Purdue is not slowing down after its win against Northern Illinois at home Sunday and is planning to tighten up every area of its game in practice this week.
The Boilers (3-0) took a couple days to rest after their win at home and are already hitting the gym and court with intensity to get ready for a string of four games, each three to five days apart, starting with a matchup against Northern Illinois at 2 p.m. in Mackey Arena on Sunday.
The Huskies (2-1) will be playing in their fourth away game in a row in Mackey, their most recent being a matchup against Illinois State on Wednesday. The travel does not seem to be bothering the Huskies yet, as they have won games at North Dakota State and Colorado State. Their junior forward, Riley Blackwell, has been named Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week.
The Boilermakers’ head coach, Sharon Versyp, said she is glad for a week free of games and plans to work with the players so they will be prepared for the physical toll that the series of games might have on their endurance.
“We’ve got this week that we have two days off, but then we can really get after them and still work on getting in basketball shape, how physical the game is and how fast the game is,” Versyp said. “We do a lot in practice, but it’s just not the same when you’re beating up on people and you get to chase people around.”
The Boilers are encouraged by their recent rebounding success after finishing their last game with 56 rebounds total, but will continue to make boxing out and rebounding a focused area of improvement.
“If we can rebound like this, then now we have to go better,” senior guard Dominique Oden said. “We have to do better than we did. It sets us up to keep doing better and not go back.”
On the offensive side, Versyp plans to encourage the players to keep their heads up when passing and pull shot fakes more often to tighten up on turnovers, as there were 23 total turnovers recorded by Purdue in the last game.
Although turnovers are a focus, the Boilers plan to polish several strategies before they meet the Huskies in Mackey.
“(We’ll) work on everything,” Versyp said. “Working on offense against man, working on zone, doing a lot of full court, putting presses in, putting press breakers in and some trapping.”
Versyp wants the players to anticipate any challenge their opponents can throw before the games begin.
“It’s great that we have this whole week,” she said. “We have so many games bunched up that we’ve got to be ready for anything and everything.”