College Basketball

Purdue understands expectations, ready for NCAA Tournament run

MILWAUKEE (WISH) — Purdue star Jaden Ivey can hardly wait for tipoff Friday afternoon in Milwaukee.

“I’m ready to hoop for real,” he said. “I don’t like waiting to play games. But I’m ready to hoop, and I’m ready to get going with my team.”

The Boilermakers face Yale in their first game of the NCAA Tournament at 2 p.m. EST.

“Obviously, we have the big picture as a national championship,” Ivey said. “Everyone has dreams and goals of winning a national championship.”

Ivey has averaged 18 points and five rebounds per game in the five games he has already played this March, and obviously played a large role in keeping Purdue ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll all season long.

But how are the Boilermakers handling the high expectations surrounding this year’s roster?

“You respect your opponent,” head coach Matt Painter said. “You understand what March Madness is all about. You can’t get away from your strengths. I know that’s kind of coaches talk, but it’s so true. I think that’s the focus for us.”

Painter noted Purdue’s size advantage against Yale. 

The tallest player on the Bulldogs roster is 6-foot-8, while the Boilermakers boast the duo of Trevion Williams and 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey.

“Don’t turn the ball over, more than anything,” Painter said. “Just be efficient on the offensive end. Make good decisions, take what they give us. When we just take what people give us, we’ve had a lot of success.”