Purdue Basketball: A Quick Start Is Going to Be Essential Against Indiana

James EvensCorrespondent IFebruary 3, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 20:  Lewis Jackson #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers drives against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams in the second half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Virginia Commonwealth won 94-76 in regulation.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Purdue Boilermakers are well into their bye week as they prepare for what will be a huge matchup for in-state bragging rights Saturday night when the Indiana Hoosiers come to Mackey Arena for their 7 pm (ET) clash.

This season Purdue has struggled to get down and dirty early. They have constantly come out slow and flat-footed. These droughts have cost Purdue games this season, and will cost another if they can't figure out the problem.

At first, many, including myself, thought it was a lack of aggression, but it's more than that—it's a lack of motion on offense.

When reevaluating the losses and scoring droughts this season, it seemed the offense was still, almost statue-like, which is something the Boilermakers cannot afford to be without an inside presence.

The guards need to create opportunities, set up solid screens, and capitalize off the pick-and-roll, especially guards Lewis Jackson and Terone Johnson. 

There should be ample opportunity for back-door cuts to the hoop against Indiana, and it will be essential to keep with the offensive motion. 

A fast start against the Hoosiers will be key. Indiana is a great team but has trouble on the road, so the Boilermakers must pour on the points and pressure early.

With a rivalry game, anything can happen, and Purdue will surely be the underdogs going into this one as Indiana has beaten the No. 1 and 2 teams in the nation.

Despite Indiana's road woes however, Purdue should still be worried, as they haven't exactly lit it up at home either.

With this being a rivalry game, throw out the records, and throw out previous wins and losses, this is a new season—it's rivalry season, and one of the biggest.