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Posts tagged with Purdue

Winning rebounding battle makes world of difference for Jayhawks

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) powers in a dunk against Purdue guard Carsen Edwards (3) and Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan (50) during the second half, Thursday, March 23, 2017 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) powers in a dunk against Purdue guard Carsen Edwards (3) and Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan (50) during the second half, Thursday, March 23, 2017 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

Kansas City, Mo. — In the first half of Thursday’s Sweet 16 matchup at Sprint Center, everything was going to plan for Purdue except in one spot.

Kansas had an edge in rebounding, which led to an edge on the scoreboard.

It didn’t matter that the Boilermakers were shooting the ball well and forcing the Jayhawks into some tough shots. The Jayhawks kept scoring off of their own misses until they eventually stopped missing in a 98-66 victory to advance to the Elite Eight.

Purdue’s trio of big men, 6-foot-9 Caleb Swanigan, 6-8 Vincent Edwards and 7-2 Isaac Haas, combined for 37 points and 13 rebounds — a big drop from their output of 55 points and 25 rebounds against Iowa State in the second round.

The Jayhawks out-rebounded the much taller Purdue, 36-29. Freshman Josh Jackson had a game-high 12 boards (four offensive).

“Those guys, especially Caleb on the glass, it's hard to keep 'em off,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “If you look at Landen (Lucas’) stats he only got four rebounds, but the story is Caleb only got seven. And if you had told this before the game that would be the give and take I would have sold out for that because he does a really good job of making sure neither one of them got it for the most part.”

Swanigan’s seven rebounds were his second-lowest total this season — and only the seventh game he failed to record a double-double.

Kansas senior point guard Frank Mason III had seven rebounds (two offensive), matching Swanigan on the glass. Reserve forward Carlton Bragg Jr., snagged six boards (two offensive) in 10 minutes, while Lucas added four (two offensive) and Dwight Coleby had one defensive rebound.

“I would say if you look at the threes that were taken, 55 3's were taken in the game, so it ends up being longer rebounds and a lot of times it's being quick to the basketball and opportunistic,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said.

Off of 12 offensive rebounds, the Jayhawks scored 16 second-chance points, their most since an overtime, home loss to Iowa State on Feb. 4.

KU has won the rebounding battle in seven of its last eight games, the only exception being a Big 12 Tournament loss to TCU without Josh Jackson available because of a one-game suspension.

“Our defense and rebounding and everything was good the second half,” Self said, “and, of course, we made a ton of shots and that always helped.

“Obviously, Dwight bought us a ton of minutes whenever Landen was in foul trouble. But I thought Carlton came in and did a good job, too. You add those guys together you get 23 key minutes out of that position when Landen can't be in the game. So I think they both kind of bailed us out.”

Entering Thursday, the Boilermakers (27-8) had a 6-4 record when they were out-rebounded by an opponent.

“We've been able to dominate the boards in our first two games and (Kansas) did a good job on the glass,” Painter said. “Seemed like every time they got an offensive rebound they made us pay and every time we turned it over they were so fast in transition of going the other way and converting. Hats off to them. They played a great game.”

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Getting to know: Purdue

The Purdue Boilermakers come together at half court after a practice on Wednesday prior to Thursday's game at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

The Purdue Boilermakers come together at half court after a practice on Wednesday prior to Thursday's game at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

Back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010, Purdue’s basketball team has its eyes set on improving on one of the best seasons in school history.

The Boilermakers, known for all of their size, will tip off against top-seeded Kansas around 8:40 p.m. Thursday (CBS) at Kansas City’s Sprint Center.

Purdue, which won an outright Big Ten title, ranks sixth nationally in 3-point shooting (40 percent) and eighth in defensive rebounding.

“We have confident players,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We have some guys that can really shoot the basketball.”

Interesting note: Last weekend in Milwaukee, Purdue scored 80 points in back-to-back tournament games for the first time since 1998.

Series history: Kansas leads 3-2. The last three meetings have been in the NCAA Tournament, including KU’s 63-60 win in the second round of the 2012 tourney.

Vegas says: Kansas by 5.

PURDUE STARTERS

No. 11 — G P.J. Thompson | 5-10, 185, jr.

