Game 29: Purdue at Michigan Preview

Dylan Burkhardt

: Purdue (21-6) at Michigan  (17-11)
Where: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
When: Thursday, Feb 26th, 9 PM ET
: Purdue by 2.5
Preview: Stat Sheet, U-M KenPom Profile, Purdue KenPom Profile
: MGoBlue, WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050)
Last Time:
Preview / Recap

The event that stands out from the first matchup is Manny Harris’ elbow connecting with Chris Kramer’s face. Manny was ejected and Purdue closed the game on a 39-21 run. It is a little more reassuring to look at the first 20 minutes when Michigan actually took a lead into the locker room at halftime. The fact that Michigan had the lead despite not shooting particularly well and without a remarkable performance from Manny Harris should give fans a little hope.

So what should we expect in round two? To start with, both of these teams have a lot to play for. Purdue is a game behind Michigan State in the conference title race and Michigan is trying to keep their NCAA dreams alive. In terms of atmosphere, the game is sold out for senior night but its spring break so I wouldn’t expect many students.

Purdue is the best defensive team in the Big Ten, defense is what they stress and they do a damn good job of it. The Boilermakers allow only .92 points per possession in conference play, .84 for the season (third in the country). The Boilers also hold their opponents to a stone cold 42.5% eFG% (3rd nationally) while still forcing plenty of turnovers and keeping their opponents off the free throw line. There isn’t really anything that Purdue doesn’t do well on the defensive side of the ball and that is scary if you’re a Michigan fan.

Purdue’s offensive falls more in the middle of the road. The Purdue offense has been slightly inconsistent due to Robbie Hummel’s injury problems but they still have some pieces. The Boilers are a decent shooting team and do a good job holding onto the ball. The areas where they are a bit underwhelming are the offensive glass and getting to the free throw line.

JaJuan Johnson has turned into a monster in conference play; he is averaging 14.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, and 2.6 bpg in conference play. Johnson didn’t necessarily dominate in the first matchup but I would expect Purdue to try to establish JJ early and often. Robbie Hummel has been bothered by injuries all year and his numbers show it: 8.9 ppg and 5.7 rpg while shooting 35.7% from long range (down from 47.6% last year) . Even when Hummel is not his normal self he still makes Purdue a much better team; they seem to be more comfortable with him on the offensive end and he always seems to make the big shot.

In the backcourt the Boilers have Chris Kramer, Lewis Jackson, E’twaun Moore, and Keaton Grant. Moore is coming off of a 26 point (10 of 14, 5-6 3pt) effort against Indiana. Keaton Grant has struggled a bit this year, he’s hitting only 34% from three point range after hitting 43% last year. Lewis Jackson is a small point guard who was out in the first matchup with a concussion. And of course Chris Kramer is one of the best defensive players in the conference.

It’s senior night in Ann Arbor and it will be CJ Lee, David Merritt, and Jevohn Shepherd’s last home game in the Maize and Blue. Festivities typically take place a little bit before tip off so I would recommend getting there early. These three kids have all taken their fair share of criticism throughout their careers but there is no denying that they gave their all for the university and the program. Shepherd never quite realized the potential that everyone saw in him but he was always ready to go as a defensive substitution or a spot starter. Merritt tried out time and time again before finally making the team, by the time he was done he was a captain and started several games. CJ Lee, I love this kid because he has the smarts, the hustle, and the grit and while he might not be the most talented he always gives his all.

This one is pretty much all or nothing. A win would keep Michigan’s tourney hopes alive and a loss would pretty much be the end of Michigan’s already dwindling chances barring a miracle in Indianapolis. Does this team have enough left in the tank for one more run?

Pomeroy doesn’t like Michigan’s chances, he gives Michigan a 33% chance to win this one and predicts a three point Purdue win. Don’t bother looking for hope down the road because Pomeroy gives Michigan a 25% chance or worse to win each of the next two as well. Vegas likes Purdue by a very similar 2.5 points, let’s hear your predictions and in-game discussion in the comments.

Pre-Game Reading:

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  • jmblue

    Hopefully UCLA will beat Stanford. They were down early last I checked.

  • KJ

    Statistical nugget: No Big Ten team had scored more than 71 points against Purdue in a regulation game coming into tonight.

    Superb performance by Sims, Harris, et al. Great win for you guys. And we definitely appreciate the help in the conference race.


  • Thank you boys. Well done.

  • jmblue

    What an offensive clinic. 87 points. 50 in the second half. And that was with a million missed FTs at the end. Beilein’s offense is a beauty to watch when it’s clicking.

  • JDub

    YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Come on tourny committee!!!!!! We deserve this.

  • AG2

    Holy cow, an ACC game broke out!

  • Ken in Las Vegas

    That was awesome. God I love you guys.

