COLUMBUS, Ohio – Imagine that, another road trip. That's all it seems like Purdue has been doing lately, and if that's what you're feeling, you wouldn't be wrong.
Purdue travels to Columbus on Tuesday for a rematch with No. 15 Ohio State, and this will be their sixth road game out of their last seven games. The only home game was Sunday against Penn State, so it's a quick turnaround, too. But that doesn't bother Purdue coach Matt Painter one bit.
'It's alright. If you go play in the NCAA Tournament, you play Thursday and Saturday or Friday and Sunday,'' Painter said. "Think about how excited you would be if you were playing a second-round game in the NCAA Tournament. Be that excited.
"It's OK. We get a chance to play a basketball game against Ohio State. Everybody would have loved to get that one in July or August when you were wondering if we were even going to have a season. So just keep things in perspective.''
Here are the particulars on Tuesday night's game:
- Who: Purdue Boilermakers (10-5, 5-3 in the Big Ten) at Ohio State Buckeyes (11-3, 5-3 in the Big Ten).
- When: 6:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Jan. 19.
- Where: Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio.
- Latest Line: Ohio State is favored by 4.5 points according to the DraftKings.com website as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday. We will update any movement throughout the day.
- Poll rankings: Purdue received just one vote in the Associated Press poll, but none in the Coaches poll. Ohio State is ranked No. 15 in the AP poll, and No. 18 in the Coaches poll.
- Kenpom.com rankings: Purdue is ranked No. 26 in the Kenpom.com rankings, and Ohio State is No. 16.
- Last time out: Purdue beat Penn State 80-72 on Sunday in Mackey Arena for its third straight win. Ohio State has won three in a row as well, most recently taking down Illinois on the road on Saturday, winning 87-81. E.J. Liddell led the Buckeyes with 26 points.
- Series history: Ohio State leads the overall series, 91-89. Little known fact: Ohio State is the only team in the Big Ten with an overall winning record against the Boilermakers.
- Last meeting: The two teams met last month in West Lafayette, with Purdue winning 67-60 on Dec. 16. Trevion Williams (16) and Eric Hunter Jr. (15) led the way for the Boilers.
- TV: Big Ten Network
- Announcers: Kevin Kugler and Brian Butch
- Radio: Purdue Radio Network
- Announcers: Rob Blackmon and Bobby Riddell
Here are three things I want to see from the Boilers in Tuesday night's game at Ohio State:
1. Do the 3-point shooters show up?
Painter has said that he thinks Purdue has good three-point shooters, and even when they're missing, he rarely gets upset with their shot selection. But they have been wildly inconsistent lately.
In recent wins over Michigan State and Penn State, Purdue missed their first 12 three-pointers in BOTH games. But then in the big win over Indiana in Bloomington, the Boilermakers made 11-of-17 three-pointers to cruise to a 12-point win. Purdue will need quality three-point shooting in Columbus.
The Boilers struggled to shoot well in Columbus last year. They were just 4-for-20 (20 percent) in last year's 68-52 loss there. But the year prior, Purdue hit 12-of-24 three-pointers in a 79-67 win over Ohio State.
2. Be prepared for Ohio State's best
Purdue has been hot, but the Buckeyes might be one of the teams in the league playing even better. They've had huge road wins at Rutgers and Illinois in the past week and change, plus a home win against Northwestern.
"They're a very good team,'' Painter said. "Hopefully we can play better than we did the first time, even though we beat them. Any time you have opportunities to play good teams, man, don't lose sight of that. Those are golden. But be careful what you ask for. Ohio State is a very good club.''
Sophomore forward E.J. Liddell had a big game against Illinois, scoring a career-high 26 points. A game earlier, it was guard Duane Washington who stepped up, scoring 23 points. The Buckeyes are deep too, and they can hurt you in a lot of ways.
3. Be the better rebounding team
Purdue gave up a school-record 23 offensive rebounds on Sunday, the most ever allowed in a win. That can't happen against Ohio State.
"Penn State missed a lot of shots – so did we – and there were a lot of long rebounds that we didn't get our hands on,'' Painter said. "Trevion, he's a good rebounder, but he doesn't box out well and we've talked about that. We can't give people second-chance opportunities like that.''
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