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NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 24 Div I Men's Championship Second Round - Purdue vs Utah State

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The Purdue Boilermakers are advancing to the Sweet 16, where they will face Gonzaga on Friday. 

One of the big factors in Purdue advancing has been their ability to get to the free throw line. In their Round 1 win against Grambling State, the Boilermakers went 13 of 22 from the line, while the Tigers only shot 7 of 10. Against Utah State, the Boilermakers shot 23 free throws, making 19, compared to Utah State only attempting 16 total. The catalyst for this is, of course, Zach Edey, whose size makes it extremely difficult for teams to guard him cleanly. The disparity has caused opposing teams and fans to voice or show their frustrations; for the Boilermakers, this is yet another weapon in their arsenal that they can use to get in the heads of their opponents. 

On Monday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, Bobby Riddell, the former Boilermaker now of the Purdue Radio Network, joined the show. He gave his opinions on how that free throw disparity, and the effect it has on the psyche of opposing teams. 

“I think obviously any sort of psychological advantage you can have on your opponent can be important…Now when we play these opponents, I think that foul situation is obviously a psychological thing for them. They have a front court that they’re hoping is going to stay out of foul trouble when they play Zach Edey, but those chances are difficult because Zach is just a guy that, because of his sheer size and dominance, is going to draw a lot of fouls. I think you could definitely tell the demeanor of the Utah State team, [when] those front court players starting picking up those early fouls, you could tell they were getting very disgruntled, and not only was maybe their demeanor hindered, I also think their depth up front became an issue, as you saw some of their reserve bigs come in and just not play very well for them, which obviously was great for us and definitely hurt their chances late in that first half.” 

Opposing teams and fans may not like it. Players may complain to the refs, fans may throw a fit online, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. If Purdue wants to keep its March run alive, they’re going to need to continue to get to the line. With Edey, chances are they will. 

Listen to JMV’s full conversation with Bobby Riddell and more down below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan! 

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