Men's College Basketball
Preview
Purdue vs Notre Dame
When: 5:15 PM ET, Saturday, December 20, 2014
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

No. 21 Notre Dame hopes to extend its six-game winning streak when it takes on in-state rival Purdue in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday. The Fighting Irish have lost just once this year - a one-point setback to Providence - and coach Mike Brey's squad would like to keep its momentum going against a tough Boilermakers team. Purdue has had a week to reflect on a 10-point loss to Vanderbilt, and coach Matt Painter certainly will have his team amped up for a chance to knock off the Irish.

Both teams are good offensively, with Purdue scoring 76.7 points per game compared to the Irish's 84.9, but it's at the defensive end where the squads make their mark. The stats are eerily similar in points allowed (Purdue 60.5, Notre Dame 60.3), field-goal percentage defense (.386 to .388) and 3-point percentage defense (.344 to .325). Notre Dame's duo of guard Jerian Grant (18.9 ppg, six apg) and forward Zach Auguste (15.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) will test the mettle of the Boilermakers' defense.

TV: 5:15 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

ABOUT PURDUE (8-3): Even after a loss to Vanderbilt, Painter had high praise for the play of 6-5 guard Rapheal Davis, whose stats are up across the board this year. Davis scored a team-high 15 points against the Commodores and is averaging 11.3 over his last seven games, but it's his work on the defensive end with which Painter is especially pleased. “I thought he was ready to play. He did a good job guarding (Vanderbilt's 7-foot forward Luke) Kornet to start the game,” Painter told the Lafayette Journal & Courier about Davis holding Kornet scoreless after he entered averaging 12.4 points. “He was ready to play tonight and ready to defend and do his job. That's what we've got to get our team to be like.”

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (10-1): Notre Dame has been getting rebounding from its backcourt so far this season, with sophomore guard Demetrius Jackson grabbing seven and Grant getting five in a win over Florida State on Saturday. The duo has been pounding the boards against some of the smaller teams the Irish have faced, but with ACC play coming up, it knows its contributions on the glass are going to be even more crucial going forward. “We're not playing many more teams that have a 6-6 power forward,” Grant told the South Bend Tribune. “We're going to play against a lot of big guys, so to make sure me and him stay on the glass is real important.”

TIP-INS

1. G Kendall Stephens continues to lead the Boilermakers in scoring at 12.3 points despite coming off the bench the last three games.

2. Notre Dame leads the nation in field-goal percentage at 55.7 percent, hitting 50 percent or better from the field in 10 of its 11 games this season.

3. The Irish lead the all-time rivalry 21-20, including victories in the last two meetings.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 74, Purdue 66


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Purdue 8-3 L1 6-1 0-1 2-1 3-2 5-1 0-0
Notre Dame 10-1 W6 9-0 0-0 1-1 3-1 7-0 1-0
Last Meeting
Purdue Notre Dame
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/15/12 PUR 68 ND 81 68 26 41.0 81 35 49.1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Purdue R. Davis 21 88.9 4
Notre Dame J. Cooley 18 54.5 6
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Purdue D. Byrd 5 1 4
Notre Dame J. Cooley 9 5 4
Assists Player  
Purdue T. Johnson 4
Notre Dame J. Grant 8
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Purdue K. Stephens 135 39.4 25
Notre Dame J. Grant 208 57.8 38
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Purdue V. Edwards 68 32 36
Notre Dame P. Connaughton 84 15 69
Assists Player  
Purdue J. Octeus 29
Notre Dame J. Grant 66
Quickchart Matchup
Purdue Off vs  Notre Dame Defense
76.7 Points For
60.3 Points Against
47.0 FG%
38.8 FG%
34.8 Reb
27.5 Reb
Notre Dame Off vs  Purdue Defense
84.9 Points For
60.5 Points Against
55.7 FG%
38.6 FG%
27.5 Reb
26.7 Reb