Where: Mackey Arena â€“ West Lafayette, IN
When: 7:00pm EST
Records: OSU 18-3 (6-1); Boilermakers 14-7 (3-4)
Opponent: The Boilermakers put their undefeated record at home (12-0) on the line against Ohio State tonight in hostile and dimly lit Mackey Arena. Seriously, somebody turn on the lights in that place. Purdue is a confident bunch after waxing Illinois 64-47 at home Saturday. The Boilers went on a 21-0 to take a 25-4 lead as the defense held Illinois scoreless for more than nine minutes, forcing eight missed shots and six turnovers. For the game, they held the Illini to 29% from the field. While that statistic is largely due to the fact that Illinois is crap this year, Purdue will need to post a similar defensive FG% effort to have a chance at pulling the upset tonight.
Players: 6â€™7â€ senior forward Carl Landry leads the Boilers in scoring (19.1) and rebounding (6.8) while also posting a slippery 2.8 turnovers per game. Landry scored 16 points on 6-8 shooting Saturday to extend his steak of scoring at least 13 points in every game this season. Expect Landry to be a little more perimeter oriented than usual with Greg Odenâ€™s in the lineup. Senior guard David Teague is the second leading scorer at 13.3 per game including an impressive 41% on threes. Teague will be brimming with confidence after a 28 point, 9 rebound effort that included 5-7 from downtown against Illinois. Landry and Teague are clearly Purdueâ€™s two main threats. Other Boiler contributors include 6â€™6â€ freshman forward Gordon Watt, who chips in 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds and 6â€™3â€ freshman guard Chris Kramer who scores 6.4 a game with 2.8 assists. A lack of size underneath could play a big part in this game as Landry is the tallest Boiler in the eight man rotation. The Boilers have a pair of freshman taller than 6â€™10â€ in Johnathan Uchendu and Dan Vandervieren but they donâ€™t see much action. They combined for zero points, two rebounds and seven fouls in 11 minutes Saturday. Nice.
Notes: Matt Painterâ€™s squad looks to halt a seven game losing streak to Ohio State, their last win came in a 70-65 decision in West Lafayette back in 2003â€¦Lastly, what would a Purdue preview be without a tribute to the svelte and sexy former head coach Gene Keady? By far the best hair and facial expressions the Big11Ten has ever seen.
Buckeye Breakdown: That wind you feel is the collective exhale of the Buckeye faithful after OSU nearly blew a 20 point halftime lead against Sparty Saturday night. Coach Mattaâ€™s squad continues to struggle with shot selection but they managed to do just enough to post their 21st consecutive victory at the Schott. The near collapse exposed the Buckeye defense as Drew Neitzel lit up the Bucks with 29 points, 24 on 8-13 shooting in the second half. Mondayâ€™s edition of the Big Ten Wonk touches on the inefficiency of the Buckeye defense.
Key Players: The lovely Erin Andrews reported tonight that Oden will play but how will he perform? While he looks 108 years old, he just turned 19 and lost his best friend to a tragic car accident. He could play inspired against a small Purdue squad and simply dominate or he could go through the motions, not that anyone could blame him if he did. Something tells me he will play with an intensity we havenâ€™t yet seen from the big fella. Mike Conley will look to get back on track after playing just 22 minutes against MSU due to foul trouble. He played fine while he was in there with 4 points and 5 assists, but OSU counts on him to run the offense which includes actually looking for Oden in the post and driving to either score or kick out to the wings for open jumpers. Without him in the second half against MSU, every Buckeye field goal attempt seemed contested and rarely in rhythm, not to mention early in the shot clock. And what happened to Ron Lewis? Bob Baptist of the Dispatch notes Ron-Ron is just 15 of 61 from three point land in his last 12 games. If Oden isnâ€™t ready to go mentally, 11W has full confidence that site legend Matt Turdwiggler can help out inside.
Notes: OSU is now 44-3 at home under Matta including 17-3 in the conferenceâ€¦Daequan Cook is closing in on Michael Reddâ€™s freshman record for three pointers made (46) after making his 38th and 39th of the year against MSU while Mike Conley needs just seven more steals to equal Reddâ€™s freshman record of 61 steals...Make sure you check out Tony Gerdeman's Hoops Week in Review over at the Ozone..."An Open Letter to Tom Izzo" is classic.