No. 5 Purdue has lost three of its past five games. This downward spiral began with a 79-74 loss at Indiana on Feb. 4. Since then, the Boilermakers lost two other road games to Northwestern and Maryland.
The 17th-ranked Hoosiers haven’t impressed much either in that stretch. Indiana is 3-2 since beating Purdue, including an 80-65 loss at Michigan State on Tuesday.
On Saturday, the storied rivals meet again. Here are three things to Xs and Os decisions that affected these teams' first meeting and could come into play again in West Lafayette on Saturday.
Indiana’s pick-and-roll offense
The story of these teams’ first meeting could be told by IU’s pick-and-roll game. There was a chess match all game between these teams that ended up deciding the game.
As I mentioned in my initial Purdue preview, Purdue center Zach Edey usually plays a deep drop coverage when involved in ball screens. Edey sinks deep into the paint while Purdue’s point-of-attack defenders fight over ball screens. Due to the threat of the 7-foot-4 giant inside, teams settle for inefficient mid-range jump shots against the Boilermakers.
Indiana’s Jalen Hood-Schifino and Trayce Jackson-Davis exposed the drop coverage throughout the first half on Feb. 4. Hood-Schifino fancies those mid-range jumpers that Purdue baits guards into. This forced Edey to play a step (or two) higher in his drop, and the Hoosiers feasted against this coverage.