Few college basketball teams in the country have a better Big 3 that Purdue does in guard Jaden Ivey, center Zach Edey and forward Trevion Williams, and it appears that trio will be intact tonight in Big Ten action at Iowa after Ivey missed the Boilers' last game due to injury. Purdue is -2.5 at Caesars Sportsbook, but two SportsLine experts are on the Hawkeyes at home. Click here for model picks.
Ivey, a sophomore, leads the team in scoring at 16.7 ppg (sixth in Big Ten) and steals at 1.2 spg while adding 5.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per night. He was limited late in Purdue's 68-65 upset loss at Indiana last Thursday with a hip injury and didn't play Sunday as the Boilers smacked Northwestern 80-60. Ivey has practiced this week and felt no pain.
Purdue is the only school with three players named to the Wooden Award midseason watch list and they were Ivey, Edey and Williams. That trio is averaging 43.7 points, 20.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 2.4 blocks and 2.4 steals per game, shooting 57.9 percent from the floor and accounting for 51.6 percent of Purdue's scoring. Purdue leads the country in offensive efficiency (124.1) and has scored 90 or more points in nine games this season, the most in country.
Amazingly, the Boilers have won 111 straight games when scoring at least 90 points dating to November 1987. They rank fourth nationally in scoring at 84.7 ppg.
If the Boilers lead tonight at the half, they are in good shape as Purdue has won its past 19 when leading at the half. On Dec. 3 at home, Purdue was up 39-26 at the half on Iowa and would win 77-70. Ivey had 19 points and Williams 13 points and 18 rebounds. The Hawkeyes were without leading scorer and rebounder Keegan Murray (22.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg) but he's healthy now. Two of Purdue's three losses have come on the road.
Murray is third in the country in scoring and has been named Big Ten Player of the Week three times this season. Iowa is second in the Big Ten and fifth nationally in scoring offense (83.1). The Hawkeyes have ranked first in the Big Ten in scoring offense the last three seasons.
With two high-powered offenses, the total is set at 153.5 points.
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