Previewing the Purdue Boilermakers (Again)

Jake Kocorowski

Fresh off a weekend victory, the Wisconsin Badgers hope to split the regular season series with Purdue on Tuesday night inside the Kohl Center.

On Jan. 24, Purdue (14-12 overall, 7-8 Big Ten) dominated Wisconsin (15-10, 8-6) on the boards by a 42-16 margin on way to a 70-51 win inside Mackey Arena. 

According to head coach Greg Gard during his Monday press conference, that 42-16 discrepancy has been discussed in the past couple of days. As noted by redshirt senior guard Brevin Pritzl, what also stood out about that lopsided loss was the fact Purdue snagged as many offensive rebounds (16) as UW had total rebounds.

Assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft told reporters on Monday that Purdue is "a program that prides itself on rebounding, hustle, setting the tone, all those things."

"Sounds familiar. Sounds like a a program that I coach for and that I played for, so it's a battle of wills every time we play a team like this," Krabbenhoft said. "That's why it's so much fun. That's why I enjoy the competition versus a program and a coach like this because it's two teams that are trying to get the same thing accomplished on the court."

AllBadgers.com presents rankings, team and player stats and more when dissecting the Boilermakers once again.

Purdue Rankings, Stats

  • AP Ranking: N/A
  • KenPom Ranking (as of Feb. 17): No. 26 (No. 45 adjusted offensive efficiency, No. 19 adjusted defensive efficiency)
  • NCAA NET Ranking (as of Feb. 17): No. 33
Statistics
Purdue 
Purdue's Opponents

Points Per Game

68.6

62.1

Field Goal Percentage

42.6

41.5

Three Point Percentage 

34.4

30.4

Free Throw Percentage

66.4

70.5

Rebounds Per Game

35.9

32.1

Assists Per Game

13.8

13.0

Turnovers Per Game

11.5

14.0

Steals Per Game

6.7

5.1

Blocks Per Game

3.5

3.6

As of Feb. 17, Purdue ranks 12th in the Big Ten in points per game, fourth in scoring defense and fourth in three-point field goal percentage.

However, the Boilermakers currently sit in second in three-point field goal percentage defense, turnover margin (plus-2.5), steals and offensive rebounds per game (12.3).

Since Last Time

Since then, Purdue has gone 3-3 heading into Tuesday's matchup, which includes a 2-2 mark on the road. Matt Painter's team currently rides a two-game losing streak into the Kohl Center that featured double-digit defeats (88-76 versus Penn State, 68-52 at Ohio State).

Players to Watch

Sophomore forward Trevion Williams continues to lead the team in scoring (11.0 points per game) and rebounding (7.4 per game). Though he has converted just 45% of his free throw attempts, he still shoots 54.7% from the field. 

Fellow big man, 7'3 junior center Matt Haarms, averages 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest in 24 games (13 starts). Against the Badgers in January, he scored 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

Facing Wisconsin on Jan. 24, redshirt senior forward Evan Boudreaux contributed 10 points and 13 rebounds in the home win. Seven of those 13 boards came on the offensive end.

Krabbenhoft mentioned that when Purdue's playing at their best, Boudreaux is "mixing it up."

"He's keeping the ball alive. He's diving on the floor," Krabbenhoft said. "He had a Dennis Rodman play against us where he was horizontal to the floor, which that's just how hard he's going to play. You got to be able to -- sometimes you say match that -- but I want to exceed that, which requires a lot when you're going against a guy like Evan Boudreaux, but that's what you want. You want to go against guys who compete like that, and certainly a guy like that earns the respect of all his opponents and guys who coach against him."

Guards Eric Hunter, Jr. and Sasha Stefanovic light it up from three-point range (39.6% and 37.0%, respectively). The former ranks second behind Williams in scoring (10.4 points per game) and shoots about 41.9% from the field overall. The latter scores 8.8 points per contest.

Grad transfer guard Jahad Proctor averages 9.8 points per game and is tied with Haarms for the second-most attempted free throws on the team. Nojel Eastern (4.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in 26 contests) scored eight points and hauled in four boards in the win against UW a few weeks back.

Freshman guard Isaiah Thompson also contributed 14 points and drained six of eight field goal attempts against the Badgers in late January. 

"They're just quick, and you just got to stay attached," Pritzl said about the Purdue backcourt. "You got to stay locked in, knowing what they're trying to execute on, and then just make sure that you can defend it to the best of your ability. You have to force tough shots."

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