Good Times huh?
I'm going to do this primer a little different, because this rematch has to be different from the first go-around, right?
First off, you all know by now who plays for both teams and with the exception of Hanner Mosquera-Perea, (who I will discuss further below), you know who the major contributors for both teams are.
We also know exactly what Purdue is going to try and do, worked pretty well the first time no?
What I'm really interested to see is what, if any, adjustments IU makes.
If they keep the same game plan and go small with Hartman predominantly at the 5, one has to think it will be better executed than in West Lafayette. I'm going to assume they won't go 4-19 again from long range. I'm going to assume Purdue will not shoot 15 more free throws than IU again. And, I'm going to assume IU won't be whistled for 6 more fouls than Purdue over the course of the game.
To me, and this might sound crazy, I'm more worried about Purdue's chances if IU doesn't change it up. That 5 out lineup can really get it going, and when IU gets hot in Ass Hall they typically stay hot. I would be concerned they would hit something crazy like say 18 threes, which they have done in the past week.
I absolutely loved Matt Painter's plan of putting AJH on Troy Williams and daring him to shoot, and if IU were to continue to go small I would think that's how Purdue will again counter it. Getting more point production from Purdue's centers would go a long way to forcing IU to go more traditional with their lineup. Hammons and Haas will need to make them pay on the scoreboard for defending with small forwards.
Which brings me to the alternative; one that's centered around Mosquera-Perea being back in the fold. In my humble opinion, the AJ Hammons that we are seeing right now would absolutely crush Perea in the paint. If AJ and Isaac don't both have 2 fouls before getting off the bus, they should be able to draw them on Perea if he tries to body them one on one. Yes he's a decent rebounder, yes he gives them length and athleticism, but he's also still unskilled with the ball and not big enough to body with AJ and Isaac.
Regardless of what IU does or doesn't do adjustment wise, there are clearly a few things Purdue has to make sure and emphasize to even have a chance to get out of Gloomington with a win.
1) Defend the guards - I know Bryson was a hero from last game, but the Boilermakers cannot afford for Jon Octeus to only play 16 minutes tonight. He has to be in there to harass Yogi for 30+. Obviously it goes without saying that Raphael needs to again be dominant defensively whether he's on Yogi, Blackmon, or Johnson.
2) Guys have to be ready to step up - It's not named the Hall of Calls for no reason. Like I said above I will be shocked if Purdue enjoys the same advantages from the foul line and from a foul perspective as it did in West Lafayette. If one of the Boiler's horses gets 2 quick ones someone is going to have to step up. It happened in Mackey, but asking a reserve to give big productive minutes on the road at IU is a whole different animal.
3) Make shots - Duh right? Really though, if IU learned anything from watching other teams play Purdue it should be to throw the kitchen sink at AJ and Isaac and let most of our guys shoot it from deep. It's going to be up to Dakota, Kendall, and Vince to make them pay. Would be nice for Ray to throw in one or two also, but I'm perfectly OK with him focusing on Defense tonight.
Purdue really needs a road win to solidify even being in the discussion of being safely in the NCAA Tournament, that much is clear (hopefully you followed my train of thought there). One would think that their best shot at getting that road win might just be tonight against a team they thoroughly dominated at home. It's just really hard for me to imagine IU not making shots tonight, and if they do it's tough to combat 3's with 2's. I'll pick the home team in the God awful pants and hope like hell I'm wrong.
Boiler Up. Hammer Down. Hail Purdue.