March Madness Preview: #3 Purdue Boilermakers vs. #6 Texas Longhorns

Tip-Off

8:40 PM ET

Location

Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Cap. 17,341)

2021-22 Record

Purdue (28-7) (14-6)

Texas (22-11) (10-8)

NET Rankings

Purdue- 13

Texas – 16

All-Time Series Wins

Purdue – 1

Texas – 4

Last Win In Series

March 12th, 1999 at FleetCenter (TD Garden) in Boston, Massachusetts (58-52) (NCAA First Round)

November 9th, 2019 at at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana (70-66)

Projected Starting Lineups

Purdue

#2 G Eric Hunter Jr. (6’4” 175, SR) 6.3 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.9 APG

#23 G Jaden Ivey (6’4” 200, SO) 17.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.1 APG

#55 G Sasha Stefanovic (6’5″ 200, SR) 10.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.2 APG

#0 F Mason Gillis (6’6″ 230, SO) 6.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 0.9 APG

#15 C Zach Edey (7’4” 285, SO) 14.6 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.3 APG

Yale 

#2 G Marcus Carr (6’2″ 195, SR)  11.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 3.3 APG

#1 G Andrew Jones (6’4″ 192, SR) 11.1 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.6 APG

#3 G Courtney Ramey (6’3” 185, SR) 9.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 APG

#0 F Timmy Allen (6’6″ 198, SR)  12.4 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.1 APG

#32 F Christian Bishop (6’7”, 220, SR) 6.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.8 APG 

Stat Comparison

PurdueTexas
Points Per Game79.768.7
Points Allowed Per Game68.460.0
Rebounds Per Game38.733.4
Rebounds Allowed Per Game29.231.9
Assists Per Game16.613.2
Steals Per Game4.87.8
Blocks Per Game3.53.4
Turnovers Per Game11.711.7
Field Goal %49.2%44.3%
Opposing Field Goal %42.6%41.5%
3 Point %38.9%32.9%
Opposing 3 Point %33.3%31.8%
Free Throw %70.8%75.0%

Last Five Games

Purdue (4-1)

  • Mar 18: Win vs. Yale (78-56)
  • Mar 13: Loss vs. Iowa (75-66)
  • Mar 12: Win vs. Michigan State (75-70)
  • Mar 11: Win vs. Penn State (69-61)
  • Mar 5: Win vs. Indiana (69-67)

Texas (2-3)

  • Mar 18: Win vs. Virginia Tech (81-73)
  • Mar 10: Loss vs. TCU (65-60)
  • Mar 5: Loss @ Kansas (70-63) (OT)
  • Feb 28: Loss vs Baylor (68-61)
  • Feb 26: Win @ West Virginia (82-81)

What to Watch For

All eyes are on Texas. Sure there have been plenty of upsets in Purdue’s regional, but for now that’s just all background noise. In order for any of that to matter, the Boilers have to exercise some post-season demons and get past Chris Beard and Co. This will be the third time the Boilers have faced a Chris Beard lead squad in the NCAA tournament and will be looking to get their first win against a stout Texas squad. So strike a match, light some incense and pray to your deity of choice as we break down the Boilers matchup with the Longhorns with a Sweet 16 birth on the line.

The first thing that comes to mind when you break down the memory barrier you put in your head after the Little Rock and Texas Tech losses is how hard defensively Beard coached teams play. It goes without saying, this rings true for this year’s team as the Longhorns are 6th in the nation for scoring defense, allowing a cool even 60 points per game defensively. Personnel wise Texas employees a 9 man rotation currently, composed of very athletic and physical guards and forwards. The only true center the Longhorns have on roster, Tre Mitchell has been out injured for a few weeks and won’t be playing this evening. This should certainly give Purdue a tremendous advantage in the post matchup, but is going to make the guard game tough for the Boilers. The immovable object that is Texas’ middle defense faces the unstoppable object that is Jaden Ivey’s driving game. This will be a key to watch early on and see how Purdue is able to get Ivey his in other ways. The Boilers will also once again have a concerted effort to get Sasha Stefanovic rolling from deep. On Friday Stefanovic went 0 for 5 from deep in the first half, but had a stronger second half hitting 2 of this 3 attempts. Getting him and Purdue’s long range game in general could be the difference in this matchup.

On the defensive end Purdue is going to have a few key matchups, one of which we have seen before despite not playing Texas since 2019. Former Minnesota star Marcus Carr transferred to Texas after Richard Pitino was let go last season. Eric Hunter will once again draw Carr on defense and will be looking to keep him out of the double digits, which he has been able to do once before in their three matchups. At the power forward position, Texas’ leading scorer Timmy Allen is a matchup nightmare and will get a combination of Mason Gillis, Ethan Morton and Caleb Furst defending him. It will be paramount for Purdue to keep Allen in check both from a scoring and rebounding aspect. Texas guard Andrew Jones was unconscious from deep in the first round going 5 for 7 from deep against Virginia Tech after being a 32% three-point shooter on the season. Boilers will need to throw some water on Jones and get him to revert back to that season average and keep him off balance outside the arc. Overall Texas’ offensive game relies on iso drives and some kick outs, so Purdue guards will need to be on their A game denying access to the lane in order to keep Texas out of sorts offensively and relying more on their below average three point shooting.

Great opportunity lies ahead for Purdue if they are able to get past this stout Texas squad, but it is going to take great effort from parts of the Purdue offense that have been quite strong this season. First key is going to be maximizing scoring in the post, this goes without saying. It’s been Purdue’s bread and butter the better part of a decade now. Second will be hitting big from three. As a team Purdue is one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country, but with their sniper Sasha Stefanovic having some struggles as of late Ivey, Hunter and others may need to pick up the slack. The last and maybe most important key will be getting out in transition and maximizing Ivey’s utility on the fast break. This is a strength for Purdue and Ivey this season and will help to minimize the effects of Texas’ stout defense. If Purdue can hit on all three of those keys, it is going to be hard for Texas to be able to keep up and will force them to play faster than they are accustomed to.

Strap in folks, this one might be a rock fight with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.

Radio/TV

Radio: Purdue Radio Network

TV: TNT

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