Purdue v. Florida State (Game Thread - 2022 Big Ten/ACC Challenge)

Purdue Grad in Texas

Mar 22, 2010
Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. It's the 2022 Big Ten/ACC Challenge, as the #5-ranked Purdue Boilermakers take on the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee. Tip is scheduled for approximately 7:15 pm (Eastern time) with television coverage on ESPN2.

This is the 4th official Big Ten/ACC Challenge match-up between the Boilers and the Seminoles, and Purdue is 1-4 all-time against Florida State. There is also a bit of recent history here, as this is the 4th match-up between the schools in the last 5 years, three of which will be in the Big Ten ACC challenge. Florida State and Purdue also met in the pre-conference season in 2019 in the championship of the Emerald Coast Classic. Purdue's only win in the series came last year in Mackey Arena, 93-65.

Projected Starters:

Purdue - Mason Gillis, Zach Edey, Ethan Morton, Fletcher Loyer, and Braden Smith

Florida State - Naheem McLeod, Cam'Ron Fletcher, Matthew Cleveland, Darin Green, Jr., and Caleb Mills

Florida State has struggled at the start of this season, coming off a loss to Nebraska in the 7th place game of the ESPN Events Invitational, which dropped the Seminoles to 1-7 on the season. They have a couple of rotational players out of the line-up this year due to injury and academic eligibility, but their current lineup still has plenty of talent. Even though they are off to their worst start in more than 60 years, you never know when teams might turn things around. Junior guard Caleb Mills leads the way with 12.6 points and 3.3 assists, while junior guard Cam'Ron Fletcher is scoring 12.1 points with 7.3 rebounds. Sophomore guard Matthew Cleveland (11.4 pts) and junior guard Darin Green, Jr. (11.4 pts) are both averaging double figures as well.

Purdue is coming off an impressive showing in Portland over the Thanksgiving weekend winning the PK Legacy Tournament and along the way beating West Virginia, Gonzaga, and Duke. Zach Edey was tournament MVP, and Ethan Morton also made the all-tournament team. On one hand, this is a classic trap/letdown game for the Boilers after such a good week coupled with the fact that Purdue jumped all the way to 5th in the AP poll rankings and they've logged plenty of cross-country air miles. On the other hand, they've been really good with bringing a consistent effort each game. They'll need to bring that same kind of focus, energy, and effort from those recent games.....this will also be the first true road test of the season for a relatively young team.

I expect Matt Painter will lean on his experienced players to help with dealing with a sudden surge in expectations. The game-plan probably won't change much on offense. Purdue will continue to try and establish Zach Edey in the post and work from there. The Boilers got off to a couple of slow starts over the weekend, and Matt Painter seemed to indicate he thought some of it was just forcing things a little at first. It will be interesting tonight given the extensive travel and that this will be Purdue's fourth game over the last week - will there be some sluggishness to start?

Purdue just needs to keep playing like it has been - with plenty of effort.....there are still the occasional breakdowns, but they have been more than offset with sticking with the offense and getting extra possessions. They've also been able to get to the FT line and are making them at a very good clip. If they can continue that - particularly maintaining an edge on the glass and avoid the turnovers, they should be in good shape.

Can the Boilers keep things rolling? We shall see, starting in about an hour or so.

Boiler up, my friends.