Purdue basketball vs NC State scouting report, matchups in Final Four

Purdue basketball vs NC State scouting report, matchups in Final Four
Purdue basketball vs NC State scouting report, matchups in Final Four

Matt Painter on Purdue reaching Final Four: ‘An unbelievable feeling.’

The Purdue coach talked on the court after the Boilermakers clinched a spot in the 2024 Final Four.

Purdue basketball is in the Final Four for the first time since 1980 after winning the Midwest Regional. North Carolina State is back for the first time since 1983, when it won the national championship as an underdog.

The Boilermakers (33-4) have had the Final Four on their radar all season, spending time at No. 1 in the nation and remaining in the top 3 throughout. They steamrolled through the first weekend of the NCAA tournament before meeting stern tests from Gonzaga and Tennessee.

Before this unlikely NCAA tournament run, the Wolfpack (26-14) won on five straight days in the ACC tournament out of the No. 10 seeds. Without all those wins, they wouldn’t have been in March Madness. They were seeded 11th in the South Region.

Here’s what you should know for Saturday night’s national semifinal. The game is scheduled for 6:09 pm ET at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. TBS will televise and streaming is on SiriusXM Channel 84.

Purdue’s road to the Final Four

Purdue has ridden Zach Edey (30 points, 16.3 rebounds in March Madness, 36-of-54 free throws) and shot 51.7% from the field, 39% on 3-pointers and made 60-of-88 free throws (68.2%) over four games. The Boilers are +19 per game in rebounding, offsetting a lack of opponent turnovers (6.8 per game). Opponents are shooting 40% from the field, 34.1% on 3s and have made 30-of-44 free throws (exactly half of Purdue, at the same percentage, 68.2).

First round: Well 16 seed Grambling State, 78-50

Zach Edey has 30 points and 21 rebounds.

Second round: Well 8 Utah State, 106-67

The Aggies led midway through the first half before Purdue ran off 14 straight points and gained control. Zach Edey has 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Sweet 16: Well 5 Gonzaga, 80-68

The Bulldogs trail by 2 points at the 12:30 mark before Purdue eventually runs the lead to 16. Zach Edey has 27 points and 14 rebounds, and Braden Smith adds 14 points and 15 assists.

Elite Eight: Well 2 Tennessee, 72-66

The Volunteers trail by just 1 point in the closing minutes but can’t overtake Purdue. Dalton Knecht scores 37 for Tennessee. Zach Edey counters with 40 points and 16 rebounds.

NC State’s road to the Final Four

NC State has put up respectable numbers in the NCAA Tournament (47.2% from the field, 34.6% on 3s and 72.7% free throws), but it has held opponents well below their averages (35.3% from the field and 23.9% on 3s) . The Wolfpack has done no better than break even in turnovers and hold a slight rebounding edge.

First round: Well 6 seed Texas Tech, 80-67

Ben Middlebrooks, who averages 5.7 points per game, scores a career-high 21. Mohamed Diarra adds 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Second round: Well 14 Oakland, 79-73, OT

DJ Burns’ layup with 2 minutes left in overtime puts the Wolfpack ahead for good. He has 24 points and 11 rebounds while Mohamed Diarra has another double-double (11 points, 13 rebounds).

Sweet 16: Well 2 Marquette, 67-58

NC State takes the lead for good in the opening minutes and rides DJ Horne’s 19 points. Mohamed Diarra has 11 points and 15 rebounds.

Elite Eight: Well 4 Duke, 76-64

The Wolfpack trailed at halftime but stifled the Blue Devils for most of the second half. DJ Burns has 29 points and DJ Horne 20.

Purdue vs. NC State key matchups

Zach Edey vs. DJ Burns

This is a fascinating meeting of large human beings who have vastly different styles. Purdue’s Zach Edey is a classic post player, shooting hooks and dunks the majority of the time. NC State’s DJ Burns is a wide body with nimble footwork, quick spins and clever passing to create for himself and teammates.

Trey Kaufman-Renn vs. Mohamed Diarra

Kaufman-Renn helps Edey near the basket but doesn’t get the ball much. He will be occupied by Diarra, who has double-doubles in three NCAA Tournament games.

Braden Smith vs. DJ Horne

These players run the show for their respective teams. Smith averages 12.2 points, 7.5 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Horne leads the Wolfpack with a 16.8-point scoring average with 40.9% 3-point shooting. Lance Jones may get some time defending Horne.

Scouting report: When Purdue has the ball

First thing is to look for Zach Edey.

The Boilermakers run most of their plays through the 7-4 senior center posting up. If he is single covered, he methodically looks for a hook shot (62.4% field goal accuracy). He draws a lot of fouls (301-of-424, most in the nation, 71%). If Edey draws multiple defenders, he may look to pass to a teammate for a 3-pointer. The Boilermakers are No. 2 in the nation from long range (40.6%).

Purdue also uses a pick-and-roll action with Edey, with the ball handler attacking the basket if defenders stick to Edey. Braden Smith is excellent at finding Edey for alley-oops or teammates along the perimeter out of that action.

NC State primarily plays halfcourt man-to-man defense and doesn’t force many turnovers, relying on its ability to make opponents uncomfortable (35.3% from the field in the tournament) and grabbing the rebound (+4 per game in the tournament) .

Scouting report: When NC State has the ball

The DJs make the Wolfpack go. DJ Horne runs the show and can score at all levels and through contact. NC State often goes inside to DJ Burns (13.0 points), who can create his own shot with crafty footwork and is an excellent passer to cutting teammates. Casey Morsell (11.4 points) and Jayden Taylor (11.2 points) are effective complementary scorers, Morsell driving to the basket and Taylor a capable 3-point shooter (36.3%).

Purdue is a man-to-man defensive team that won’t force many turnovers. The Boilermakers have Zach Edey near the basket, altering shots and grabbing rebounds.

Purdue basketball roster construction

Old-school. Homegrown. The Boilermakers are among the few teams that largely retained their roster from the previous season. Zach Edey, Mason Gillis and Ethan Morton are in their fourth season at Purdue. Trey Kaufman-Renn and Caleb Furst have been with the program for three years. Braden Smith, Fletcher Loyer and Cam Heide for two. Myles Colvin is a freshman.

Purdue’s only transfer is grad student Lance Jones, who came from Southern Illinois.

NC State uses a transfer portal

Just two of NC State’s regular contributors have been with the program for multiple seasons. Here’s how coach Kevin Keatts cobbled together this season’s Wolfpack roster:

∎ DJ Horne, a graduate student, came from Arizona State.

∎ Jayden Taylor, a junior, came from Butler.

∎ Michael O’Connell, a grad student, came from Stanford.

Casey Morsell, a grad student, has been at NC State for three years after one at Virginia.

∎ Mohamed Diarra, a junior, came from Missouri.

∎ DJ Burns, a grad student, is in his second season with the Wolfpack, coming from Winthrop.

∎ Ben Middlebrooks, a junior, came from Clemson.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Purdue basketball State scouting report matchups Final


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