Purdue's P.J. Thompson (11) drives against Iowa State's Donovan Jackson (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament second-round game Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Milwaukee.

Purdue's P.J. Thompson (11) drives against Iowa State's Donovan Jackson (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament second-round game Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Milwaukee.

  • Known for his defense and reliability with the ball, Thompson is averaging 7.2 points and 3.0 assists per game. He ranks second on the team with 33 steals.

  • Thompson is second in the nation with a 4.25 assist-to-turnover ratio. In the last two seasons combined, he’s committed 47 turnovers in 1,763 minutes.

  • The Indianapolis native is shooting 40 percent from behind the 3-point line and is connecting on 70.5 percent of his free throws. He was a 29-percent 3-point shooter during his freshman year.

  • His father, LaSalle, played basketball at Indiana State and Ball State before playing several years overseas.

  • QUOTE: "We want him to be aggressive," Painter said. "We want him to look for his shot, drive the basketball and still take care of it. That’s what you want from your point guard…. He’s a steady hand. He gets us where we need to go on offense, but he also needs to hit that 3."

No. 31 — G Dakota Mathias | 6-4, 200, jr.

Purdue's Dakota Mathias (31) celebrates with his teammates during the first half of an NCAA college basketball tournament second-round game against Iowa State Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Milwaukee.

Purdue's Dakota Mathias (31) celebrates with his teammates during the first half of an NCAA college basketball tournament second-round game against Iowa State Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Milwaukee.

  • Purdue’s top 3-point shooter, Mathias has drained 45.8 percent of shots from deep, averaging 9.9 points. According to hoop-math.com, he only attempts 10.5 percent of his shots around the rim.

  • Averaging 3.9 rebounds and 3.71 assists per game, Mathias has scored 12 or more points in four of the last seven games.

  • Mathias posed for a picture during Wednesday’s practice with Hall of Famer Reggie Miller. Mathias says Miller is one of the reasons that he wears the No. 31 jersey.

  • Pronunciation: muh-thigh-us. The Elida, Ohio native played through ankle injuries, mononucleosis and vertigo during his freshman season.

  • QUOTE: “Dakota’s been great,” Painter says. “Where he’s improved the most is defensively. As a coach, you can’t have enough people you trust. A lot of times, players don’t understand that. Can the coaches trust you? Can you follow your assignment? Just be accountable. He’s gotten better. There were some tough lessons.”

No. 14 — G Ryan Cline | 6-6, 195, soph.

Iowa State's Matt Thomas (21) drives against Purdue's Ryan Cline (14) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball tournament second-round game Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Milwaukee.

Iowa State's Matt Thomas (21) drives against Purdue's Ryan Cline (14) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball tournament second-round game Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Milwaukee.

  • Averaging 5.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game, Cline is almost exclusively a 3-point shooter. He’s connected on 41 percent of his shots from behind the arc.

  • According to hoop-math.com, Cline has attempted a minuscule 3.1 percent of his shots at the rim. Of his 130 shot attempts this season, 106 are from behind the 3-point line.

  • He was suspended for the first three games of the season after being charged with possession of marijuana during the offseason.

  • His father, Michael, played basketball at Ohio State from 1976-79 and was a team captain for two seasons.

  • QUOTE: "My awareness and my positioning has always been pretty good, especially coming from Carmel and coach (Scott) Heady," Cline said. "Being able to move laterally and be able to contain my man has gone really well."

No. 12 — F Vincent Edwards | 6-8, 225, jr.

Purdue forward Vince Edwards (12) pulls up for a shot during a day of practices and press conferences prior to Thursday's game at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Purdue forward Vince Edwards (12) pulls up for a shot during a day of practices and press conferences prior to Thursday's game at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

  • Averaging 12.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game on 49 percent shooting, which includes a 42.5 percent clip from behind the 3-point line. He makes 82 percent of his free throws.

  • A strong passer out of the 4-man position, Edwards actually ranks second on the team with 110 assists this season (3.2 per game).

  • On a tear at the end of the season, Edwards has scored 21 points in both of the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. He’s shooting 19-of-30 from the floor and 2-of-6 from deep.

