The Mastodons continue to struggle in opening season in the Horizon League

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The head coach of Purdue Fort Wayne, Jon Coffman, has more wins than any other coach in program history in their Division I era. In his seventh season with the Mastodons, this season presented numerous challenges. They transitioned to the Horizon League from the Summit League during a global pandemic, where practice facilities and gyms were closed for much of the summer.

All of these obstacles have been too much to overcome for the Mastodons, as they have now dropped six games in a row by an average margin of 15.3 points per game. They dropped both games against Detroit Mercy over the weekend, with an 82-72 loss on Friday, followed by a brutal 83-56 loss on Saturday.

There are four games left on the regular season schedule, and Purdue Fort Wayne playing with house money. They didn’t have lofty expectations in their first season in the conference, but they can use this season as fuel going forward as they are getting used to the grind of Horizon League play.

There is no doubt that Jarred Godfrey and Jalon Pipkins can score with anyone in the conference, and they will have nothing to lose in these final four games and the conference tournament. They have the ability to wreck someone else’s season, and continue to show why they belong in the Horizon League.

The Mastodons can shoot three-pointers with any team in college basketball, but their defensive issues, turnovers and inability to get to the free throw line will continue to haunt this team. I sound like a broken record talking about their issues, but after only attempting 13 free throws between two games, it has to be mentioned.

Purdue Fort Wayne likes to play fast and shoot the deep ball with no regrets, so that is ultimately why they struggle with turnovers and getting to the free throw line. This style can lead to an upset on any given night if they can string together some stops and connect on almost half of their threes.

The Mastodons will stay on the road as they travel to Youngstown State and look to end their losing streak this weekend. Youngstown State presents a difficult challenge as they like to attack the rim, and defending the rim is a weakness for Purdue Fort Wayne. A win for the Mastodons will be tough to come by, but if they put together a complete performance, they can certainly do just that.

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