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Friday, January 21, 2005
 
Next Up - Purdue
I'm having a tough time finding the motivation to write a thorough preview of Saturday's game. Maybe it's because I still have the Illinois game on my mind, maybe it's because I'm not that excited to watch Purdue play here tomorrow. My only hope is that our team doesn't share my apathy. Playing 40 hours after a draining overtime game will be enough of a detriment to Iowa; no need to give Purdue any further advantage.

Purdue comes to Iowa City after losing their first five Big Ten games. Three of those were single-digit losses to Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan State, who happen to be the top three teams in the league. Here's a look at some of Purdue's season rate stats (Big Ten rank in parentheses) -

Pts / 100 Poss = 98 (11)
adjFG% = 0.459 (10)
TO / Poss = 0.214 (6)
Off reb rate = 0.330 (6)
FTA / FGA = 0.376 (6)

Poor shooting has been Purdue's downfall all year. Their roster includes a couple of the Big Ten's most inefficient shooters. They've out-Pierced Pierre, if you will. Here's is an update of the Pierre Pierce Rating (PPR) I created a while back. This is an attempt to spot the players who miss a lot of their shots but keep on shooting anyway.

Big Ten Leaders, PPR
David Teague, Purdue...............10.53
Brandon McKnight, Purdue.........9.64
Dion Harris, Michigan..................9.00
Bracey Wright, Indiana................8.12
Pierre Pierce, Iowa......................7.65
Deron Williams, Illinois................6.73
Tony Stockman, Ohio St.............6.70
Marlon Smith, Penn St................6.54
Robert Vaden, Indiana................6.53
Daniel Horton, Michigan..............6.07

I don't think that's a list that you ever want to see one of your players leading. Having #1 and #2 is a true tribute to offensive ineptitude. I should note that as more of Purdue's offensive possessions have gone to Carl Landry, Teague's shooting has gotten a little better. Teague is 7th in scoring in the Big Ten in conference games at nearly 16 ppg. He's shooting about 41% in those 5 games, raising his season FG% to 34% (ouch).

Speaking of leading scorers, this game features two of the Big Ten's best. Pierce and Landry are #1 (21.5 ppg) and #2 (20.4 ppg) in scoring average for conference games. Landry also leads the Big Ten in FG% at over 69%, fueled mostly by his 11-12, 31 point performance against Michigan State this week.

One more thing about Landry - he shoots a lot of free throws. He leads the Big Ten with 0.86 free throws for each shot attempt. Combine that with the fact that Doug Thomas and Erek Hansen are first and fifth in the conference in fouls per 40 minutes, and you've got a recipe for plenty of Landry freebies.

Well, I'm ready to throw in the towel. I'd like to think that the substance missing from this post will be made up for by tomorrow's game recap. Here's hoping that enough fans brave the cold and wind tomorrow to give some life to Carver-Hawkeye (though I'm not holding my breath).

Go Hawks!

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