Purdue Basketball: Keys to Defeating the Indiana Hoosiers Following Northwestern
Purdue basketball is coming off a Robbie Hummel game winning shot against the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston, but now sets their sights on the Indiana Hoosiers.
Over the past few seasons, Purdue has been the dominant team in Indiana winning the last five match-ups, but this is a different Hoosier team.
After having a few down years the Hoosiers are trying to get back to national prominence, defeating both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation.
Here are some keys for Purdue to defeat the Hoosiers.
Contain the Perimeter
Indiana is a very fierce team from the three-point line, and it will be key to contain that. With Purdue being loaded at the guard position this shouldn't be that big of an issue, but if Indiana gets hot it could be a serious issue.
Get Physical with Cody Zeller
Cody Zeller, the freshman sensation for the Hoosiers, is having a great year. He is averaging around 15 points per game and and just over six rebounds per game.
Zeller can prove hostile if he is not contained and manned up.
If Purdue can play some good defense, as usual, Zeller won't have it too easy. The size of Zeller could give Purdue some fits, but the physicality of Purdue's defense could very well give Zeller fits.
Not allowing Zeller easy baskets in the lane is going to be key.
Ryne Smith Needs to Get out of His Slump
Ryne Smith is averaging 9.4 points per game and shooting almost 42 percent from beyond the arc this season.
Smith is one of the best shooters in the Big Ten when he is on, but lately he has been off.
In the past three games Smith is averaging only 4.3 points and is shooting just 17.6 percent from three, including an 0-4 performance against Northwestern.
Smith really needs to break out of this slump and doing it against Indiana would be the perfect time.
Historically, Smith has played horribly against Indiana. He has only three points in his career against the Hoosiers. It would be beneficial if Smith was able to start his senior season against Indiana with a bang.
Smith is shooting 46 percent at home from beyond the arc, so hopefully playing in the friendly confines of Mackey Arena will be able to propel him back to elite status.
Rebounding, Rebounding, Rebounding
Purdue has hurt themselves on rebounding in a few games this season and might have had their worst performance against Northwestern—something that cannot happen against Indiana.
Blocking out and limiting second chance opportunities is going to be crucial for the success of this team the rest of the season.
With Indiana big on the post, Purdue is going to have to use that junkyard dog mentality to fight for loose balls and get some rebounds when they aren't supposed to.
Get Points off Turnovers
Creating turnovers is one of Purdue's specialties, and it will be crucial to not just create them against Indiana, but convert on them.
Getting some points in transition will be helpful, but mostly it will be key not to turn the ball over offensively.
Winning the points from turnovers battle could be the key to winning this game.
I know Purdue fans, this is a scary thought, but Terone has been great as of late.
Against Northwestern he had 14 points and shot 6-10 from the field along with two blocks, three assists and two steals while only turning the ball over once.
Terone was able to create and use his slashing ability to open up the offense. Terone could be key against Indiana due to their man-to-man defense and Purdue's motion offense.
The role players Anthony Johnson, John Hart, D.J. Byrd, Travis Carroll and Jacob Lawson are going to be key in this matchup.
Anthony Johnson could be the difference maker in this one. He is coming off a great performance against Northwestern and will need to continue that to help Purdue win one against Indiana.
Carroll and Lawson are going to be needed to play some good minutes in the post without fouling too much. With Zeller on the block it won't be surprising to see both of these guys with two or three fouls before halftime.
If Ryne continues to be in a shooting slump it will be crucial for Hart to come in and provide a spark from the bench.
D.J. Byrd has been the heart of Purdue this season. No matter what he is playing hard, diving for loose balls and making plays. Coming into Purdue Byrd was compared to then senior guard Chris Kramer, and he is certainty living up to that with his hard-nosed play.
Outhustle the Hoosiers
Outhustling people is Purdue's game, and this is going to be no different. Anything can happen in a rivalry game, and this one is particularly ugly.
Both teams despise each other and Tom Crean is looking for his first win against Purdue.
Hustle is going to be a major aspect to this one and with a week of rest before this game, lack of hustle is not acceptable.
Great Post Play
Purdue is going to need someone to step up in the post. It's been like this all season, but it's finally time for it to happen.
Travis Carroll or Jacob Lawson—one of you has to step up.
Carroll has been playing a little better recently, but still not good enough. Tough defensive play by Travis as well as good screens and going to the basket strong is going to have to be a focus.
Carroll won't be able to do this alone though. He is going to need some great minutes from Lawson as Carroll is likely to get into foul trouble in this one.
Quick Start to Both Halves and No Droughts
Purdue has had an issue this season with getting going.
After the Michigan game when Robbie Hummel was asked if he had any idea why Purdue started slow, Hummel said in the post game press conference, "No, If you've got an idea let us know."
This team has had an issue with droughts and that cannot happen if they expect to beat the Hoosiers.
Purdue needs to step on the gas early and hit some big shots to keep the crowd in the game the whole way. It's going to be tough to beat this team, and it will be tougher if they don't get out to a good start.