WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue basketball (19-1, 8-1 Big Ten) prepares for a road game against Michigan (11-8, 5-3), a team that has been more than a handful for the No. 1-ranked Boilermakers in recent memory.
The two teams split a pair of games a season ago, which included a dominating 82-58 victory for the Wolverines at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Purdue returns to the same building on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tipoff. 9 p.m. ET.
“We’ve had a tough time with them,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said of Michigan. “They’ve obviously had some really good teams. I think it starts with Hunter Dickinson and that particular matchup. How good a passer he is and his basketball IQ, his ability to rebound, he just makes winning plays. He’s a really good player.”
Dickinson, a 7-foot-1 junior center, was one of three players unanimously voted to the 2022-23 Preseason All-Big Ten Team, along with Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis and Purdue junior center Zach Edey.
During his first two seasons of college basketball, Dickinson has earned numerous Big Ten honors, including Academic All-Big Ten (2022), All-Big Ten First Team (2021) and Second Team (2022), Conference Freshman of the Year (2021 ), and an All-Freshman Team selection (2021).
This season, Dickinson leads Michigan with averages of 18.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. He is among several talented frontcourt players that Edey and the Boilermakers will take on in conference play.
“I think you have to approach every game the same and try to keep your approach as even as possible,” Edey said. “But obviously there are certain games that you look forward to throughout the year when you’re playing against the big guys in our league because there’s a lot of them.”
Dickinson is a menacing scorer on the offensive end of the court with the ability to put the basketball through the rim from under the basket or at the rim. He is 10-of-25 from the 3-point line in 2022-23 and is one of four Michigan players shooting at least 40% from deep.
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He has posted double-digit scoring in all but two games on the season while recording six double-doubles. In an 81-46 thrashing of Maryland on Jan. 1, Dickinson scored 32 points, just one shy of a career high.
Last season, he went 21-of-64 from the 3-point line, but six of those marks came against the Boilermakers across two games. During the Wolverines’ 24-point win at the Crisler Center a year ago, Dickinson hit a career-high four 3-pointers while tallying 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
“It’s not high volume, but it seems to be high volume against us,” Painter said. “You know there’s no way they’re not going to talk about it and go back to it. We can’t allow that to be the focal point of what’s going on.”
Michigan enters the game with an 8-2 record at home with a narrow loss to Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and another at foe Central Michigan State. Purdue, on the other hand, is undefeated in true road matchups.
“It’s going to be a total team effort, like anything else,” Painter said. “We’ve got to do a good job on the glass, we’ve got to do a good job in transition. Obviously, those are staples that you have to do well no matter who you’re playing.”
Related Purdue basketball stories
- Purdue edges out Alabama for No. 1 in AP Top 25 poll: Purdue earned 39 first-place votes to reclaim the No. 1 spot in this week’s Associated Press College Basketball Top 25 poll after improving to 19-1 on the season. Alabama came in at No. 2 and received the remaining 23 first-place votes. CLICK HERE
- Kedler survives scare from stingy Terrapin defense: Purdue had 15 turnovers against Maryland in a 58-55 win on Sunday and escaped another Big Ten game that came to an end. The Terrapins executed a full-court press combined with zone and man-to-man defense to slow down the Boilermakers, who led by as many as 16 points in the first half. CLICK HERE
- Purdue Basketball Holds off Maryland for 58-55 Win: Purdue held on for a three-point win against Maryland despite 15 turnovers Sunday at Mackey Arena. Junior center Zach Edey was the only Boilermaker to score in double figures, recording 24 points while pulling down 16 rebounds. CLICK HERE
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