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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Purdue guard Dakota Mathias scored 18 points in the Boilermakers' win Friday against SIU-Edwardsville.

Sunday, November 12, 2017 1:00 am

Poor rebounding draws Painter's ire after win

Jeff Washburn | For The Journal Gazette

Purdue vs. Chicago State

When: 4 p.m. today

Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: 106.7 FM

WEST LAFAYETTE – It's difficult to completely please No. 20 Purdue coach Matt Painter, even during a 105-74 season-opening victory Friday night against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

Today the Boilermakers (1-0) will play Chicago State (0-1), which was beaten 92-65 Friday night at Iowa.

Although Purdue shot 59 percent from the field and got 18 points from senior guard Dakota Mathias and 16 each from Isaac Haas and Carsen Edwards, Painter's team was outrebounded 40-39.

He did like the play of freshman point guard Nojel Eastern, who had eight assists and played excellent defense in his collegiate opener.

“I thought Nojel Eastern was great,” Painter said. “For it being his first real college game, he got eight assists. I thought our dribble penetration before he subbed in was kind of lackluster. The ball was getting in the paint too much. From a concentration standpoint, Nojel was trying to put pressure on the basketball but also protect it.”

Painter said the rebounding will get better.

“I thought SIUE did a great job attacking the offensive glass and pursuing the basketball,” Painter said. “I didn't think we did a very good job of boxing out or going to get it. It took a little time to adjust to that.”

Chicago State coach Tracy Dildy, who was 6-26 last season, said opening the season with consecutive games at Big Ten opponents is important only to an extent.

“I don't think it will give us a true indication of where we are at,” Dildy said. “You are talking about two of the best teams on our schedule. We aren't going to see two teams like this. I don't want to put too much into it if things don't go too well.

“We have a whole season, and we talk about just Iowa and Purdue, nobody in our conference looks like that. We don't want to get too discouraged. We want to keep our mind on the big picture, which is to go to the postseason. Our guys have been working their tails off.”

Dildy is a big fan of this Purdue team. He said the Boilermakers might be his favorite BIg Ten team. He especially likes senior guard Mathias.

“I think they may be better than last year's Big Ten championship team,” Dildy said. “They got really good when center Isaac Haas decided to come back. I have also said that Mathias is the best shooter in the country. With Vince and Carsen Edwards, that is a Final Four team. They have everything you need, including experience, toughness, size and good guard play.”