Friday, December 13, 2013

Basketball Preview: Purdue vs. Butler - Crossroads Classic (Saturday, 6:00 pm, BTN)

The Crossroads Classic is tomorrow and both games feature teams who look to be competing for tourney spots in March.  As a public service announcement, the Purdue game is the second game of the doubleheader, meaning if you're DVR'ing the game, make sure to add 2 hours onto the recording (instead of the normal 1) in case the IU/Notre Dame game happens to go to overtime.  If it happens, you'll thank me later!

Billy Butler is the new mascot now that Blue II is sadly no longer with us

Quick, give me the quick details on why Purdue will beat these guys:
While Butler already has a couple of decent wins on the year (Princeton, Vanderbilt, Washington State), they've been anything but dominant (maybe best shown in their one-point win over Ball State).  Arguably their best showing was in their two-point loss to Oklahoma State, which happened to be the opponent of one of Purdue's best showings as well.  This is a very even matchup and I'm excited to see how the Boilermakers deal with the Bulldogs.

The key to beating Butler is to handle the three-headed monster of Kameron Woods (10.3 ppg/8.9 rpg), Khyle Marshall (17.0/6.6), and Kellen Dunham (18.7/4.1).  All three are 6'6" or above, so expect guys like Kendall Stephens to have their arms full on defense.  If Stephens can stay out of foul trouble and the Boilers can play solid D, expect a low-scoring brawl that comes down to free throws.  Butler's 67% is slightly better than Purdue's 64.8%, but the key here will be whether the Boilers can foul someone other than Dunham, who is an 80% FT shooter. 

Speaking of free throw shooting, if you have a Gold and Black Illustrated subscription, check out this article.  Apparently Purdue is shooting 39.3% on free throws in "And-One" situations.  UNDER 40% from the line!  Missing those are huge momentum killers - hopefully the Boilers turn it around starting tomorrow.

Our picks:
Line: Butler -3.5

Erik: Butler 72 - Purdue 64

Kirk: Kirk's pick will be coming soon...

Hope I'm wrong - Boiler Up!

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