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Full Game Preview: Iowa vs. Purdue

Dylan Burn of Hawkeye Insider breaks down the matchup between Iowa and Purdue on Thursday night.

Purdue (14-3, 3-1) at Iowa (10-7, 2-2)

Date & Time: January 12th, 8:06 p.m. CT

Location: Carver Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, IA)



- Purdue handled the Hawkeyes easily a few weeks ago in West Lafayette, IN, beating Iowa by a final of 89-67.

- Purdue's Carsen Edwards had the first 8 points for the Boilermakers in that game back on December 28th. 

-The Boilermakers made 10 first half three pointers in the first meeting. Since then they have not made 10 in a single game. They got off to a 25-8 lead.

- The Hawkeyes have won three straight meetings with Purdue in Iowa City, which dates back to 2014. Iowa has also won 17 of the last 29 meetings inside Carver Hawkeye Arena.

- Boilermakers come into the matchup ranked 17th in the country by the AP Poll. Also, have an RPI of 29. Iowa's RPI is 114th. 

- Purdue's Caleb Swanigan has been named the Big Ten's Player of the Week four times. Last was this past week.

- Iowa's Tyler Cook was in foul trouble early in their last meeting. He picked up 3 fouls in the first 16 minutes of action. He also picked up his fourth foul 3 minutes into the second half. 

- In it's last four home games against ranked opponents, the Hawkeyes are 3-1. 

- Cordell Pemsl leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage. He is shooting 66% from the field. 

- P.J. Thompson leads the country in assist to turnover ratio at 5.17.

- This game marks the 650th for Fran McCaffery as a head coach. Also, first 3,500 fans receive an exclusive Peter Jok poster.

Iowa Starters

Jordan Bohannon (FR): Bohannon has been cool as a cucumber in his first four Big Ten games. He's averaging just over 9 points and 5 assists per game. He didn't turn the ball over in his first two Big Ten games, but has turned it over 7 times in the last two, including 4 last time out against Rutgers. However, Bohannon did have a career high 8 assists on Sunday against the Scarlet Knights as well. He's proving he can play point guard in the Big Ten. Jordan had 6 points, 4 assists, and a steal last time out against Purdue. 

Isaiah Moss (FR): Moss has looked at times like he's the guy that'll take over most of the scoring duties when Peter Jok graduates. He has the ability to fill it up quickly and is Iowa's best perimeter defender. He's coming off 8 points in 18 minutes against Rutgers and has averaged 8 points and 2 rebounds so far in Big Ten play. Moss had 15 first half points against Nebraska back on January 5th. Moss did not score in 18 minutes the last time out against Purdue.

Peter Jok (SR): Jok has arguably been the best pure scorer in the nation over the first 17 games of the season. He's scored in double figures in every game he's played in and leads the Big Ten averaging 22.6 points per game. In Big Ten play he is averaging 22.5 points and 7 rebounds. He's coming off 18 points and 11 rebounds against Rutgers. The double double is the third of the season for Jok. He scored 13 points on 4-15 shooting in the first game against Purdue. 

Tyler Cook (FR): Cook missed a big chunk of time due to the injury to his finger, but has shown flashes of his old self in the four games he's appeared in since. However, he's also had some struggles. He's scored in double figures in three of the four Big Ten games, scoring just 4 points against Rutgers on Sunday. Cook has struggled in first halves since his return, but seems to figure it out in the second half. He's averaging just a shade over 10 points per game in Big Ten games to go along with about 5 rebounds. He spent most of the first meeting in foul trouble, but did finish with 12 points in 22 minutes. 

Cordell Pemsl (FR): The Big Ten's leader in field goal percentage might be the most surprising freshman of the bunch here.  He's shown solid moves around the basket for such a young player and some extremely nifty footwork. He also isn't going to back down from anyone. He's scored in double figures in 3 of 4 Big Ten games and is coming off 13 against Rutgers. He's averaging 10 points per game on the season and just over 9 in Big Ten games. He's also played 30+ minutes in three of four Big Ten games. Pemsl had 10 points and 4 rebounds last time out against Purdue. 

Iowa Bench Pieces

Nicholas Baer (RSSO): Baer is the glue that holds this Iowa team together. Iowa is 8-2 when Baer scores seven or more points in a game and so far has done so in 2 of 4 Big Ten games. He had 7 points and 7 boards last time out against Purdue and is averaging 7 points and 7 boards in Big Ten play. He was a big reason why Iowa defeated Michigan on New Years Day.

Brady Ellingson (RSSO): Ellingson was the leader in the Big Ten in three point field goal percentage for a while, but has since fallen off the leaderboard because he doesn't have enough attempts. He's shooting 55% from three this season, but is 0-4 in his last three games. Ellingson does give them a good perimeter defender and a threat to make a three or two. He scored 11 points in 17 minutes last time out against Purdue. 

Dom Uhl (JR): Uhl played his best game of the season on Sunday against Rutgers. He played a Big Ten season high 23 minutes and scored 10 points, had 8 rebounds, and five blocks. He's been struggling, but Sunday helped a lot. He played just 10 minutes and scored just 2 points last time against Purdue. Will be interesting to see how he responds to his best game of the year. 

