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Purdue Basketball Off to a Hot Start, Faces Matchup With Iowa in Big Ten Opener

Purdue basketball is 7-0 and ranked No. 2 in the AP poll. The team benefitted from two huge victories in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament and while be vying for the top ranking when it takes on Iowa at Mackey Arena on Friday night.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — With an undefeated start to the 2021-22 college basketball season, Purdue has surged to the No. 2-spot in the AP top 25 poll. The Boilermakers have wins over North Carolina and Villanova, and they open Big Ten play by hosting Iowa at Mackey Arena on Friday at 9 p.m. ET. 

Here's a look at what got the team so close to the top ranking in college basketball, and the potential this year's team has in the NCAA Tournament. 

Purdue Strength of Schedule Thus Far

  • Purdue basketball faced its first challenge of the season in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. 
  • The team claimed a 93-84 win over then-No. 18 North Carolina on Saturday, Nov. 20, and followed with a 80-74 victory against Villanova on Sunday Nov. 21.
  • The Boilermakers have scored 90 or more points in all but one of their games this season. The team has not yet been subject to a true road environment this season. 

Depth Coming From the Bench

  • Sophomore forward Mason Gillis returned from suspension against Villanova, giving Purdue a roster than goes 10 players deep. 
  • Preseason All-American selection Trevion Williams has embraced his role coming off the bench, providing a star-studded rotation with sophomore center Zach Edey. 
  • Purdue has 10 players averaging 15 minutes or more per game, including true freshman forward Caleb Furst, who has established himself as a starter for the team. 

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Will the Boilermaker Make a Stronger Run This Season?  

  • Last season, Purdue was knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the first round in a 78-69 overtime loss to North Texas. 
  • The team returns nearly all of its players, including all of its starters from a year ago, and each player has more experience under their belt. 
  • The Boilermakers, with their highest ranking since 1988 and a chance to take the No. 1 spot next week, have the talent to be a Final Four team in the NCAA Tournament. 
  • WHAT JADEN IVEY SAID ON SASHA LIVE! PODCAST: Purdue star Jaden Ivey joined teammate Sasha Stefanovic for Episode 5 of the Sasha Live! podcast at Mad Mushroom Pizza in West Lafayette, talking about the Boilermakers' hot start and gearing up for the Big Ten season, which starts on Friday against the Iowa Hawkeyes. CLICK HERE 
  • PURDUE ROUTS FLORIDA STATE: Jaden Ivey led Purdue with 18 points against Florida State. He was one of five Boilermakers to score in double figures. The team is now 7-0 to start the season and will be back at home against Iowa on Friday. CLICK HERE
  • PURDUE RANKED SECOND IN AP POLL: Purdue basketball moved up to No. 2 in the AP Top 25 poll, matching the highest ranking in school history. The team was previously ranked No. 3 in the nation after claiming victories over North Carolina and Villanova in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. CLICK HERE
  • PURDUE HAMMERS OMAHA: Purdue raised its record to 6-0 last Friday with an easy 97-40 victory over Omaha at sold-out Mackey Arena. The team's 35-point lead at halftime was tied for the third-largest in program history. CLICK HERE
  • PURDUE TAKES DOWN VILLANOVA: Purdue battled back from down 11 points in the second half to defeat Villanova in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament on Sunday at the Mohegan Sun Casino. Sophomore center Zach Edey led the way with 21 points. CLICK HERE
  • BOILERMAKERS DEFEAT NORTH CAROLINA: No. 6 Purdue had three players score 20 points or more in a 93-84 victory over No. 18 North Carolina on Saturday. CLICK HERE

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