The #23 Purdue Boilermakers will host the Texas Longhorns in an inter-conference showdown Saturday night from the Mackey Arena. The Longhorns finished last year with a 21-15 record and stomped Northern Colorado by a 69-45 score in their season opener. The Boilermakers went 26-10 last season and defeated Green Bay 79-57 in their first clash. Texas registered a 72-68 home win over Purdue last season.
Longhorns Poised for Bounce Back Season
The Texas Longhorns are an interesting squad. They lost their top three scorers on a team that went 8-10 in conference play last season but have plenty of talent to fill the void. Texas returns three players that averaged over seven points last season. A player to watch for is Andrew Jones. The sophomore guard has made his return from a battle with cancer. Jones was able to sink a career-high 20 points in Tuesday’s 69-45 season-opening win in an emotional night. Jones is a big talent and he averaged over 13 points in the 2017-2018 season.
The Longhorns also have starter Matt Coleman III back in the mix. The junior guard posted 9.8 PPG last year, but only shot 39% from the field. Coleman netted 10 points on 4 for 8 shooting in Tuesday’s victory. Courtney Ramey is a skilled three-point shooter. The sophomore guard shot 39% from beyond the arc last season. Ramey tallied the double-double with 16 points and 10 boards on Tuesday night. Head coach Shaka Smart also brought in highly-touted recruit Will Baker who only played 10 minutes on Tuesday.
The Longhorns were selected to finish in fourth place in the BIG 12 in the preseason poll. They averaged 71 points last season, ranking them 271st overall. Texas is a strong defensive team that conceded an average of only 66.4 points, good for 52nd in the country.
#23 Purdue Leaning on Matt Haarms
The #23 Purdue Boilermakers have lofty expectations after winning the Big Ten title and losing to Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. Purdue lost their top two scorers in Carsen Edwards and Ryan Cline which leaves a noticeable void. Their leading returning scorer is Matt Haarms. The 7-foot-3 junior center had a stellar 2018-2019 season, logging an average of 9.4 points on a dazzling 63% clip from the field, and he averaged 5.4 rebounds. Haarms scored 16 points along with seven boards in Wednesday’s season-opening win.
The 👋🏽.— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) November 7, 2019
The 🔁 pass.
The reaction. 😎
Tonight’s PLAY OF THE GAME. pic.twitter.com/57AMcqFoUy
Also ready to make a big impact is Nojel Eastern. The junior guard sported an average of 7.5 PPG and a great 49.5% field goal efficiency last year. Eastern is questionable for this one with a hand injury. Head coach Matt Painter also brought in Jahaad Proctor on a transfer from High Point. The senior guard will be in the starting lineup this season after averaging a remarkable 19.5 points on 46% shooting last year. Proctor had a big night in his Purdue debut, accumulating 26 points.
The Boilermakers were voted to finish in fourth place in the Big Ten in the preseason media poll. The Big Ten is very deep again this season. Purdue averaged 76.7 points last season, placing them 74th in the country. They are a strong defensive team that held opponents to 67.3 points, good for 61st overall.
The Texas Longhorns are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win.
- 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after conceding less than 50 points in their previous game.
The top supporting trends found on covers.com are as follows: The Purdue Boilermakers are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against the BIG 12.