Purdue and Iowa jockey for position in a top-heavy Big Ten Conference when the Boilermakers head to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday. Purdue is currently ranked No. 6 in the country in the AP poll, but the Boilers find themselves in fifth place in the Big Ten at 16-3, 5-3 in the conference. Iowa is ninth in the league at 14-5, 4-4.
Both teams have had a successful January. Purdue has won eight of its last 10 games, including a win over conference leader Illinois. Iowa has won seven of the last nine. Both teams have taken losses to Wisconsin, and both won their last game after suffering a loss in the previous outing.
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Thursday, January 27, 2022 – 09:00 PM EST at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Back to Full Strength
Purdue will get back All-America candidate Jaden Ivey for the trip to Iowa. Ivey suffered a hip injury last week and left the loss to Indiana early. He then sat out the Boilermakers’ 20-point win over Northwestern in the last game, Sunday.
Ivey has worked his way back into playing shape. He did light shooting on Tuesday and said he “felt good” afterward with no discomfort. He went through a full practice on Wednesday and declared himself ready for the game, saying, “I should be good.”
Ivey leads the Boilermakers with 16.9 ppg, adding 5.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
Purdue will enter the game with the nation’s most efficient offense. The Boilers rank third in the country in effective shooting and three-point accuracy and in the top 10 in offensive rebounding rate, two-point shooting percentage and fewest shots blocked.
The Boilermakers would like to get senior center Trevion Williams back on track. The 6-foot-10 big man is averaging 12.7 ppg and a team-high 8.4 rebounds, but he’s currently mired in a shooting slump.
After shooting .604 from the field on the year heading into a showdown with Illinois, Williams has hit just 12 of his last 33 shots over three games for a .364 percentage. He had a two-point game in the loss to Indiana, his lowest point total since his freshman year, and it’s the first time he’s shot below 50 percent in three straight since the start of last season.
Full Force Ahead
Purdue beat Iowa at home in December, 77-70, in a game where the Boilermakers led by as many as 19, before Iowa’s full-court pressure forced a number of turnovers and trimmed the margin to as close as two points in the waning minutes.
Iowa was short-handed in that game—Keegan Murray missed the game due to a sprained ankle. The 6-foot-8 senior leads the Hawkeyes in scoring at 22.8 ppg, rebounding at 8.4 and blocks at 2.2, so his absence was certainly felt, and Murray felt the sting of the loss he was powerless to help avoid.
“I was excited for the first (game), but I was obviously held back,” Murray said. “It was definitely tough. … When I finally figured out I wasn’t going to play, it hurt a little bit. I just feel like, for me, I wanted to step up and play with them.”
Without Murray to help in the paint, Iowa’s Filip Rebraca was forced to defend Purdue’s 7-foot-4 Zach Edey without much help, and he fouled out for the only time this season.
Purdue has the edge in talent and presents a matchup problem in Edey, even with Murray back for the Hawkeyes. Iowa will be playing at home this time, however, and the Hawkeyes seemed to figure out how to attack the Boilermaker offense as the first game wore on.
With Murray back in the fold for Iowa and Ivey still slowed by the injury, look for the Hawkeyes to cover as a home dog for your NCAAB pick tonight.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.