Basketball

SCOUTING PURDUE: Big Ten Network’s Jess Settles on the matchup

Mar 16, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Purdue Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter reacts during the first round of the NCAA Tournament against the Vermont Catamounts at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

MILWAUKEE — There are few basketball minds that I have more respect for than Big Ten Network analyst and former Iowa Hawkeye Jess Settles.

Every Monday during the season, Jess, along with former Cyclone Jake Sullivan, join me from 5-6 on 1460 KXnO for our “Cy-Hawk Reaction” program.

Last Monday, fresh off of Selection Sunday, Settles told me that he thought an Iowa State vs. Purdue matchup in the Round of 32 would favor the Cyclones.

When Iowa State closed the deal in an 84-73 win over Nevada on Thursday night, I figured that Settles – who covers Purdue for the Big Ten Network – would be the perfect guy to talk to.

I spoke with Jess on Friday afternoon to get his scout on tomorrow’s big game. 

Settles on the overall matchup…

“Purdue has had a hard time over the the year covering teams like Michigan. You can play four guards who can shoot plus a power player like Burton who has perimeter skills. It looks to me like it’s the type of game where if Iowa State moves the ball efficiently and doesn’t turn the ball over they are going to get opportunities and mismatches against Swanigan and Haas. One of the keys is when Purdue plays a team like Michigan or Iowa State, they are always in a predicament defensively. So are the other teams because they are undersized – like Michigan and Iowa State. These are two of the most difficult post players to guard in the country in Hass and Swanigan. It’s a matter of can you slow those guys down enough to try to take advantage of them on the perimeter on the other end?”

Can Purdue play both bigs at the same time against Iowa State?

“The chess match is fascinating in this game. It’s going to be assistant coaches keeping an eye on the substitution patterns and relaying to Painter and Prohm on both sides. If you play Haas and Swanigan together – and they do that – they take it out for a test drive and they see early in games how it is working. Some games they will play those guys together and maybe they don’t guard as well but sometimes they will get four dunks in a row and it works. It is a difficult matchup. Swanigan has a perimeter game now too, which is scary when he is hitting outside jumpers.”

Settles on key matchups…

“Really the x-factor is Vince Edwards. When they play him at four, he can guard both the perimeter and the post. He has shown that capability. I think on both ends of the court it’s a matter of can Vince Edwards slow down Burton and can Burton contain Edwards? Those two guys are the keys to get game. You expect Iowa State to shoot the three well. You expect Swanigan to play well.”

On Purdue’s lockdown defender, Dakota Mathias…

“He is one of the few guys in the country who will sacrifice his own game to try to eliminate an opponent. Mathias is an interesting factor is well because he takes such great pride in defense. Yet also on the other end when he gets a clean look, he is an elite shooter.”

Keys to an Iowa State victory…

“I think Iowa State has to hit at least 10 threes in the game, and they probably will. Then I think Monte Morris has to have an All-American game. The guards for Purdue are smaller. So as big as the front line is, they have smaller guards. I think that Monte Morris needs triple-double type of numbers for them to move on. I don’t think it is a matchup that Iowa State is afraid of. I think that if they play the way they are capable of playing, they will win the game.”

Chris Williams

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Chris was hired as Cyclone Fanatic’s publisher in the fall of 2009. He is Iowa State football's postgame show host on the Cyclone Radio Network and can be heard daily from 4-7 on Des Moines' top-rated sports station, 1460 KXnO. Williams, a 2007 graduate of Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism, is the former publisher of the old CycloneNation.com (Scout.com). He has also written for the Des Moines Register, the Ames Tribune, CycloneReport.com and is the former sports director at KMA Radio. When Williams isn’t working, you can usually find him doing something outdoors with his wife Ashley, daughter Camryn, and Golden Retriever Dierks. He enjoys golfing, boating, country music, the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Braves and is passionate about any and all motor sports so finding Williams at a local dirt track is very common.