IU take-aways: Purdue 57, Indiana 49

Purdue took away TJD, and IU had no counter.

For a moment after Thursday’s win over Indiana, Purdue coach Matt Painter expressed some regret over not doing enough to land Trayce Jackson-Davis.

“Spent a lot of time trying to get him,” Painter said. “Obviously, didn’t do a very good job of that.”

But if he couldn’t close the deal on getting Jackson-Davis into black and gold, the Boilermakers’ coach was clearheaded on how to approach the 6-foot-9 forward, now in cream and crimson.

The plan: surround Jackson-Davis with more than one Purdue jersey at any given time.

“We have a lot of respect for Trayce Jackson-Davis. He’s a fabulous player,” Painter said. “Why other people don’t double him, I don’t know. But we are going to double him.”

Following a week where Jackson-Davis helped carry the Hoosiers to a pair of wins, Painter was determined to make someone else beat his team. It wasn’t going to be his former recruiting target, who finished 2-of-7 from the field and was mostly suffocated by Purdue’s post traps.

Too often, IU’s offense appeared stuck when Jackson-Davis was doubled. The paint was clogged, and the ball wasn’t swinging around the perimeter fast enough to catch the Boilermakers out of position in their rotations.

This is a dilemma IU coach Archie Miller and his players are going to need to figure out. This isn’t the first time an opponent has doubled Jackson-Davis this season, but the Boilermakers were extraordinarily effective there. Other teams are going to try and copy what worked.

When he was asked about a lack of effective post feeds, Miller made clear it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

“They trapped the post every single time he catches the ball. They are physical around the basket when you do catch the ball,” Miller said. “Everything around the basket, even on uncontested ones, were rushed, and they made it hard on us. You have to give those guys some credit. It wasn’t like we weren’t trying to throw the ball in, or we didn’t try to get those guys some shots.”

IU has to hope this was somewhat an anomaly. Jackson-Davis was just off, and Joey Brunk and Justin Smith were each 2-of-8 from the field. They were missing layups.

“You are going to have to make some open shots, you are going to have to make some tough 3s, you are going to have make some jumpers,” Miller said. “You have to convert some easy ones you can get.”

IU’s 25.4-percent effort from the field was the program’s worst output since 2014.

“I thought there were times when they doubled the post, that could have been our best offense,” Miller said. “We need to get it out of a rotation, move it around, strike a little bit while they are rotating. When we did do that well, or when we didn’t do that well, we weren’t able to capitalize.”

Silly mistakes haunted the Hoosiers again.

IU’s overall turnover number, 13, wasn’t especially glaring.

But the mistakes that came toward the end of the first half, when the Boilermakers went on a 10-2 run, were backbreaking, especially in a game where both teams were offensively challenged. The difference between a one-point deficit and nine points was enormous.

Senior Devonte Green, who just a few minutes earlier hit a 3 to keep the Hoosiers within range, had a pair of turnovers in a 42-second span. Armaan Franklin and Al Durham each had one, as well, to create the landslide.

Again, the Hoosiers settled down in the second half — but it wasn’t until after that late first-half run and another 7-0 spurt for Purdue to open the second 20 minutes.

“If you give these guys some run-outs, like if teams give us run-outs, it just feeds into the fire a little bit,” Miller said. “We actually got some stops to start the second half. We couldn’t convert. We had absolutely no chance of scoring in those four minutes with some of the shots we took.”

The silver lining is that the Hoosiers did battle back from a 16-point deficit, cutting it to six with under three minutes to go. They didn’t let mistakes completely kill their spirit. But it did severely damage their chances.

But the NCAA tournament isn’t in jeopardy yet.

Let the man responsible for some of IU’s heartache offer some reassurance.

Painter came out of Thursday’s game thinking one team was in the NCAA tournament and the other probably wasn’t.

“I know they are not a lock to go to the NCAA tournament, but they take care of their business at home, and they will,” Painter said. “Just like your opinion about that, everybody’s opinion in this room doesn’t mean anything. But I think they will. … I don’t think we’re in that position.”

Purdue (15-14, 8-10 Big Ten) would need to keep winning to keep its postseason hopes alive. IU (18-10, 8-9 Big Ten) certainly needs to win, as well, but a road contest at Illinois, followed by home matchups with Minnesota and Wisconsin, offers plenty of opportunity to right the ship.

As of Friday afternoon, the Hoosiers were No. 56 in the NET rankings. The Illini are No. 36, while the Gophers (46) and Wisconsin (28) are also top 50 teams.

“It’s just been a grind,” Miller said. “We are down the homestretch here. So we have to keep pushing through.”

What’s next?

Illinois, 2 p.m. Sunday, at the State Farm Center

The Illini (19-9, 11-6) has recovered from its own rough patch, winning three straight after a four-game losing streak.

Jackson-Davis will match up with the conference’s other dominant freshman big man, Kofi Cockburn, who leads the Big Ten with seven freshman of the week honors. Jackson-Davis has claimed five.

On the year, Cockburn averages 13.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. But the Hoosiers’ even greater concern may be sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu, who has produced 16.4 points per outing on 48.3 percent shooting.