NO. 20 INDIANA (17-6, 5-6 Big Ten) AT PURDUE (15-7, 5-4 Big Ten)
Time/TV: 7 p.m./Big Ten Network
Location: Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.
Indiana 23 (No. 5 Big Ten)
Purdue 54 (No. 9 Big Ten)
Line: Purdue -4.5 (o/u 144)
Indiana Players to Watch: F Cody Zeller, 6-11 Fr. (15.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 66.1% FG); G Jordan Hulls, 6-0 Jr. (11.9 ppg, 3.2 apg, 48.4% 3s); G Victor Oladipo, 6-5 So. (10.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 48.6% FG). After a career-high 26 points in Sunday’s 103-89 win over Iowa, Zeller went just 4-for-9 from the field and scored just 11 points in Wednesday’s 68-56 defeat at Michigan.
Purdue Players to Watch: F Robbie Hummel, 6-8 Sr. (15.2 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.2 bpg); G Lewis Jackson, 5-9 Sr. (10.2 ppg, 3.9 apg, 3.3 rpg); G Terone Johnson, 6-2 So. (7.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 46.5% FG). Johnson had one of his best performances of the season in Saturday’s 58-56 win over Northwestern, going 6-for-10 from the field and finishing with 14 points. In three Big Ten road games this season, Johnson is averaging 10 points per game.
Storylines: The Boilermakers and Hoosiers are in the middle of the Big Ten pack, but little of that matters when the two teams meet twice annually. The good news for the rivalry is that – for the first time in a while – both teams are solid and appear to be NCAA Tournament-bound.
Keys: Indiana ranks fourth in the country in field goal percentage at 49.9 percent and is 18th in scoring at 78.5 points per game. The Hoosiers lead the Big Ten and are third in the nation, making 43.8 percent of their 3-point shots. However, the Hoosiers have been inconsistent of late, scoring 103 points in a win over Iowa but a combined 106 in losses at Wisconsin and Michigan. Indiana ranks second in the Big Ten at the foul line. The Hoosiers make 73.7 percent from the charity stripe. The Boilers are last in the conference – and 308th of 338 nationally – at 62.9 percent. Indiana averages 34.3 rebounds per game and out-rebounds its opponents by 3.3 per game. Purdue grabs 33.7 boards but has been out-rebounded by its opponents this season. The Boilermakers are second in the Big Ten in turnover margin. They turn the ball over just 9.4 times per game, which is second to Wisconsin nationally, and they’re second to Northwestern in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.4-to-1. Hummel has just 16 turnovers in 676 minutes and Ryne Smith has turned the ball over only 13 times in 609 minutes. Indiana averages 13.9 errors per game and has a plus-1.26 turnover margin. The Hoosiers average 1.1 assists to each turnover. Hummel is the only Purdue player who has ever experienced a loss to rival Indiana. The Boilermakers have beaten Indiana five straight times, including four straight at West Lafayette. Hummel was a freshman when the Boilers lost to the Hoosiers, 77-68 in Bloomington in 2007-08. Indiana hasn’t won in West Lafayette since 2006, when Purdue went 9-19 in Gene Keady’s last season on the sidelines. Indiana has won two Big Ten road games in four years under Crean – both at Penn State. The Hoosiers are 3-5 on the road this season. After winning their first two and three of their first four on the road, they have lost three straight road games in league play. The Boilers are 11-2 at home, but they have lost two of their last three at Mackey Arana. Purdue leads the all-time series 112-84.
The Bottom Line: Unless Zeller completely dominates under the basket, which he very well could, the home-court advantage should be enough to give the Boilermakers their sixth straight win over their in-state rivals.
The Pick: Purdue 67, Indiana 62
Greg Against the Spread This Season: 55-29