Longtime Big Ten rivals Iowa (8-5) and No. 15 Purdue (11-2) meet for the 163rd time overall in the Big Ten opener for both schools at 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.
The last time these teams played at Mackey Arena produced one of last season’s most surprising results. Purdue led the Hawkeyes by 17 points at halftime on Rick Mount Night, which celebrated the formerly estranged Boilermakers great. Iowa stormed back in the second half, outscoring Purdue 50-24 to become the only road team to win at Mackey Arena last year.
Iowa swept the season series for the first time since 2003-2004 and ended a seven-game losing streak at Mackey Arena. The teams tied for third place in the Big Ten standings with 12-6 league records.
This year, Iowa struggled for the first month but has won five straight games. The Boilermakers have won their last six games. Iowa freshman forward Tyler Cook will return to action after missing a month with a broken finger.
Ahmwad Wagner is shooting at a 65.2 percent clip (15-of-23) from the field during Iowa’s five-game win streak. #Hawkeyes
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) December 26, 2016
Iowa basketball vs. Purdue game time, details
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 28
Location: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.
The line: Purdue is favored by 12 points
Which TV channel broadcasts Iowa basketball vs. Purdue?
BTN will broadcast the game.
How can I watch Iowa basketball vs. Purdue online?
BTN will stream the game both from its BTN2GO app and from the BTN.com website.
How can I listen to Iowa basketball vs. Purdue on the radio?
You can listen on Sirius channel 93/XM channel 195. For Iowa basketball, 600 AM (WMT-Cedar Rapids), 1040 AM (WHO-Des Moines) and 800 AM (KXIC-Iowa City) are the flagship radio stations. Click here for other Iowa radio affiliates. For Purdue basketball, 95.7 FM (WYCM-Lafayette) is the flagship station and Indianapolis’ Purdue affiliate is 1260 AM/97.5 FM (WNDE). Click here for other Purdue affiliates.
Who is calling the Iowa basketball vs. Purdue game?
Kevin Kugler will handle play-by-play for BTN with Jon Crispin providing analysis. Gary Dolphin will handle play-by-play with analyst Bobby Hansen on the Hawkeye Sports Network. Play-by-play Larry Clisby, color analyst Rob Blackman and sideline reporter Ralph Taylor will call the game on the Purdue Radio Network.
— Purdue Basketball (@BoilerBall) December 26, 2016
Iowa basketball vs. Purdue three keys
Contain Caleb Swanigan
Purdue power forward Caleb Swanigan averages 18.3 points and a Big Ten-high 12.5 rebounds a game. After flirting with the NBA draft after his freshman season — in which he tied for the Big Ten rebounding lead — the 6-foot-9, 250-pound Swanigan has elevated his offensive game to another level. Last week he averaged 26.5 points and 20.5 rebounds to earn his third Big Ten player of the week award. Swanigan was a nonfactor last year against Iowa, which had veterans at center and at forward. With young players in the post, keeping Swanigan away from the basket for offensive rebounds is imperative in staying competitive.
Match Purdue’s physicality
This is an annual chore for Iowa against Purdue even when the Hawkeyes were experienced in the paint. Purdue and Penn State are the Big Ten’s most physical teams, and teams either deal with it or get pushed around. It takes excellent positioning and ball handling to negate the Boilermakers’ advantages in size and strength. With Iowa starting at least three freshmen, the Hawkeyes either are going to learn quickly or fall behind quickly.
Unleash Peter Jok
No team in the Big Ten has a spot-up shooter who can create his own jumper and hit off screens like Iowa’s Peter Jok. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard leads the Big Ten in scoring at 22.6 points per game, the highest of any player from a power conference. Purdue is one of the nation’s best teams in defending the perimeter, but there’s no bona fide stopper as in the past. Iowa needs to ensure Jok touches the ball in a variety of ways on most possessions. It will open up the post for Cook and Cordell Pemsl and give 3-point shooting point guard Jordan Bohannon some space to play off Jok.