Game Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Purdue
Logan Bourandas, Gabe Angieri and Dale Ostrander preview the Nittany Lions' matchup against the Purdue Boilermakers:
Pat Chambers leads the Penn State Nittany Lions (18-5, 8-4) into West Lafayette, Indiana to take on the Purdue Boilermakers (14-10, 8-5) on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. It should be a huge game in the Big Ten with major postseason implications on the line.
The visiting Nittany Lions roll into this game on fire, playing some of the best basketball in the country. Penn State has won six games in a row with senior forward Lamar Stevens leading the way. Stevens has been on a tear as of late including scoring a career-high against 33 points against Minnesota, adding with seven rebounds too. However, for the Nittany Lions, it’s their deep guard play that has caused teams fits all season long. Between Jamari Wheeler, Myreon Jones, Izaiah Brockington, Curtis Jones Jr. or even Myles Dread, Penn State has a bench full of perimeter players that shoot and defend well.
On top of that, Penn State centers Mike Watkins and John Harrar have improved vastly since the start of the season and have contributed on both ends of the floor. All of this being said, the Nittany Lions defense has been very good which has all led to them being tied for second place in the Big Ten.
For the Purdue Boilermakers, they're led by sophomore forward Trevion Williams who leads them in points (11 per game) and rebounds (7.3 per game). He’s been big for the Boilermakers all season long and is important in establishing the tone in the low post. However, for Purdue, its biggest mismatch is at the center position. 7’3” junior Matt Haarms is someone who could have a big game against the Nittany Lions. He’s a huge presence down low and more importantly is Purdue's best rim protector, averaging nearly two blocks per game.
Purdue is also coming into this game on a bit of role too. The Boilermakers have won back-to-back games, one being a 34-point thrashing on the No. 21 Iowa Hawkeyes and the other a 12-point victory over in-state rival Indiana in Bloomington. Purdue has proven that it is good enough to beat anybody and it would love a win over a top-15 team to bolster its tournament resume.
It will a tough physical battle between two teams who need this win. For Penn State, a win would keep it afloat in the race for the regular-season title in the Big Ten, and for Purdue, a win would help them punch their ticket into the tournament. This game is going come down to the play inside, and how well Watkins and Harrar can hold up against Purdue’s quality big men. They struggled against Minnesota’s Daniel Oturu in their last game out, allowing him to score 32 points and grab 16 rebounds. Ultimately, the post presence of Haarms and Williams will be too much for the Nittany Lions, ending their six-game winning streak.
Prediction: Purdue 68, Penn State 61
Mitch Broder is a sophomore majoring in digital/print journalism. To contact him, email him firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Junior / Digital/Print Journalism
Mitch currently a junior at Penn State University in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications majoring in digital/print journalism. Mitch is currently a member of CommRadio, Penn State’s student-run radio station where he writes articles, hosts a radio talk show, beat writes/broadcasts live sporting events, contributes to Wednesday newscasts, and participates in podcasts about different sports. He’s also a contributor for the Buffalo Fanatics, which is a football blog focusing on the NFL and the Buffalo Bills in particular.
Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism