Preview: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Valparaiso Crusaders

The only remaining undefeated Indiana Division 1 school, Valparaiso, will come to West Lafayette to face the Boilermakers at Mackey Arena on Thursday night at 6:30 PM Eastern on Fox Sports 1.

Purdue comes into the contest on Thursday night winners of four straight, including a 74-69 win over Northwestern last Sunday. The Boilermakers have opened Big Ten play and are currently 2-0 with the win over Northwestern and another win came against Maryland on the road last Friday.

Valparaiso comes into the matchup, winners of their last ten including exhibition. The Crusaders on their last time out on the floor beat Utah State 72-65 in the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge.  For Valparaiso, it will mark the first time this season facing a ranked team when they come into Boilermakers territory against #21 Purdue.

Looking Back (Purdue Athletics Department)

• Purdue opened Big Ten play 2-0 for first time since the 2014-15 season with a 74-69 win over Northwestern on Sunday. Purdue had previously lost the last two years at home in the second game of the Big Ten season (Iowa in 2015-16; Minnesota in 2016-17).
• Purdue led by as many as 12 midway through the first half, but Northwestern used a 14-2 run to tie the game at 25. From that point on, the largest lead for either team was five points.
• The two teams combined to shoot 30-of-51 (.588) from the field in the second half.
• The two teams also each had seven turnovers and 33 rebounds each. Purdue outscored Northwestern at the free throw line 16-3.
• Isaac Haas scored 26 points with nine rebounds to lead Purdue to the victory. For his efforts, he was named the Big Ten Player of the Week.

The Numbers to Know (Purdue Athletics Department)

• 298: Purdue head coach Matt Painter needs two wins for 300 during his career.
• 12: Winning streak in home games, the 11th-longest homecourt winning streak in America.
• 54.0: Purdue’s senior class is averaging 54.0 points per game this year.
• 1: Active players nationally with 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists (Vincent Edwards).
• 2: Players nationally to avg. 15.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.5 APG & shoot 50.0 % from 3P range (Dakota Mathias).
• 13: Purdue’s largest deficit of the season (Western Kentucky).
• 32: Blocks by Matt Haarms, the most by a freshman in the country (only two players have 25+).
• 25-3: Purdue’s Big Ten home record since the start of the 2014-15 season.
• 40-16: Purdue’s Big Ten record since the start of the 2014-15 season.
• 92-10: Purdue’s record under Matt Painter when scoring 80 or more points.
• 10: Purdue has won each of the last 10 meetings between the two teams, spanning back to 1970.
• 11-3: Purdue owns an 11-3 record in the Matt Painter era at home against undefeated teams

83.0 60.0 48.9 42.8 13.9 3.3 8.0 W8
86.5 67.1 49.8 38.7 18.0 5.8 6.0 W4

Tip: Turn your mobile phone on its side to view the full graph.

Bottom Line

Based on the breakdown of the two sides, it would be a fairly even matchup. Both Valpo and Purdue own four categories out of the eight. You would obviously still go with Purdue as the favorite, based on the location of the game and the teams the Boilers have faced. The ESPN Basketball Power Index Matchup Predictor does not like the Crusaders at all, giving Purdue a 91.1% chance of winning. I would have to agree with that because of the quality wins Purdue has produced lately.


Lucas Babcock

Lucas Babcock is the Editor in Chief and Founder of Babcock has been with the Editorial Team since April 2015.

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