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Previewing Iowa’s rematch with Purdue

The Hawkeyes have beaten the Boilers only twice since 2017

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like it’s been way longer than 45 days since the Iowa Hawkeyes (11-6, 3-3) lost to the then-#4 Purdue Boilermakers (16-2, 5-2) in West Lafayette, 87-68. The final stat line really doesn’t do the throttling justice - Purdue led 12-4 after about 5:00 and extended the lead to as high as 32 before a garbage time 12-2 run by Iowa closed the gap.

Zach Edey did Zach Edey things. Iowa’s midrange offense fell off and they made just 40% of their twos, with Edey notching three blocks and affecting many others. The one weird quirk was Iowa’s offensive rebounding where they got 16 of their 41 misses for a 39% rebounding rate but not sure how much can be taken from that.

In that timeframe, Iowa’s pulled themselves even in conference play and Purdue lost another “WTF?” game - first Northwestern just ahead of Iowa and then Nebraska right before the Huskers played Iowa - but have played sensationally otherwise. They’ve got wins against Alabama, Arizona, and Illinois - 3 teams KenPom rates in the top 11. The AP Poll has them second at present.

So there’s no real shame in losing a game against a team like Purdue but ... goodness, some of the results since Iowa had an edge in the series (5-2 between 2013 & 2017) leave so much to be desired. They have the two wins - one of which was in the 2022 Big Ten Tournament Championship I’ll always cherish - but just two other games finished with single-digit deficits. The remaining six (!!!) losses? 19, 14, 10, 36, 16, 23.


Can the Hawkeyes find the right mix of players?

Matt Painter deserves a ton of credit for how he can manage his roster. Entering the season, he had three guys in Caleb Furst, Mason Gillis, and Ethan Morton who had extended time in their Boilermaker careers as starters. None of them start now and yet all still contribute. He’s elevated sophomore Trey Kaufmann-Renn & transfer Lance Jones into the starting lineup and gone with it all season. Alongside holdover starters Edey, Braden Smith, and Foster Loyer, they are averaging a jaw-dropping 1.41 points/possession and +0.37 according to Pivot Analysis.

Fran McCaffery has had to tinker more. He moved Owen Freeman into the starting lineup but recent ailments for Patrick McCaffery have slid Josh Dix into a focal role. He notched career highs in each of the last two games (16 & 21 points) but has been shooting a blistering 57.7% from the field (46.9% from 3). In my estimation, he’s about the perfect secondary ballhandler for Fran’s motion offense and his length can disrupt smaller guards man-to-man or in the zone. After a gnarly 2022 injury, he looks as healthy as he’s been. He just needs the reps.

Now, this has come against teams in the lower half of the conference but they can serve as stepping stones for future performance.


About the Boilermakers

2024 averages: Team / Opponent

PPG: 85.1 / 69.3
RPG: 41.0 / 30.0
APG: 18.8 / 14.6
TOPG: 11.9 / 10.9
FG%: 49.3% / 40.6%
3P%: 39.6% / 30.9%

Coach:

Matt Painter: 20 seasons, 19 at Purdue
Record: 454-205 overall (.689), 429-200 at Purdue

Starters & 2023-24 stats:

Indiana’s projected starting lineup

Pos - # Name Yr, Ht, Wt PPG RPG APG FG% 3P% MPG Misc.
Pos - # Name Yr, Ht, Wt PPG RPG APG FG% 3P% MPG Misc.
G - #0 Xavier Johnson R Sr+, 6'3", 200 lbs 8.2 2.2 2.1 0.411 0.35 24.1
G - #32 Trey Galloway Sr, 6'5", 205 lbs 10.5 2.3 3.8 0.467 0.284 32.8 1,1 steals/game; .500 FT%
F - #4 Anthony Walker Sr+, 6'8", 215 lbs 6.4 3.1 0.8 0.5 0.154 15.6
F - #21 Mackenzie Mgbako Fr, 6'8", 217 lbs 10.9 4.3 1.4 0.406 0.329 24.1 .855 FT%
F - #5 Malik Reneau So, 6'9", 233 lbs 16.7 6.2 2.9 0.578 0.406 30.1 2.8 turnovers/game, 2.7 fouls/game

Season leaders:

PPG: Edey 22.9, Smith 12.0
RPG: Edey 11.1, Smith 5.3
APG: Smith 7.1, Jones 2.4
FG% (min 30 att): Edey 62.7%, Camden Heide 59.5%
3P% (min 20 att): Heide 55.0%, Mason Gillis 50.0%

Last 5 games:

W - at Indiana, 87-64 (1/16)
W - v Penn State, 95-78 (1/13)
L - at Nebraska, 88-72 (1/9)
W - v Illinois, 83-78 (1/5)
W - at Maryland, 67-53 (1/2)

2024 KenPom ($):

AdjEfficiency: +29.69 (2)
AdjOffense: 124.5 (2)
AdjDefense: 94.9 (18)
AdjTempo: 68.3 (167)

2023:
AdjEfficiency: +23.24 (7)
AdjOffense: 117.7 (12)
AdjDefense: 94.5 (24)
AdjTempo: 64.2 (324)

NET: 2 | Iowa: 48

Bart Torvik: 2 | 52
since 12/5: 2 | 57

Evan Miyakawa: 2 | 41