College Basketball fans are in for a treat on Monday as the Purdue Boilermakers are set to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the first round of the Maui Invitational. These two teams are both ranked in the Top 15 of College Basketball rankings. This is the second game of the day at Maui, with the winner taking on Tennessee or Syracuse on Tuesday.
The Purdue Boilermakers are a perfect 3-0 on the season. The Boilermakers are coming off a 12 point win over Xavier. They also have wins over Samford and Morehead State on the season. For Gonzaga, they are 2-0 on the season, and coming off a blowout win over Eastern Oregon in their last affair.
The Purdue Boilermakers are -4.5 in this game over Gonzaga.
Mark Few and his Gonzaga Bulldogs
For Gonzaga, they are scoring over 100 points per game on the season, but due in large part to the 123 on Tuesday. Graham Ike led the way in just 18 minutes, as he scored 25 points and ripped down 11 rebounds.
Brandon Huff leads the team in scoring with 21 points per game, but even he is playing just 17 minutes per game. Huff, is a freshman, who scored 19 in his debut and added 23 in the latest win. Ryan Nembhard is averaging 11 points per game, but his biggest contribution has been his ability to dish out the basketball, with 5 assists per game.
Mark Few knows his team will be challenged in Hawaii. Following the trip to Hawaii, the Bulldogs have Cal State Bakersfield on November 28th, and then will battle USC on December 2nd. Gonzaga also has a non-conference affair against UConn in mid December.
Boilermakers and Painter
Matt Painter and his Purdue Boilermakers know they are the team to beat in the Big Ten, but have bigger goals following their disappointing end to the season last year. The Boilermakers are scoring 89.3 points per game to start the season. The biggest thing for Purdue has been their ability to share the basketball. Purdue averaged 22.3 assists per game.
Big man Zach Edey is a problem for opponents. He is scoring more than 20 points per game, and making nearly 62% of his shots. Braden Smith is the top guard on the squad with 11.7 points and 8.3 assists per game. The Boilermakers are averaging 42 rebounds per game, a statistic they want to be at or near the top of the conference this season.
The Boilermakers when they return from Hawaii will have one more test against Texas Southern on November 28th, and then get started with Big Ten play. The Boilermakers are at Northwestern, and then host Iowa. Purdue then sees Alabama and Arizona before Christmas in more non-conference action.
Great Basketball on Display
Wow. This is a great early season basketball game. The Maui Invitational is absolutely loaded this season. There are going to be some amazing games. This is a great battle, but taking the experience of Purdue is the right choice, as they use their size to beat the Bulldogs. We are betting on the Purdue Boilermakers on Monday in Maui. Take Purdue -4.5 over Gonzaga!
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