Here is a look at Purdue’s game against Western Kentucky (WK) from November 23 and what Arizona basketball fans can expect for tonight’s game. WK beat Purdue 77-73.
#11 P.J. Thompson 5’10” G (Sr.)
#3 Carsen Edwards 6’1″ G (So.)
#31 Dakota Mathias 6’4″ G (Sr.)
#12 Vincent Edwards 6’8″ F (Sr.)
#44 Isaac Haas 7’2″ C (Sr.)
Off the bench: #32 Matt Haarms 7’3″ C (Fr.), #14 Ryan Cline 6’6″ G (Jr.), #20 Nojel Eastern 6’6″ G (Fr.), #24 Grady Eifert 6’6″ F (Jr.)
Offense: Purdue runs a motion offense with an occasional high pick and roll and perimeter ball screen. The focus of the offense is to get the ball into the post to the massive #44 Haas and #32 Haarms (who were never on the court at the same time) for a post up move or a pass off the double team. WK played some zone where Purdue mainly looked for a 3 or perimeter shot.
Defense: Straight up half-court man with a couple of possessions where they picked up full-court. WK was able to beat them down the court a number of times for some easy looks. Haas commands the middle of the paint on D but does come out to help on perimeter screens.
Strengths: Overall a pretty patient and disciplined team. Good size up front. Very good 3-point and free throw shooting team. Experienced.
Weaknesses: Poor rebounding team for its size. Can be beat regularly off of dribble penetration. Not an extremely athletic team overall. Not a very deep team. #32 Haarms and #14 Cline were their best players off the bench.
Summary: The ball goes through #44 Haas. #12 Vincent Edwards is this team’s best athlete and 1-on-1 player (even with two 7 foot teammates he is leading the team in rebounding.) Guards are solid all around and can knock down the 3 at a good percentage. Purdue so far this year is shooting 43% from 3 led by #31 Dakota Mathias who is shooting almost 60% from long distance. They didn’t look to run very often and moved the ball well in their 1/2 court sets. WK, though smaller, used their athleticism and aggressive play to beat them in a close game.
Keys for Arizona: Ayton v. Haas/Haarms should be interesting matchups. Haas is not very mobile but has (or maybe, “haas”?) a soft touch around the rim. The opportunity to run out and get some fast break points is there if they so choose. I had considered Arizona in previous games to have had a size advantage but realized I may have been wrong. With Ristic’s minutes dwindling, other than Ayton Arizona really does not have any size advantage at all. This showed in the previous two games. Ayton, at times, seems all alone in the paint and doesn’t get much help rebounding, particularly on the defensive glass. As talented as Arizona is they are still figuring a few things out. I find it hard to imagine they would leave the Bahamas with three losses…then again I find it hard to believe that they already have two.