Recent Purdue basketball teams always seem to possess experience and rarely beat themselves.
If the first two games of the new season have identified anything about the latest batch of Boilermakers, it's that they might rely more heavily on freshmen than they have in years and at times could be their worst enemy.
Both were on display on Thanksgiving night during a loss to Clemson in the championship game of the Space Coast Classic, and coach Matt Painter hopes the Boilermakers can learn from that defeat before they host Oakland on Tuesday.
The Boilermakers' top three scorers through two games -- 7-foot-4 Zach Edey, Brandon Newman and Jaden Ivy -- are freshmen. While that bodes well for the future, it will also lead to things like 21 turnovers, as was the case in the 81-70 setback to Clemson.
"You have to hand it to Clemson -- they had a good game plan to come out and pressure us to try to get us going and we didn't handle it well," Painter told the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal Courier. "We have to do a better job of showing poise and taking care of the ball and making simple plays."
That Ivy, the point guard, sat out with a foot injury didn't help. All eight players Painter called on Thursday night committed at least one turnover, giving Purdue 39 in the two games, compared to averaging 11.5 last season. Ivy's status for Tuesday's game is unclear.
It will be the home opener for the Boilermakers (1-1), and it will take place against an opponent playing for the fifth time in seven days. Oakland (0-4) came close to a major upset on Sunday, but fell 81-71 in overtime at then-No. 25 Michigan.
If nothing else, it was a major step up for the Golden Grizzlies, who were blown out in their first three games at the Xavier Invitational in Cincinnati, losing by an average of more than 30 points.
Oakland led Michigan at the half and pushed the margin to six on multiple occasions in the second half, but wasn't able to close out the heavy favorite in regulation. The Wolverines dominated overtime to the tune of 14-4.
"We've gotten 11 Power 5 wins over the years and I thought this was going to be 12," said Golden Grizzlies coach Greg Kampe. "I usually have a lot to say, but I'm pretty quiet. We got a lot of freshmen out there, a lot of first-year kids out there."
Oakland has six freshmen listed on the 14-player roster.
--Field Level Media