PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Basketball Preview: Penn State vs. Purdue

Last time we saw our heroes, they were in Bloomington taking on Indiana. Despite out-rebounding, out-blocking, and making more shots than the Hoosiers, the Nittany Lions (12-5) still dropped their fourth straight game, 76-73. Untimely fouls and ghastly shooting from behind the arc were the main factors as Penn State started 0-4 in conference for the third straight season.

Next up is Purdue, a team coming off two straight losses to opponents in the Top 15. Saturday’s contest will be the first on-campus game with students back in town in over a month.

The Enemy (Is Everywhere)

Purdue is 10-7 overall, and 2-2 in the conference. Overall, the Boilermakers haven’t played a team that has a losing record, and own the 86th toughest schedule in the country. They average 73.1 point per game, and give up 64.6.

The Boilermakers are balanced. Led by Kendall Stephens’ 10.9 points per game, Purdue has six players averaging more than 8.5 points. Purdue also has size, and knows how to use it. 7-foot-2 freshman Isaac Haas and 7-foot junior A.J. Hammons both average more than 10 points per game, and Hammons averages almost six boards. Expect to see a lot Jordan Dickerson in the game for Penn State to try and match up with these two.

The scariest thing about the opponent may be that it’s desperate. After dropping the last two to Wisconsin and Maryland, and suffering two bad losses at home to Gardner Webb and North Florida during the non-conference season, the Boilermakers need a win to keep their small NCAA hopes alive. Another bad loss will put them at 2-3 in the conference, with a tough three-game stretch (at Illinois, vs. Iowa, vs. Indiana) looming.

How to Make Them Disappear Completely

This is a game that could help Penn State get back on track. Purdue ranks 298th nationally in defense against the three, allowing opponents to shoot 37.2 percent from behind the arc. After a head-scratching performance against Indiana (4-of-24) and an average performance against Michigan (7-of-20), hopefully playing against Purdue is exactly what the Nittany Lions need.

If Penn State wants to have a legitimate chance, though, it will have to break the spell that seems to be on the Bryce Jordan Center. I’m not sure if the empty seats in the background provide a comforting, practice gym feel, or what it is, but opponents always seem to shoot well in the BJC behind the arc, as evidenced by Michigan shooting 60 percent (!!) in last week’s game. Luckily, Purdue is shooting 33.5 percent from deep on the year. Hopefully, it won’t be a problem on Saturday for the Nittany Lions.

Finally, Purdue is tied for 282nd in fouls per game. Penn State is tied for 302nd. Expect free throws to fly in the Bryce Jordan Center.

KenPom Game Prep

psupurduekenpom

Prediction

Both teams are desperate for a win, but a gut feeling tells me Purdue will take this one. The Nittany Lions will have a chance at the end, but Purdue wins it by three points, sending our heroes to 0-5 in conference play.

Photo: Bobby Chen/Onward State

About the Author

Alex Robinson

Alex Robinson was Onward State's Acting Managing Editor/Resident Old Man. He lived in Harrisburg almost his whole life, but he says he's from California -- where he was born -- because that's more fun. He loves cats and Chinese food, but only separately. He met both Ben Affleck and Kanye West within a half hour, so the three of them are basically best friends. If you want to hear his #scorching #hot #takes, you can follow him at @ARobinsonPSU or email him at [email protected]

Comments

Athletics

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions won’t play a single home match in September, electing to test themselves against teams like Stanford and Oregon early in the season.

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Penn State Hockey Commit Evan Bell Wins Clark Cup With USHL’s Fargo Force

Center Ludvig Larsson Transfers To Penn State Hockey From Merrimack

Student Life

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Road And Utility Work Impacting Penn State This Summer

Where Do Penn Staters Move After Graduation?

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Predicting Penn State’s 2018 Kickoff Times

As the Nittany Lions have ascended back into college football’s elite, they’ve taken the field at night more often in the past few years and avoided the dreaded early kickoff.

We Are Royalty: Meghan Markle Is A Penn State Fan

Penn State fans are everywhere, even in the British royal family.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Send this to a friend