Purdue will try to win its first Big Ten game of the season today as the Boilermakers (10-5, 0-2) play host to Nebraska (8-7, 0-3).
Here are few things to watch for in today’s game, which tips off at noon in Mackey Arena:
Keep your hands to yourself: Purdue and Nebraska have been called for the most fouls in the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers are averaging 21.7 fouls, and the Boilermakers average 20.8.
“We’re just out of position, because we’ve backed up our pressure. We’re not pressuring as much,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said of his team’s fouls. “We’re trying to be more of a contain team and changed some ball-screen defense and not stayed tight with every single package we’ve used. We’ve made some adjustments, because we struggle to contain the dribble. That’s still something we’re getting better at but we’re not consistent enough. We have to do a better job of focusing and moving laterally. I chalk it up to not being in position and not having the discipline to play with your feet and not use your hands. We have some young guys that just still put their hands all over people. We work on it and work on it. It’s a bad habit they have. We have to continue to put in work to get that solved.”
Sterling Carter: The Boilermakers senior guard could be looking at more playing time today. He was in for 21 minutes in last week’s 82-79 loss at Minnesota, scoring 10 and grabbing four rebounds.
“I thought he did a better job of defending their perimeter guys than our other guys did,” Painter said of Carter’s performance against the Gophers. “I thought he did a good job of staying with them and not letting them get free looks. I thought he had a better effort and he was more committed to stopping his man and was able to knock down a couple of shots, just gave us some energy off the bench.”
Gutting it out: Travis Carroll was able to give Purdue 8 minutes against Minnesota despite a knee injury, and Painter said he can count on the senior to give the team everything he has.
“I thought he did great (at Minnesota),” Painter said. “He went out there and battled and gave us a great effort and laid it on the line. He had a couple times he didn’t have the lift to get a ball when normally he was going to get that basketball. But he’s a team guy and goes out there and plays hard and does what’s asked of him.”