Ahmad Wagner (SO): Wagner's minutes have dwindled since Tyler Cook's return. He did have a nice move to the rim on Sunday against Rutgers, but played just 4 minutes in that game. Wagner can give McCaffery another big body if Pemsl and Cook get into foul trouble. 

Christian Williams (SO): Williams has also seen his minutes disappear a bit. He's scored just two points during the Big Ten season, but did have 3 steals against Rutgers. Williams does a solid job spelling Bohannon. He had 2 points and 3 assists in 17 minutes last game against Purdue. 

Purdue Starters

PJ Thompson (JR): Thompson is second on the team averaging 3.6 assist per game and currently leads the country in assist to turnover ratio (5.17). At 5'10" he isn't the biggest guard, but is pesky on defense. He'll hit a three or two every so often if you leave him open. He is knocking down 40% of his threes. Thompson also averages 8 points per game. He had 5 points and 6 assist against Iowa in West Lafayette.  

Carsen Edwards (FR): Edwards got the scoring started early in the first meeting. He scored the first 8 points of the game on his way to scoring a team high 19 for the game. The 19 points are 9 more than his current season average. Edwards was in Scout's top 100 for the 2016 recruiting class and is showing why making his way into the starting lineup for the nationally ranked Boilermakers.  Edwards does shoot just 38% from the field, though.

Caleb Swanigan (SO): If the season ended today, Swanigan is probably your Big Ten Player of the Year and a serious candidate for National Player of the Year. He's been the Big Ten's Player of the Week four separate times and averages 18 points and 13 rebounds. Purdue's guards killed Iowa the first time out and Swanigan didn't really have to do anything. He had 11 points and 10 rebounds, but was fairly quiet. He's the focus of the defensive game plan for the Hawkeyes tomorrow.

Vincent Edwards (JR): Edwards started the season in the starting lineup for Purdue, but soon gave way to Carsen. He's now back in the starting lineup replacing big man, Isaac Haas. He's had double figures in 3 of 4 Big Ten games, including a big game against Iowa. He had 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists back on Dec. 28th.

Dakota Mathias (JR): Mathias is Purdue's glue guy. He bothered Peter Jok immensely in their last meeting, which was something I didn't really see until my rewatch. He also leads the team in assists averaging 4 per game and leads the team in three point field goal percentage, shooting it at 50%. He had 17 points on 4-7 from three in the last meeting. 

Things to Watch

How Iowa Defends the 3 -- Purdue blew the doors off Iowa right away in the last meeting and it was largely because of the three ball. They made 10 threes in the first half and it was because they were getting wide open looks. The Hawkeyes tightened up around the 12 minute mark, but had already dug themselves into a 17 point hole. The Boilermakers shoot 47% as a team from three in the first half and just 28% in the second half. They are also 12-0 when leading at the half this year. So, getting to the locker room with the game close could favor the Hawkeyes. Not to mention, the game is in Iowa City. I think they put so much of an emphasis on stopping Swanigan and Haas that they left shooters wide open. They've got to defend the arc better this go around. 

Mathias vs. Jok -- Purdue's Mathias did a hell of a job on Peter Jok in the first meeting. He made the catch hard for Jok and if Jok did wind up with the rock Mathias was draped all over him. Dakota was effective on offense and was able to bottle up Iowa's best player. You often do not see that. He held Jok to just 4-15 from the field and 1-7 from three. Jok is averaging 29 points per game in home games this season, so we'll see if Mathias can hold down Jok a second time this season. That'll be the matchup to keep an eye. Because if Jok can get Mathias in foul trouble, the Boilers not only lose a good defender they lose their leading assist man and leading three point shooter. 

Hawks keep bigs out of foul trouble -- Both Tyler Cook and Cordell Pemsl were in foul trouble in West Lafayette. Cook more than Pemsl, but neither one played more than 22 minutes. Cook played 22 and Pemsl played just 16. They have to stay out of foul trouble against Swanigan and Haas otherwise the Hawkeyes don't stand a chance. Cook did have a solid game despite the foul trouble, but probably would've had a better effort if he was not riding the pine. I think Pemsl is shifty enough and crafty enough that he can put in some work on Haas. Cook is quicker and more athletic that Swanigan, so if he can bring him out to the perimeter and take him off the dribble they both should have success on offense. The trick is just staying on the court. Both Haas and Swanigan are a load on offense, so those two will have a tough assignment. 


This one won't be like the game at Purdue. That night they caught the Boilers on a night when they had their A++ game. I full expect them not to make 10 threes in the first half again. I thought Iowa played a little better in the second half of the last game, but the first half was just way too much. I think Jok is able to get going on Thursday as well. He probably won't reach his 29 point per game average at home, but I can see him reaching his per game average for the season. The young Hawkeyes might've had a shock as they participated in their first Big Ten road game, but they've since settled down. They struggled on Sunday against Rutgers, but I think they give the Boilers all they can handle, but come up just short. 

Purdue 83 Iowa 77

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