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Indiana Basketball Game Preview: Purdue – key storylines, injury report, how to watch



Previewing Indiana basketball vs Purdue by looking at key storylines, injury reports, how to watch and other updates. (Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Indiana basketball continues its 124th season of competition in men’s against archrival Purdue, the second-ranked team in the country, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 16. The Hoosiers are coming off a big win over Minnesota to improve to 4-2 in Big Ten play.

The Boilermakers (15-2, 4-2) are led by the reigning National Player of Year, Zach Edey. The 7-foot 4-inch center averages a team-high 22.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game, including a 30-point, 20-rebound outing against Penn State (Jan. 13).

Sophomore guard Braden Smith averages 12.4 points and 6.9 assists per game on 48.2% (27-of-56) shooting from the 3-point line. As a team, Purdue shoots 39.8% (150-of-377) from behind the 3-point line, the highest clip in the Big Ten. The 150 makes (8.8 per game) rank third in the conference.

Tip is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET on Peacock.

Below is the full preview of Indiana basketball vs Purdue.

Key Storylines

Mackenzie Mgbako has found his stride

We are finally seeing what Indiana fans have been waiting for from the five-star freshman…consistent offensive production. Mackenzie Mgabko is found his stride on the offensive end.

Like it was with Jalen Hood-Schifino last year, it has taken Mgbako some time to get used to college style of play. In his first six games before he was averaging 7.2 points per game while shooting 11.1 percent from three. Since the start of December (11 games), Mgbako has averaged 11.8 points per game and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 40.8 percent from three and scoring in double figures in 10 of the last 12 games.

“He’s put the work in. He’s continuing to work, along with the rest of our young players,” Woodson said about Mgbako’s growth. “All we can do as coaches is continue to teach and push and try to get as much out of them as we can as we continue this journey.”

With Mgabko finally finding that confidence on the offensive end, the Hoosiers have greatly benefitted from it, especially from the perimeter.

“I feel like I started off a little bit slow because the defense we’re running is a little bit different than what I learned in high school,” Mgbako said about his growth. “So just being able to just grow under Coach Woodson is really good.”

How will the frontcourt of Indiana game plan for Zach Edey?

Unlike the past few years, we always knew how Indiana basketball was going to combat Zack Edey and that was throwing Trayce Jackson-Davis at him. This year, it is going to be real interesting to see how Indiana goes about doing so this year.

The two guys to look at here are Kel’el Ware and Malik Reneau. While both players have played inside mostly throughout the year, the versatile frontcourt duo has showed the ability to stretch the floor out to the perimeter which Zach Edey is not comfortable in guarding. An inside-out approach to Edey would be a good option to get the the big man off his defensive game a little.

You should also expect to see a good amount of Payton Sparks in this one. While he is actually undersized when going face-to-face with Edey, he is a guy that can play that sort of Michael Durr role and make things difficult for the big man as far as physicality. He won’t exactly impact Edey, but will give him a little more of a hard time around the paint.

Defensively, Expect a lot of double-teaming from the frontcourt in this one like you normally see happen with Zach Edey. A big thing when trying to beat Purdue is stopping the players AROUND Edey. Overhelping from the guards and wings are not going to be beneficial for the Hoosiers. Will either need to have the frontcourt double him or just let him go 1v1 with you.

Another chance for a much needed NCAA Tournament resume boost 

The opportunities may slowly fading away, but Indiana basketball has another chance tonight to boost their NCAA Tournament resume.

When it comes to quality wins needed in order to make the NCAA Tournament, the Hoosiers are winless in that area. As of this writing, Indiana’s ‘best’ win is a home win vs Ohio State.

With the upcoming stretch that Indiana is facing (vs Purdue, at Wisconsin, at Illinois), this arguably the best chance for Indiana to secure that much needed resume win. You have no better chance than having your state rival come in highly ranked with a chance to knock them off in front of an electric crowd.

Indiana basketball needs to play to their absolute best basketball this game.

More: Indiana basketball head coach Mike Woodson comments on benching of Xavier Johnson

Series History

For the 218th time in program history, Indiana will take on archrival Purdue. The Boilermakers hold a 125-92 advantage in the series. No team has appeared on IU’s schedule more often than Purdue. Head coach Mike Woodson holds a record of 3-1 against the Boilers. All four games in the series have been decided by eight points or fewer.

Indiana swept the season series in 2022-23 with a 79-74 result in Bloomington on Feb. 4, 2023, behind 25 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks from All-American forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. In the return game in West Lafayette, first-round draft pick Jalen Hood-Schifino led IU to a 79-71 victory on Feb. 25, 2023. The current Los Angeles Lakers guard posted 35 points, the second-most by an IU freshman in program history, to go along with seven rebounds and two assists.

Read: Indiana basketball facing Purdue team with new offensive dynamic. Its ability to hit 3s: ‘That’s the biggest challenge’

Injury Updates

Jakai Newton: Newton had a lower body surgical procedure done this past offseason to help fix a previous injury he sustained during high school. He is still recovering and is not expected to play for the rest of the season.

Watch: Coach Q&A: Mike Woodson previews Indiana basketball matchup with Purdue

Quick Hitters

Who?: Indiana (12-5) (4-2 Big Ten) vs Purdue (15-2)(4-2)

When?: Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024 • 7 PM ET

Where?: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (17,222) • Bloomington, Ind.

TV: Peacock (Noah Eagle, Robbie Hummel, Caroline Pineda)

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, John Herrick)

Betting Lines: Indiana basketball is listed as a 10-point underdog via DraftKings Sportsbook.

SEE ALSO: Kel’el Ware’s motor ‘night and day’ better from last year, providing consistent backbone for Indiana basketball

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Kyler Staley is a Basketball Recruiting Analyst for Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Kyler has been in the basketball recruiting industry since 2019 and is a credentialed media member. He has covered Indiana since 2021 while continuing to also work for Prep Hoops Indiana. He has previously worked for Rivals.