Caleb Swanigan is tied for the national lead with 27 double-doubles and has helped Purdue to an 11th rank nationally in rebound rate.
Iowa State guard Monte Morris, who averages 16.4 points and 6.1 rebounds, drives Nevada’s Lindsey Drew on Thursday.
March 18, 2017 1:02 AM
Boilers, Cyclones win with contrast in styles
Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette
Purdue vs. Iowa State
When: 9:40 p.m. today
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE – Purdue’s built around a player nicknamed “Biggie,” while Iowa State’s starting interior players are 6-foot-5 and 6-8, respectively, which should make for an oil-and-water dynamic tonight at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
“Yeah, it is contrasting styles,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “We both average around 80 points. We just do it different.”
To escape the second round of the NCAA Tournament and earn their first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2010, the fourth-seeded Boilermakers are tasked with mastering the perimeter-oriented approach that opponents such as Villanova, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan used to beat Purdue during the regular season.
“Containment,” Boilermakers forward Vince Edwards said. “It’s been with us all year. We have got to do a good job of dribble containment and not overhelping. (The Cyclones) have a lot of shooters on the outside who make you pay. You have got to make them make tough shots. Even though it’s something they do very well, that’s just things you have to live with. You have got to keep them out of the paint.”
Easier said than done against point guard Monte Morris, who averages 16.4 points, 6.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game.
“Oh man, I could go on,” Prohm said. “The reason we’re at the level we are is because he has taken his game to another level. You look at how many near triple-doubles he’s had. He’s our leader. He’s great in pick-and-roll plays. He doesn’t turn it over. His character is outstanding. I could go on and on with why he’s the best point guard in the country.”
The fifth-seeded Cyclones (24-10) might likewise be vulnerable against Homestead graduate Caleb Swanigan (aka Biggie), who is tied with Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado for the national lead with 27 double-doubles. The 6-9, 250-pound sophomore averages 18.4 points and 12.6 rebounds, and Purdue brings 7-2, 290-pound Isaac Haas off the bench for an additional 12.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
“I think we’re inside-out, and they’re more outside-in,” Purdue point guard P.J. Thompson said. “They play a little faster.”
Purdue (26-7) lost its opening game in the Big Ten Tournament before bouncing back for an 80-70 win over No. 13 seed Vermont on Thursday. Last week, Iowa State won the Big 12 championship and is coming off an 84-73 win over 12th-seeded Nevada.
Another contrast is that Purdue ranks 11th in the nation in rebound rate. The Cyclones are 280th. Since the start of last season, Purdue is 29-1 when outrebounding its opponent by 10 or more.
“From a style standpoint … (points for the two teams) probably come in a little different variety,” Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. “For us, we just have to play our game.”