  • His dad, Bill, starred at Wright State before playing overseas. Both of his older brothers played college basketball. Bill Jr. played at Penn State and Darius was at Miami of Ohio.

  • QUOTE: “I’m just playing hard,” Edwards said. “I’m just going hard. I think that’s one thing that’s changed for me is I’ve just been focused on playing hard because if I’m playing hard, everything else takes care of itself. When I get my motor going, I’m able to get myself going, offensive rebounding really helps me out.

No. 50 — F Caleb Swanigan | 6-9, 250, soph.

Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan (50) pulls up for a shot during a day of practices and press conferences prior to Thursday's game at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan (50) pulls up for a shot during a day of practices and press conferences prior to Thursday's game at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

  • A national player of the year candidate, Swanigan is tied for third in single-season NCAA history with 28 double-doubles this season. He’s averaging 18.5 points and 12.6 rebounds.

  • Swanigan is shooting 52.7 percent from the field, including a 43.2 percent mark from behind the 3-point line. He’s third on the team with 103 assists and leads with 28 blocked shots. According to hoop-math.com, he’s converting on 79.2 percent of his shot around the rim.

  • He declared for the NBA Draft last season, but withdrew after less-than-positive reviews from scouts. He originally committed to Michigan State in high school, but said he switched to Purdue because he wanted to play power forward instead of center.

  • ESPN wrote a feature on Swanigan’s childhood, who stayed at homeless shelters before being adopted by sports agent Roosevelt Barnes, a former Purdue football standout. Nicknamed “Biggie” by his aunt after rapper Notorious B.I.G.’s hit song “Hypnotize.”

  • QUOTE: “When he steps on the court, he knows without a shadow of a doubt, ‘There is not one dude out here that works harder than me. I’ve earned the right to go put up 20 and 20,’” said Josh Bonhotal, Purdue’s strength and conditioning coach.

PURDUE BENCH

No. 44 — C Isaac Haas | 7-2, 290, jr.

Purdue center Isaac Haas (44) hooks in a shot during a day of practices and press conferences prior to Thursday's game at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Purdue center Isaac Haas (44) hooks in a shot during a day of practices and press conferences prior to Thursday's game at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

  • From Hokes Bluff, Ala. (pop. 4,286), Haas is averaging 12.6 points and 5.1 rebounds off of the bench. He’s shooting 58 percent from the floor.

  • During the NCAA Tournament, Haas is averaging 11 points and 4.5 rebounds in 15.5 minutes per game.

  • Haas ranks sixth in minutes on Purdue’s roster but he’s second in free throws attempted, a credit to his ability to draw fouls. He’s a 71.3 percent shooter at the charity stripe.

  • His younger sister, Erin, has epilepsy, “My sole purpose, honestly, is to help Erin have the best life she possibly can,” he said in a feature from ESPN. He originally committed Wake Forest (before Danny Manning), switching at the end because of Painter’s reputation developing bigs. He wears size 22 shoes.

  • QUOTE: “I’ve done a better job growing into my body and understanding my body, the conditioning needs, the rebounding and physical aspects you have to go into detail with as a big guy,’’ he said. “It’s like coach always says, you don’t put regular gas in a Lamborghini. You have to use premium. It’s about the right time and work.”

No. 3 — Carsen Edwards | 6-0, 190, fr.

  • Averaging 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game on 39 percent shooting from the floor.

  • The Atascocita, Texas native combined for 21 points in 39 minutes during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. He has 354 points on the season, the seventh-most for a Purdue freshman in school history.

  • A pesky defender, Edwards leads the Boilermakers with 35 steals.

  • His brother, Jai, plays football at Blinn Junior College.

  • QUOTE: “I’m just trying to do my job, honestly,” Edwards said. “I’m just trying to improve on doing my job more and more every game and eliminating mistakes. I’m just going to continue to watch film and seeing what I need to continue to keep working on.”

No. 55 — G Spike Albrecht | 6-0, 180, r-sr.

  • A graduate transfer from Michigan, well known for his 17-point performance in the 2013 NCAA title game (and his post-game tweet to supermodel Kate Upton), Albrecht is averaging 1.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game off of the bench.

