Stopping Matt Dellavedova is where it starts for Purdue

Purdue BoilermakersBasketballSportsSaint Mary's GaelsNCAA

OMAHA, NE - The pronunciation of his name might get lost in translation, but his game certainly doesn't.

In the mind of Ryne Smith he's a grizzled veteran, outside of his free flowing hairdo.

"Coach (Matt) Painter used the phase that he plays like he's 35 years old," said the senior guard of Saint Mary's Matthew Dellavedova. "He knows the game and he's been around the game forever."

It might seem that way after watching hours of film of the guard, whose name phonetically is "Dell-ah-vi-dova", before the Boilermakers' second round NCAA Tournament match-up against the Gaels in Omaha on Friday.

Dellavedova is Saint Mary's all-time assist leader, is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award for top collegiate point guard, and on top of that finds a way to score 15.6 points a game.

"He's plays the game the right way," said Purdue head coach Matt Painter of Bellavedova, and now he must find the right game plan to stop the guard.

To start out on Friday for the tenth-seeded Boilers, Painter will put sophomore guard Terone Johson on the guard to try and shut him down. Getting Dellavedova, the nation's 10th leading assist man, out of the offense figures to be a good way to get the seventh-seeded Gaels out of rhythm.

"He plays a lot off the ball screens so keeping my hands up, trying to take away his passing lanes," said Johnson of stopping Dellavedova. "For the whole team as one, we have to come together to get in those passing lanes."

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