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Purdue University

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College basketball preview: Purdue at Illinois

When: 9 p.m. today

Where: Assembly Hall, Champaign, Ill.

Records: Purdue 12-12, 5-6 Big Ten; Illinois 17-8, 4-7

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: 1380 AM, 92.7 FM

Purdue leaders: Terone Johnson (12.7 ppg); A.J. Hammons (6.8 rpg); Ronnie Johnson (3.8 apg)

Illinois leaders: Brandon Paul (17.3 ppg); Nnanna Egwu (4.7 rpg); Tracy Abrams (2.7 apg)

Key matchup: The Boilermakers will need to slow down Paul. Illinois’ 6-foot-4 senior guard is third in the Big Ten in scoring, and he connects on 2.2 three-pointers per game, which is sixth best in the conference. The Illini will need to contain Hammons. Purdue’s 7-foot freshman center is tied for sixth in the Big Ten in rebounds per game, and he is the Boilers’ second-leading scorer, averaging 11.3 points.

The skinny: Purdue has won the last eight games against Illinois, including defeating the Illini 68-61 at the start of conference play Jan. 2. … The Boilermakers are the top rebounding team in the Big Ten, averaging 40, and their 14 offensive rebounds per game is the second best in the league. … Illinois guard D.J. Richardson shared Big Ten Player of the Week honors with Wisconsin’s Ben Brust after the 6-3 Richardson averaged 18 points and 2.5 steals in wins over No. 1 Indiana and then-No. 18 Minnesota last week.

tkrausz@jg.net

– Tony Krausz, The Journal Gazette

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