Purdue Boilermakers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 24th 2022

Stadium: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter Portland
Logo Purdue Boilermakers
Logo West Virginia Mountaineers

-2 +101
137.5o -110



Purdue squeaked into this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll at No. 24. West Virginia wedged its way into a spot near the bottom of the "also receiving votes" list.

But this could change dramatically -- for one or both squads -- after playing in the Phil Knight Legacy tournament that opened Wednesday in Portland, Ore. The winner of Thursday's quarterfinal between Purdue (3-0) and WVU (4-0) likely will face No. 2 Gonzaga in Friday's semifinals.

And in the other bracket of this eight-team tournament? Oh, just some schools called Duke, Florida, Xavier and Oregon State.

"This is playing the who's who of college basketball," said Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins. "You look at the names there. I think everybody recognizes the names and who's coaching 'em. You look at it as an opportunity -- an opportunity to put yourself into pretty good standing nationally."

Huggins, too, has some national standing at stake. With his next win, the 69-year-old Huggins will assume sole possession of third place on the Division I all-time wins list. At present, his 920 victories share third with Jim Calhoun. Only Mike Krzyzewski (1,202) and Jim Boeheim (1,001) have earned more.

The Mountaineers won their first four games by an average of 23.7 points. Erik Stevenson (14.0 ppg) leads a balanced offense that's shooting 50.9 percent from the field. The Mountaineers are holding opponents to 37.1 percent shooting, but the latter number doesn't mean much to Huggins.

"We've got to guard better," Huggins said. "We really haven't guarded very well. There's some more things we'd like to get into the arsenal. This is a good opportunity to see how the things we're trying to explore a little bit, how they work against quality people."

Purdue hasn't played since Nov. 15 when the Boilermakers held on to beat Marquette 75-70 in the Gavitt Tipoff Games. Officially that moved Purdue's record to 3-0, but head coach Matt Painter has been thinking of his group as 2-1.

"I'm kind of treating Marquette as a loss," Painter said. "That's what I told them in film (session). I know it sounds crazy, but if they make two more shots, you feel a lot different in the locker room after the game.

"So I still look at some of the things that we struggled at. I thought we still had some possessions out there where guys were shooting to get shots off. You've got to get your shots in rhythm. Guys would make a shot, then they'd take a bad one because they made one."

Painter would appreciate it if his perimeter guys would find 7-foot-4 Zach Edey in the post more frequently. Edey averages 20.7 points and 13.7 rebounds per game, but he has been getting much of his production from his national-best 6.0 offensive boards per game.

"We're really struggling in that area," Painter said, referring to feeding the post. "They have to do a better job of delivering the ball when he gets open. It's happening about eight to 10 times in each game (where they miss him)."

--Field Level Media

Purdue Boilermakers
West Virginia Mountaineers

Purdue Boilermakers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Recap NOV 24TH 2022

Seven-foot-4 Zach Edey produced 24 points and 12 rebounds as No. 24 Purdue led from start to finish in an 80-68 victory over West Virginia on Thursday night during Phil Knight Legacy quarterfinal action in Portland, Ore.

Mason Gillis posted 14 points to complement Edey's fourth double-double in as many games for the Boilermakers (4-0), who finished 24 of 28 at the free-throw line compared to West Virginia's 11 of 17.

Purdue will face the winner of No. 2 Gonzaga or Portland in a Friday semifinal, with West Virginia opposing the loser of the Bulldogs-Pilots game.

Erik Stevenson paced the Mountaineers (4-1) with 17 points while Iowa transfer Joe Toussaint added 16 points, five rebounds and four assists.

During Purdue's eight days off between games, coach Matt Painter complained about Edey's lack of touches when open in the post. The Boilers threw it inside on three of their first six possessions on Thursday as Edey scored six points to help Purdue build an 11-2 lead in the first four minutes.

West Virginia pulled as close as three on Toussaint's 3-pointer near the midpoint of the half, but the Boilermakers rebuilt the lead to 33-22 as Ethan Morton fed Edey for an alley-oop dunk before Gillis cashed in a baseline jumper with 6:18 left in the half.

Purdue owned a 43-32 halftime lead and tried to open the second half the same way as the first, but Edey missed the rim on his first two post moves and traveled on his third. Yet West Virginia wasn't much warmer and couldn't get closer than eight points.

West Virginia's chances to rally shrunk even more when Purdue entered the bonus with 14:27 to go. Fletcher Loyer sank two free throws at that juncture to boost the Boilermakers' margin to 52-39.

The Mountaineers cut the gap to 52-43 on four Stevenson free throws and regained possession with a chance to get closer, but Stevenson was stripped of the ball on a drive and injured his left calf in the process. With Purdue enjoying a five-on-four situation at the offensive end, Brandon Newman rained home an open 3-pointer from the corner to restore a 12-point lead.

Despite extensive foul trouble and Stevenson's injury, West Virginia went on an 11-2 spree that cut the margin to 66-62 on Kedrian Johnson's 3-pointer with 5:30 to go. The Mountaineers could not get closer as Braden Smith hit a 3-pointer and Gillis added two free throws.

--Field Level Media