Trevion Williams has asserted himself in Purdue's past two games, combining for 48 points to spur road victories against No. 23 Michigan State and in-state rival Indiana.
Merely using the size advantage afforded by his 6-foot-10, 265-pound frame has been key, and Boilermakers coach Matt Painter wants Williams to continue that trend when Purdue hosts Penn State on Sunday afternoon in West Lafayette, Ind.
"When he keeps things simple, he's tough to deal with," Painter said. "When he tried to get cute and do some other things, he doesn't help his cause. He might make a shot every blue moon that way. But I thought the second half of both games, Michigan State and Indiana, he was fantastic."
Coming off a four-game road trip that included meetings with three ranked schools, Purdue (9-5, 4-3 Big Ten) will face a Nittany Lions team that's been idle since an 87-85 overtime loss at Indiana on Dec. 30.
Penn State has had four straight postponements due to COVID-19 concerns within the program and enters on a three-game losing streak.
Although coach Jim Ferry declined to offer specifics on which players would still be out due to quarantining, he said the Nittany Lions (3-4, 0-3) would have enough players Sunday as they begin a stretch of four games in seven days.
"When you're playing four games in a week, it's hard for NBA teams. But we're gonna have to do it," Ferry said. "It is what it is. But our guys are excited about it. ... I believe we're gonna have to play more guys. That's what I'm seeing going in. ... We've really got to be smart with this."
Izaiah Brockington (15.1) and Myreon Jones (14.3) lead four Penn State players averaging in double figures.
Williams remains Purdue's primary scorer (15.5 points a game), rebounder (9.6 a game) and driving force, emphasizing each attribute in Thursday's 81-69 victory against Indiana.
Williams registered a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds. He has scored in double figures in nine straight games while averaging 18.6 points and 9.1 rebounds during that stretch.
"'Tre being a junior, a leader, we need that from him," said Purdue's Jaden Ivey, who scored a career-best 13 points against the Hoosiers. "Every game, we need that from him and he brings his all on the court. He doesn't back down from anything, any challenge. That's what's great to him, and I look up to him as a big bro."
--Field Level Media