|Ohio State 11-5, 1-3 Big Ten Roster | Schedule||January 12, 2009 7:00 PM ET - ESPN —— Mackey Arena West Layafette, IN||#6 Purdue 14-1, 2-1 Big Ten Roster | Schedule|
Super Tuesday returns to the Mothership tonight, just in time for the nation to witness a road weary Ohio State team take on an experienced Purdue team coming of their first loss.
The Boilermakers ran off their first 14 games(matching the best start in school history), including wins over Tennessee, WVU, Wake and Alabama, before they traveled to Madison on Saturday and lost 73-66.
The Buckeyes are ending a brutal 2 week stretch and will need a near perfect game to take this one tonight, but OSU has won 4 of the last 6 against Purdue, when they are ranked and the Bucks aren't.
|21||Evan Turner||17.5||10.3||5.9||G||5||Keaton Grant||6.4||2.8||2.1|
|33||Jon Diebler||14.1||3.0||1.8||G||3||Chris Kramer||7.1||3.1||2.9|
|44||William Buford||13.4||4.8||3.3||F||4||Robbie Hummel||15.1||6.9||1.9|
|23||David Lighty||13.6||5.3||2.9||F||33||E'Twaun Moore||16.9||3.5||2.5|
|52||Dallas Lauderdale||7.3||5.0||0.3||C||25||JaJuan Johnson||14.2||7.2||0.7|
Purdue has had the good fortune of starting the same lineup for all 15 games this year and the five main subs off the bench have also played in every game. It helps to get the subs in when you win by an average of 17 points, but Purdue is like Minnesota, coming after you with hard defensive pressure in small spurts and then letting the next guy do the same thing.
The Boilermakers come in averaging 77.5 points a game and give up just 60.7, which sits right behind Minnesota for the conference lead. Teams are hitting 39 percent of their shots against PU, which comes as no surprise, but opponents are also connecting on 36 percent of their triple tries. Purdue is middle of the Big Ten pack, hitting 46 percent of their shots from the floor, but sit next to last at 31.4 percent from deep.
The benefits of an older team is their understanding of team defense and the importance of taking care of the rock. Purdue leads the league in TO margin, forcing 17.7 per game, while coughing it up just 11.5 times themselves. If the Boilers can record a few more assists each contest, they would be leading the conference in A/TO ratio as well.
As mentioned, Matt Painter has been able to use the same 10 guys in every game this season. Kelsey Barlow, Ryne Smith and DJ Byrd will lead the group off the bench. Barlow and Byrd are both freshmen and average about 16 minutes a game, combining for 9 points, 5 boards and 3 assists.
We knew this type of start could potentially happen for the Buckeyes, so there is no need to hit the panic alarm yet. Trips to Madison, Minneapolis and West Lafayette are 3 of the toughest they make each year and Michigan proved Harris and Sims can carry them to victory. In the B10, if you can protect each one of your home court games and then steal one or two on the road, you can still be a tourney team. Thankfully for OSU, 5 of their next 6 conference games are at home.
If the Buckeyes can some how avoid these long scoring droughts they have had on the road, they can compete with anyone, but they have been getting rattled when faced with adversity on the road, which eventually cost them games. The Gophers threw a wrinkle towards Evan Turner and neither him or his teammates handled the half court trap well. OSU has shown too much reliance on ET this year at times and if teams are going to take the ball out of his hands, someone has to step up and score.
Thad and the Buckeyes really need Dallas Lauderdale to step up his scoring. I wasn't anticipating double digit scoring from Dallas all year, but he has to become more of a presence in the lower blocks. The Big D had a stretch before conference play, where he went for double digits in 6 of 8 games, but since B10 play has started, he scored a total of 16 points on 6 of 17 shooting. Against Minny, he attempted 1 FG and he hasn't had a block in 2 games.
I was surprised how badly the defensive pressure of Minnesota got to the Buckeyes. With 4 guards on the floor, a team shouldn't be able to affect the game with a trapping system, but OSU got rattled and let the wheels fall off. The atmosphere will be similar tonight and perhaps even rowdier, plus you know one of the following will show up with whistle in hand: Ed Hightower, Steve Welmer or Jim Burr. Each is capable of completely homering the Bucks and quickly sending them to a 1-4 conference start.
To make matters worse, the only potential saving grace of tonight's game was the debut of Erin Andrews on the sidelines, but instead we must settle for Jeannine Edwards...ugh! The stars aren't lining up for an upset tonight, Purdue is really good and OSU hasn't found their groove again. Let's just hope they keep it close and avoid the long scoring drought, OSU looses 63-71.
- This is a rematch of the 2009 B10 Tournament final, where Purdue won 65-61.
- Purdue is 53-23 all-time at home against the Bucks.