  • In the NCAA Tournament, he hasn’t attempted a shot in 20 minutes, dishing two assists. He shot 6-for-25 from the 3-point line (24 percent) throughout the season.

  • He only appeared in eight games for Michigan last season before missing the rest of the season to rehab from double hip surgeries. He suffered from a painful genetic condition, diagnosed as a hip impingement. He played his junior season at Michigan through a torn labrum.

  • First name is Michael. Nicknamed Spike after he wore his baseball spikes everywhere when he was 8 years old.

  • QUOTE: “Having this opportunity to come back and play again, I may not have had the best year for me individually, but I’ve been a part of a team that’s had a lot of success with a great group of guys,” Albrecht told USA Today. “It’s everything I was looking for in a fifth year.”


More news and notes previewing Kansas vs. Purdue


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Landen Lucas on facing Purdue’s height: ‘We match up fine’

Michigan State guard Alvin Ellis III (3) loses the ball while defended by Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) during the first half on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Michigan State guard Alvin Ellis III (3) loses the ball while defended by Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) during the first half on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. by Nick Krug

There’s no secret when it comes to Purdue’s style of play. There’s plenty of height and the Boilermakers like to make the most of it.

Purdue, which will face No. 1 seed Kansas in the Sweet 16 on Thursday at Sprint Center (8:40 p.m., CBS), is led by Big Ten player of the year Caleb Swanigan, a 6-foot-9, 250-pound presence in the post. He’s surrounded by 6-8 forward Vincent Edwards and 7-2 center Isaac Haas.

Swanigan is more than your prototypical center. He fights for every inch in the paint and he’s capable of drilling shots from the outside, connecting on 43 percent of his 3-pointers this season. He’s even a 78.5 percent shooter at the free-throw line.

But facing talented post players is nothing new for the Jayhawks, and they are confident it won’t be as big of a mismatch as it looks when they stand next to each other.

“I think we match up fine,” Kansas senior center Landen Lucas said. “We have played big teams before in our league. We play big teams all year. So it is nothing new for us and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

The Jayhawks will try to combat Purdue’s height advantage with their versatility in the post featuring the 6-10 Lucas and 6-8 Josh Jackson, with 6-10 Carlton Bragg and 6-9 Dwight Coleby off of the bench.

Swanigan, Edwards and Haas all average more than 12 points and five rebounds per game, and the trio combined for 55 points, 25 rebounds and 11 assists in Saturday’s 80-76 win over Iowa State.

The Jayhawks watched most of that game waiting for their own matchup against Michigan State’s star freshmen forwards on the following day.

“I was really impressed because, when you think of it right now going into it, I mean, they've got some guys that we haven't seen down low yet,” KU coach Bill Self said. “We haven't gone against an inside presence scoring like Caleb and of course the big fellow off the bench. We recruited him, and he's a load.”

Along with a strong frontcourt, the Boilermakers (27-7) are smart with the ball. They rank second in the country in assists per game (18.3) only trailing UCLA.

In their win over Iowa State, they had an incredible 27 assists on 31 made baskets — “There's nobody that would execute in the half-court or share the ball any better than that,” Self said.

Junior point guard P.J. Thompson ranks second in the nation with a 4.25 assist-to-turnover ratio, only behind Monte Morris, who he matched up against Saturday.

“We’ve got to come up with a way to eliminate post touches and still get to their shooters because they can stretch it from all the spots to the perimeter,” Self said.

The Boilermakers didn’t know if they’d be playing Kansas or Michigan State after Friday’s win, but they knew there was a chance they would be entering a tough environment in Kansas City, Mo.

Playing at the Sprint Center should give the Jayhawks as close to a home-court advantage as possible in the NCAA Tournament, and the Boilermakers will do their best to use it to motivate themselves.


"We enjoy playing on the road," Purdue guard Dakota Mathias told the Lafayette Journal & Courier. "We like all the boos and the hatred coming towards us. We've won in a lot of hostile environments, a lot of big-time places, so this isn't going to be any different.”

Haas added: "You draw energy from that. That’s what makes basketball fun. I look forward to stepping on that court and hopefully making them silent.”

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