Purdue at Indiana Gameday

Fresh off one of its best performances of the season, Indiana faces one of its biggest challenges of the year when it hosts Purdue at Assembly Hall. Hoosier Nation previews the game, complete with match-ups, statistics, keys to the game, and quotes from both players and coaches about the contest…

Game Particulars: Indiana (9-11/3-5) vs. Purdue (18-3/6-3)
The start of a new month brings a new set of challenges for Indiana as it hosts arch-rival Purdue Thursday night at Assembly Hall. Winners of four straight, Purdue is led by a trio of All-Big Ten caliber players in center JaJuan Johnson, forward Robbie Hummel and guard E'twaun Moore. That trio has combined to average nearly 50 points during Big Ten play. If those three weren't enough for Indiana to contend with, the Boilermakers also boast arguably the league's best defender in Chris Kramer, the 2008 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Purdue also recently welcomed back sophomore Lewis Jackson from a foot injury. A starter a season ago, Jackson missed the season's first 19 games before returning last week. Jackson played 12 minutes in his first game back and 17 the next time out, so it's foreseeable that he could get 20 minutes against the Hoosiers.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and 11th year overall. Crean owns a 205-132 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Purdue, meanwhile, is coached by Matt Painter, who is in his fifth season at Purdue and in his sixth year as a head coach overall. Painter owns a 101-53 mark at Purdue, and a 126-58 record overall.

The game will be televised by ESPN with Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) and Steve Lavin (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2009-10 Schedule

Purdue 2009-10 Schedule

Indiana (9-11/3-5)
PG- Jeremiah Rivers (6-5, 214, Jr.) – 6.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.5 spg, 38.1% FG shooting
SG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 183, So.) – 13.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.0 spg, 39.3% FG shooting
SF – Christian Watford (6-9, 220, Fr.) 12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.7 apg, 41.0% FG shooting, 80.7% FT shooting
PF –Derek Elston (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 5.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.8 spg, 47.9% FG shooting, 50% 3 pt. shooting
C – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 248, So.) – 4.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 bpg, 61.3% FG shooting, 42.9% FT shooting

Jordan Hulls (6-0, 172, Fr.) – 5.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 36.6% 3 pt. shooting, 80% FT shooting
Devan Dumes (6-2, 192, Sr.) – 7.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.2 apg, 34.7% 3 pt. shooting, 75.6% FT shooting
Bobby Capobianco (6-9, 238, Fr.) – 2.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.4 apg, 43.6% FG shooting, 33.3% FT shooting

Purdue (18-3/6-3)
PG – Chris Kramer (6-3, 214, Sr.) – 6.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.6 spg, 43.2% FG shooting, 77.4% FT shooting
SG – E'twaun Moore (6-4, 184, Jr.) – 17.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.4 spg, 35.9% 3 pt. shooting, 68.3% FT shooting
WG – Kelsey Barlow (6-5, 199, Fr.) – 4.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 48.6% FG shooting, 50% FT shooting
SF – Robbie Hummel (6-8, 208, Jr.) – 16.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 bpg, 36.5% 3 pt. shooting, 90.1% FT shooting
C- JaJuan Johnson (6-10, 215 Jr.) - 14.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 52.8% FG shooting, 72.9% FT shooting

Keaton Grant (6-4, 201, Sr.) – 5.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 20.4% 3 pt. shooting, 81.8% FT shooting
Ryne Smith (6-3, 178, So.) – 3.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, 29.1% 3 pt. shooting, 100% FT shooting
Lewis Jackson (5-9, 165, So.) – 2.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 66.7% FG shooting
John Hart (6-2, 195, Fr.) – 2.6 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 34.4% FG shooting, 33.3% 3 pt. shooting

