Is Purdue basketball ready for the North Carolina Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament? Yes

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LAFAYETTE WEST – Here we are.

The first test has arrived. This weekend at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, we’ll see where this much-vaunted Purdue basketball stands against some of the heavyweights.

North Carolina is the first. Villanova or Tennessee are next door. Everyone is ranked in the top 20.

Based on Tuesday night’s performance against Wright State – a 96-52 rout before another sold-out at Mackey Arena – the sixth-ranked Boilermakers are ready. The proof was there.

In fact, Purdue treated Tuesday’s game as one of those high-profile clashes. Good for Boilermakers. Too bad for the Raiders. The standard for how this team should play was laid out during this 40-minute infomercial on how to highlight post players since three – yes, three – had double doubles.

“We treated Wright State like it was North Carolina or Villanova or one of those teams,” said senior center Trevion Williams, who has passed the 1,000 career point mark. . “We want to treat everyone the same. This is our state of mind at the start of the season.

“Now that it’s here, there’s no adjustment. There are no changes. We are ready to play against these teams of this caliber. It comes from how we prepare for games and how the coach prepares us. It’s a big boost. “

Williams was one of those post players who filled out the stats sheet. He had 20 points, 13 rebounds. Zach Edey totaled 18 points and 12 rebounds. Caleb Furst had his first double double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

TO SUMMARIZE: Double to three positions, Purdue delivers Wright State

This weekend, the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic is the first of several measure stick matches the Boilermakers will face ahead of the start of the Big Ten season. There is the state of Florida. North Carolina State and Butler arrive after the conference begins in December, but they’ll look like league games.

But the next two games will provide some clues about this year. He won’t tell the whole story. The clashes in November never paint the full picture. These games provide signs – and sometimes alarm bells – as to what will be needed once the 20-game conference season begins.

Defensively, the Boilermakers didn’t look ready in their first two games. Tuesday, however, was another story. Purdue imposed his will defensively on the Raiders, who were out of their comfort zone from the opening point.

Quick hits. Bad shots. Hasty shots. All because the Boilermakers have raised their defensive level and their intensity. A 10-minute first-half streak was enough to bury Wright State.

This is a significant step forward from what we have seen.

“It was huge. We were active. We were quick for our doubles right away and we didn’t let them settle down, ”said Painter. “It wasn’t one of those perfect defensive halves, but it was so much better than before.”

The defensive performance led to staggering rebound numbers. Purdue 56. Wright State 23. And a 19-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

“If you play well on defense, you will have more misses,” said Painter. “If you can hold them at one shot and dominate the glass and get some chances on the other end, you’re going to put yourself in a great position.”

North Carolina will challenge Painter’s defense and be relentless on the boards. Ditto for Villanova and Tennessee. Those next two games won’t be as easy as Tuesday, once the Boilermakers pulled off a 14-0 streak after trailing 3-0.

But now comes the fun part. Increased competition. The need to play games. The ability to execute on offense and provide that key save in defense against quality teams and talented players.

This is what the Boilermakers have been preparing for throughout the offseason. This first moment will not define their season but will help shape how it unfolds.

Mike Carmine covers Purdue Sports for the Journal & Courier. Email [email protected] and follow on Twitter and Instagram @carmin_jc

THE SATURDAY GAME

TEMPLE OF FAME STARTING TOURNAMENT

No. 6 Purdue (3-0) vs. No. 18 North Carolina (3-0)

Time: 4:00 p.m.

TV: ESPNews

Radio: WAZY (96.5)

To note: Purdue will play either No.5 Villanova or No.17 Tennessee on Sunday at 1 p.m. (championship) or 3:30 p.m. (consolation).

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