What to Know
The Purdue Boilermakers have been one of the best teams in the Big Ten conference over the course of the first 13 games. They are sporting an 11-2 record and have close losses to Villanova, the defending national champs, and Louisville, which came on the road. While they played those two close, they were unable to come away victorious. They have notable wins over a good Notre Dame team and Arizona State, which was a game that was over pretty much from the get go.
The Hawkeyes and Boilers played twice last season and the Hawkeyes came away victorious in both contests. They beat Purdue on the road in their first game after having to come back from a 17 point halftime deficit. Iowa outscored the Boilers 50-26 in the second half. In game two, which tipped in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes won by 12, once again overcoming a halftime deficit. Although that one was much smaller at two points.
They were able to neutralize the talented Caleb Swanigan in both games. Swanigan had 6 points and 5 rebounds in game one and 5 points and 8 rebounds in game two. "Biggie" as everyone calls him, has been a monster this season. He's posting 18 points and 13 rebounds per game, which both land in the top five in the conference.
The Boilers have been what they usually are over the course of the first 13 games here, which is tough. They rank in the top 30 in the country in points per game averaging 84 and also rank in the top 35 in scoring defense allowing just 63 points per game. A lot of that has to do with their supremely talented front line. Couple that with good guard play and you get a top 15 team in the country.
Who to Know
Swanigan is definitely the best player the Boilers have. He's likely a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft and is a handful at 6'9" and 250 pounds. He's posted 20 rebound performances in the last two ball games and double doubles in the last four. He's efficient from the floor and from the free throw line. He's one of the best players in the conference, but the Hawkeyes did do a good job of limiting him last season in both contests.
After Swanigan, it's been 7'2" junior Isaac Haas that has performed well for the Boilers. He's posting 14 points and 5 rebounds over the first 13 games and Iowa is going to struggle to find someone to matchup with him, much like everyone else does. Last year they had Adam Woodbury to handle guys like Haas and A.J. Hammons, but without him this year Iowa is going to need a team effort on the glass.
The Boilers have gotten consistent play from guys like Dakota Mathias, Vincent Edwards, and Carsen Edwards. Carsen replaced Vincent in the starting lineup over the course of the last 6 games and the talented true freshman point guard is taking advantage. He's averaging 10 points and 3 rebounds per game.
Haas, Swanigan, and Carsen Edwards are joined by P.J. Thompson and Mathias in the starting lineup and those two really help the team go. Thompson averages 8 points and 4 assists per game and has 47 assists to just 9 turnovers on the year. He's turned it over 0 times in their last three games. They have one of the more talented starting fives in the Big Ten and are tough to beat at their place. Limiting Swanigan is step one for the Hawkeyes if they wish to pull off the upset.
Stats to Know
The Hawkeyes coming in have won four of the last five meetings, including the last two. They're up against a more talented team in Purdue, but they beat a very good Purdue team twice last season and they were extremely talented. As a team they are shooting 50% from the field and 41% from behind the arc. Both of which are good for a top 20 ranking in the country. Both Swanigan and Haas shoot 60% from the floor, while Mathias and Vincent Edwards both shoot over 47% from behind the arc.
They have multiple weapons and are extremely well coached under Matt Painter. They average 20 assists per game, which is tops in the Big Ten and are only giving up about 30 rebounds to opponents so far this season, that mark is good for second in the Big Ten.
Swanigan leads the entire country in double double's with 10 and is second in total rebounding (12.5) and defensive rebounding (9.5).
For Iowa, it's going to be about keeping the forwards off the glass and defending the three point arc. Those are two things the Boilers do very well, so it'll be key for Iowa to limit them in those two areas.