Purdue Boilermakers at Illinois Fighting Illini
Purdue Boilermakers Preview
The Purdue Boilermakers, 1-2 in true road games, are hoping to ride the momentum of Thursday’s 83-78 double-overtime home win against Minnesota. Over the past four games, Purdue is 41 of 95 (43.2 percent) from 3-point range, including an 11-of-25 effort from deep against Minnesota. Sasha Stefanovic scored 17 points, including a game-tying 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in regulation and another with just over a minute left in the second overtime.
Matt Haarms, a 7-foot-3 center, will be key against Illinois’ size in the paint. He had a career-high 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting against Minnesota. He averages a team-best 12.1 points, with five others averaging at least 9.7.
Illinois Fighting Illini Preview
The strength of the Illinois Fighting Illini is their interior. Freshman star Kofi Cockburn is averaging 15.2 points and 9.6 rebounds, while Andres Feliz and Giorgi Bezhanishvili combine to average 10.4 boards. Illinois is ranked third nationally with an offensive rebound percentage of 39.3, according to kenpom.com. The Illini average 13.8 offensive rebounds per game — 15.3 per game over their last three games.
Illinois is 8-1 at home, including a 71-62 win over then-No. 5 Michigan on Dec. 11. The Illini are struggling from 3-point range, making only 29.5 percent of their attempts. Athletic sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu is an NBA talent averaging a team-best 15.8 points, but he has made just 14 of 50 from behind the arc.