Indiana 2009-10 Statistics

Purdue 2009-10 Statistics

Will Indiana go with a big starting line-up again in an effort to control the boards? – There aren't many things that Purdue doesn't do well. Matt Painter's team pressures the ball relentlessly on the perimeter, often forcing turnovers or at least making it very difficult for teams to get into their offense. If opposing teams are able to attack off the dribble and get to the basket, Purdue has two of the Big Ten's top six in blocked shots in JaJuan Johnson and Robbie Hummel. It's also a veteran team that can score both inside and out, and when it gets the free-throw line it shoots 73.5 percent as a team. So what's the Achilles heel? If there is one, it might be the fact that Purdue is a relatively mediocre rebounding team. The Boilermakers have a -3.1 rebounding margin in conference play and are only +0.8 on the season overall. During their recent three-game losing skid, they were significantly out-rebounded by all three foes – Wisconsin (-7), Ohio State (-8) and Northwestern (-19). With that in mind, don't be surprised if Indiana starts off big again to try to set a tone on the glass. That comes with a risk since IU would only have two primary ball handlers on the floor, but in a pick-your-poison situation, Indiana might look to trust Jeremiah Rivers and Verdell Jones with the ball and start Derek Elston for a second straight contest.

Will Purdue be hot or cold from behind the 3-point arc? -Purdue has plenty of players that are capable 3-point shooters. Robbie Hummel, E'Twaun Moore and Keaton Grant are all experienced perimeter scorers who have hit big shots during their careers from deep. But with that said, Purdue hasn't been a particularly successful 3-point shooting team this season. Back in 2008, Purdue led the Big Ten in 3-point shooting percentage (37.3 percent) thanks to that trio, which shot 44.7 percent, 44.0 percent and 43.4 percent, respectively, from deep. That ranked them second, third and fourth individually in the conference. But Purdue slipped to eighth in the league in 3-point shooting (34.7 percent) a year ago, and this season Painter's team has fallen all the way to 10th (31.5 percent). No Purdue player ranks in the top-12 in the league in 3-point shooting, with Hummel topping the team at 36.5 percent. Grant is barely shooting 20 percent from deep, while freshman D.J. Byrd has struggled so badly from 3-point range in Big Ten play (0-for-12) he's disappeared from Purdue's playing rotation. If Indiana is going to keep this game close, it needs Purdue to continue to struggle from behind the arc. If Hummel or Grant or Moore heats up from the perimeter, an already difficult task becomes that much more daunting.

Can Indiana limit the easy scoring opportunities for JaJuan Johnson? - One of the things that Purdue center JaJuan Johnson probably does as well as any big man in the Big Ten is run the floor. The 6'10", 215-pounder can get up and down the floor like a guard, and Purdue generally has four other players on the floor with him who can get the ball up the floor in a hurry off either a turnover or a miss and find Johnson in transition. Indiana, meanwhile, has had some issues with its transition defense at times this season, occasionally letting big men who are willing to run the floor get behind them and surrendering easy baskets. Indiana can't let that happen against Johnson. How Indiana combats Johnson's athleticism will be something to keep an eye on. Will IU rely on Tom Pritchard, who has some experience against Johnson but might not have the endline to endline speed? Or will the assignment fall to someone like Elston, who is a better athlete but has also had his issues at times in getting back on defense? Whoever Crean turns to, they'll need be conscious of sprinting back on defense each and every possession. Otherwise Johnson will hurt the Hoosiers on the break.

"I wouldn't say I hate (Purdue). I can definitely say I don't really like them. I've been around Indiana long enough to know if you go to Indiana, you just don't like Purdue." – Derek Elston

"Their quickness (impresses me). We've been trying to work on our transition defense because we know once they get the rebound, pretty much all those guys can just take it and dribble as soon as they get it. They're quick, they shoot it pretty well." – Elston

"(Hummel) is a big guy who can 1-2 pull up and shoot, and he likes to curl. He can get to the basket if someone smaller is on him. He'll be a big challenge for us." – Elston

"For Derek, myself and some of the other Indiana guys, we all know how big of a rivalry this is, and I'm sure the guys on Purdue know it as well. So it's going to be a great match-up." – Jordan Hulls

"I can't say (I hate them). That wouldn't be very nice." – Hulls

"It's one of the biggest rivalries in college basketball. For me to be from Bloomington, it's going to be an awesome experience for me, and maybe a little bit more since I'm from here." – Hulls

"I think our players are really excited to be playing their first Indiana-Purdue game here inside Assembly Hall." – Tom Crean

"This going to be a very difficult game not only because it's a big rivalry game, but more importantly because of how good Purdue is. There are so many things they do well on both sides of the ball, and they're playing very good basketball right now. It's very hard to find weaknesses." – Tom Crean

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