Probable lineups and potential storylines for the teams’ fourth meeting in the annual event.
Purdue basketball vs. Notre Dame
At Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Time: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Radio: WYCM 95.7
PURDUE BOILERMAKERS (6-4)
G—Nojel Eastern (Soph., 6-6, 220) 5.4 points, 4.6 rebounds
G—Carsen Edwards (Jr., 6-1, 200) 25.5 points, 3.8 assists
G—Ryan Cline (Sr., 6-6, 195) 13.3 points, 3.3 assists
F—Grady Eifert (Sr., 6-6, 220) 4.1 points, 5.1 rebounds
C—Matt Haarms (Soph., 7-3, 250) 8.1 points, 1.6 blocks
C—Evan Boudreaux (Jr., 6-8, 220) 8.6 points, 5.1 rebounds
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (6-3)
G—Prentiss Hubb (Fr., 6-3, 167) 8.6 points, 2.8 assists
G—T.J. Gibbs (Jr., 6-3, 194) 13.7 points, 3.4 assists
G—Rex Pflueger (Sr., 6-6, 209) 8.2 points, 3.7 assists
G—D.J. Harvey (Soph., 6-6, 225) 10.4 points, 4.9 rebounds
F—John Mooney (Jr,, 6-9, 242) 11.6 points, 9.7 rebounds
F—Nate Laszewski (Fr., 6-10, 200) 6.8 points, 4.0 rebounds
► While Purdue can still be considered a young team, the Irish are even greener. The team’s four true freshmen comprise 36 percent of minutes played. (The four Boilermaker scholarship freshman have played 22.6 percent of the team’s minutes, and two are redshirts.) In addition to Hubb and Laszewski, former Purdue recruiting target Robby Carmody has started twice and 2018 Ohio Mr. Basketball Dane Goodwin leads in minutes off the bench.
► Notre Dame ranks second nationally in turnover percentage at 11.3, trailing only St. Joseph’s (10.5). On average, that has helped the Irish post a 16-10 advantage in points off of turnovers. In Purdue’s best wins this season, over Ball State, Davidson and Maryland, it forced an average of nearly 17 turnovers per game. This is an area where Eastern, Edwards, Sasha Stefanovic and others could make an impact in perimeter defense.
► Haarms comes in off of back-to-back 10-point games while totaling 11 field goal attempts over 51 total minutes. The redshirt sophomore is shooting 64.4 percent on 2-point baskets this season while letting the rare 3-point try come to him in the flow of the offense. He does not provide a Caleb Swanigan or Isaac Haas-like physical force that demands an abundance of post touches. However, he’s also begun to show the touch the Boilermakers hoped for in the mid-range. On Saturday, he and Boudreaux must also be aware of Mooney and Laszewski as skilled offensive rebounding threats.
Nathan Baird reports on Purdue basketball for the Journal & Courier. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-420-5234. Follow him on Twitter: @nbairdjc