  • LMAO AG2. Well said. I’m out here in ACC country and when we were drilling everything we shot and Purdue was too early in the second half, it really did look like an ACC game. They play a poor defense out here but dang they can shoot the lights out.

  • UMDC

    What can I say, that was beautiful!!

  • Jblue

    Great game for Sims and Harris. I still don’t understand why everyone loves Grady so much. In the final few minutes of the game he turns it over twice, sells out trying to get a steal which allows Purdue player to make a move inside and hit a floater, and splits a pair of free throws (although about everyone on the roster did that last one tonight).

  • BJ

    Hail, hail, to Coach Beilein.

    That must have been the Grady he’s been seeing in practice. A mental case.

    Great great win. Harris + Sims = Is Mr Hams Sir = unstoppable

  • BJ

    More bubblers go down tonight:

    Temple looses to La Salle
    Arizona loses to Wazzu
    Gophers lose to Illinois
    UAB loses to Memphis
    USC down 4 at the half to Cal


    Yep, I guess we can expect that with a young team. Gosh if we have this philosophy more often in terms of dumping it inside who knows what our record could be. With Sims playing the way hes capable of playing however. I think this is going to be a nasty little team next year. Oh and I should take back anything negative I said about JB and his decision making thus far…Manny went OFF! GO BLUE!!

  • Giddings

    Yeah but Cinci’s win over WV will probably put them in the field for now.

    Peedi was simply unstoppable tonight.


    Yep, Grady had a serious brain fart down the stretch. I guess you could call it a sophomore mistake. Lets pray he gets a handle on that for next year, and the rest of this year for goodness sakes. I dont think he carried the ball tho.

  • If we do the go inside to Sims thing against Wisconsin and Minnesota, we’ll get at least one more win. I don’t know if we can shoot as well as we did tonight, but even close to it will win one of those. That should get us in. Especially if it’s Wisconsin.

  • WHATAP, I think this team will be a top half of the b10 next year. We won’t compete for the top, but we’ll be 10-6 or even 11-5. We have good talent coming in and a bunch of young scrappers who will be a year more experienced next year. It will be good to be a Wolverine next year even more than this year.

  • Sorry, make that 10-8 or 11-7 next year.

  • Tom Too

    In Beilein We Trust.


    Yeah Chris, I agree. For some reason I feel like we will have an edge in the intestinal fortitude department going into these last couple games. Lee plays just so gosh darn hard, and its hopefully beginning to be contagious amongst everyone else.

  • Where has that D. Sims been? That was one heck of a performance. Awesome win!

  • MLAWyer

    The reason that looked like an ACC game was the officiating. They didn’t let the teams get away with hacking and shoving, so the game opened up for the skilled players. That’s why manny was so effective during out OOC schedule and so mediocre in the big ten. Same with Peedi.

  • Dave

    i noticed several plays when merrit had the ball at the top of the key and they had 2 guys rotate over on him leaving deshawn open for a second or 2, i was thinking it would be real nice to have morris there you could get the ball over those defenders cause those would have been easy dunks….hopefully other people saw that………deshawn must have read raiderfan and my blog from earlier about him being able to dominate every game………

  • AG2

    Hightower has been quicker on the whistle as of late, I’ve noticed that.

    Don’t expect to see Sims tear it up against Wisconsin though. Its one thing to do that against Purdue when JuJuan Johnson and Nemaja Calasan are on the bench but against Krabbenhoft and Co the layups won’t come nearly as easily.

  • Updated RPI: 46 on WarrenNolan. SOS is 11.

    Hell of a game tonight, post game might have to wait until tomorrow. But I’ll shoot for tonight.

  • AG2

    Wow, that’s like 9 spots! Back in the RPI Top 50 with a vengeance.

    Although it inflates OSU’s Top 50 RPI record by 2 games.

  • Get some rest Dylan. It can wait. That game was a nailbiter. Even when we were up 12 I was nervous. WHATAP, I agree. We have guts on this team. Dang they play with abandon. If we play like this the rest of the way, we win out and win 2 B10 Tourney games at least. Therein lies the problem. We aren’t consistent. But hey, we can hope!

    No matter what happens the last 2 games and the tourney, this season has been a blast. I am proud to call this my team. Beilein has made this team fun. No we don’t win them all and no, we don’t even win all the ones we should. But we won some that we aren’t supposed to and we play a fun style. This season has been more fun than any of Amakers. We never seemed to win games down the stretch with his teams. At least this one competes all the way to the end.

    Wisconsin is next. Let’s get ’em while we’re hot!

  • Sheryl

    What a terrible night for a storm to come through and knock my power off. Only got to see like 1 minute of the game but glad to hear they won.
    Go Blue!

  • Beast1530

    Sims scores down low no matter who’s guarding him except for Thabeet cuz it is a bad matchup for Sims.