Big Ten Hoops Review - November 17, 2008

Last night, Purdue destroyed Eastern Michigan, 87-58. The Eagles actually took an early 8-0 lead, prompting a Matt Painter timeout and thorough ass-chewing. The Boilers responded with intense defense, forcing turnovers on 30% of EMU's possessions and holding them to a paltry 79.1 efficiency. On the offensive side of the ball, Robbie Hummel led the way with 18 points on just 9 shots. Purdue again took great care of the ball with only 10 turnovers, and they shot it well from all over the floor (55.8% on twos, 34.8% on threes). The pace of 73 possessions was faster than all but two of Purdue's games last season - combined with the 71-possession game on Friday, it's certainly looking like Purdue will be more uptempo as promised. Purdue is firing on all cylinders, although rebounding may become an issue against better teams - Eastern Michigan rebounded 37.1% of their misses. Purdue did have six games worse than that last season, and only lost one of them, so maybe this isn't much of a concern. One of those poor rebounding games was against their next opponent, Loyola(IL), who they defeated by 31 points despite giving up a 39.3 OR%. Box score.

Penn State shook off a sluggish start to blow out New Jersey Tech, 74-47. The 75-possession pace was faster than all but one of Penn State's 2007-08 games, but this primarily comes from the high turnover rates posted by both teams. Penn State's defense was outstanding, holding NJIT to a paltry 62.7 efficiency - only Canisius fared worse against Penn State last year. Penn State's offense was kept below 100 efficiency by turnovers and poor free throw shooting (54.2%). Talor Battle led the way with 16 points on 10 shots, along with 6 assists to one turnover. Battle is 7 for 14 from downtown in two games, seemingly unfazed by the deeper arc. He shot only 28.4% from three last season. Box score.

Iowa ended up in a dogfight with Texas-San Antonio - despite a 12 point halftime lead for Iowa, this was a 2-point game with 33 seconds left. Iowa made their free throws to hold on for a 73-67 win. As We Geeks predicted, turnovers kept Iowa from making this a blowout - Iowa had a TO% of 27.4%. Despite all the turnovers, neither team played good defense - the shooting was off the charts, as Iowa posted an eFG% of 63.1%, led by Cyrus Tate's 8 for 9 from the field. Tate finished with 18 points on those 9 shots, and was helped by the all-around game of freshman Matt Gatens - 10 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. Junior Jermain Davis had a strange line off the bench - 10 for 10 from the foul line and 0 for 4 from the field. BTG favorite Jake Kelly had a rough game - 2 points and 3 turnovers in 15 minutes. Box score.

Here's tonight's slate of games (all times CT):

5:30pm - IUPUI at Indiana - Big Ten Network
6:00pm - Loyola(IL) at Purdue - ESPNU
7:30pm - SIU-Edwardsville at Wisconsin - Big Ten Network