Game 28 Preview: #3 Purdue @ Michigan

On3 imageby:Brian Neubert02/24/24

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Post-Rutgers — Purdue coach Matt Painter

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Breaking down third-ranked Purdue’s Sunday afternoon game at Michigan at the Crisler Center.

DETAILS: Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024 | 2 p.m. ET | TV: CBS (Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner) | Radio: Purdue Radio Network
PURDUE (24-3, 13-3 B1G): ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
MICHIGAN (8-19, 3-13 B1G): ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS

TeamAPCoachesNETKenPomKenPom Win%
Purdue332288%
Michigan11911112%

A FEW THINGS ABOUT PURDUE

• Purdue’s magic number to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title now stands at just two games.

• The Boilermakers now rank No. 1 nationally in three-point percentage, at 40.6 percent. Improvement was expected after last season’s 32.2-percent clip dragged Purdue down, but this has been more than just improvement. It’s been a complete 180.

• Purdue beat Michigan 99-67 in Mackey Arena on Jan. 23, shooting 14-of-21 from three-point range.

• Purdue is 38-of-40 from the foul line the past two games. Zach Edey has made 19 in a row.

A FEW THINGS ABOUT THIS GAME

• Probably the Big Ten’s biggest disappointment this season — and it’s not like all that much was expected of Michigan anyway — the Wolverines are playing out the string to finish out a season of tumult. Michigan is pretty much locked into last place in the Big Ten now at just 3-13.

• It gets worse. Forward Olivier Nkamhoua just underwent wrist surgery and will miss the rest of the season. He averaged about 15 points and seven rebounds and was big and physical and athletic enough to be really problematic for opposing forwards.

• The good news for Michigan this time around vs. Purdue is that it will have guard Dug McDaniel, whose six-game suspension for road games has now run its course. He has always been able to play in home games but did have to miss the game in Mackey Arena as part of that atypical suspension, believed to be related to academics.

The Wolverines’ leading scorer, McDaniel averages 16.6 points and shoots 36 percent from three. His quickness and speed in the open floor really affect games and his skill set is such that he might be able to be effective against drop coverage, as is Purdue’s style. But McDaniel hasn’t been nearly as potent in Big Ten play as he was in non-conference play.

Since the start of January — and obviously he missed a bunch of games — McDaniel has not scored more than 16 points and has made more than half his field goal attempts just once. In 10 league games, he’s averaging 12.5 points, shooting only 35 percent and averaging 2.3 turnovers.

TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS, TURNOVERSREBOUNDINGTRANSITION
It’s the same key every game and will be for every game to come. The correlation between turnovers and Purdue’s vulnerability is air-tight and undeniable.There was wholesale garbage time in Round 1, but Michigan did get 14 offensive boards. Losing Nkamhoua hurts, but they do have athletes.Purdue did a good job in transition in the first game but with McDaniel now active, keeping Michigan out of the open floor is a must.

GOLDANDBLACK.COM PREDICTION: PURDUE 92, MICHIGAN 76

Michigan’s season has been absolutely dreadful, but it has had moments at home, wins over Ohio State and Wisconsin, notably. But Purdue has everything to play for still and Michigan very little — realistically — and the Boilermakers really haven’t not shown up for a game all season. We wouldn’t anticipate that happening now.

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