can’t hit the long to mid-range jumpers, Hammons and freshman Isaac Haas (H & H) can stay nice and comfy in the paint waiting for the block to come to them.
Indiana’s inability to hit from the outside from that position and draw the bigs away from the basket will again create the matchup imbalance Purdue used to dominate the first meeting. And when you add in the lock-down, man-to-man defense Purdue has the ability to play, I can’t see any reason why the Boilermakers shouldn’t win this game.
Indiana is a good team when the matchups are right and the shots are falling. So is Purdue. But between the two, the Boilers have a better chance to use the opportunities their big men create as a catapult to win this game.