Sunday Teleconference: Sendek Talks Purdue

<B>RALEIGH, N.C. -- </b>Wolfpack Head Coach Chuck Amato held a teleconference this afternoon to discuss Purdue, and here's a sampler of what he had to say.

Can you talk about what coach [Gene] Keady has meant to college basketball?
Well, he's obviously had a Hall of Fame career at Western Kentucky and then for many years now at Purdue.

He always has his guys ready to play. They play as hard as anybody, and if you talk to anyone close to him or that's been around his program they'll always be quick to point out how much he cares about his guys.

Can you talk a little about Purdue?
They really play terrific defense, and they get after the ball. They play with a lot of intensity. Offensively they are basically a motion team, and I think they've got good balance. They have a couple frontcourt guys who can score at the basket and on the perimiter, and they have some outstanding perimeter people as well.

A balanced team and in typical Purdue fashion they play hard and really compete.

Coach Keady hasn't been a fan of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. What's your take on it?
It's worked well for us because it's allowed us to have an easily scheduled quality non-conference game. I like the fact that we've been able to play this game in early December, and I think each year it's helped us learn some things about our team. We've been able to build on the experience whether we've won or lost.

Sometimes it's just really hard to create a good non-conference game. We've had some real scheduling challenges in the past.

By in large I think it's good for college basketball, it generates a lot of early interest, and it's helped us secure some good non-conference tests early in the year.

They are an inexperienced team, but one area where they seem solid is at the point with Brandon McKnight. He's developed a reputation as a defensive stopper. What do you see from other teams when they try to slow Hodge down, and what do you think Purdue will do with McKnight?
Well, it's really hard to speak for what Purdue will try to do. In the little that I've watched them, it seems that McKnight is usually on the ball. We have a number of guys who do that for us. It's hard to say for sure, and it might not stay the same throughout the game.

Can you talk about the game you won at Purdue a few years ago that was the deciding game in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge?
That was obviously a great win for us. We had a double-digit deficit to overcome, and we were able to mount a furious comeback. Justin [Gainey] hit a great shot for us against an outstanding Purdue team. I remember Brian Cardinal was on that team, an NBA player now, and Mackey Arena is always one of the most challenging places in the country to play.

David Teague was suppose to be out a month, but he tried to come back and play. What does he add to Purdue?
He's their leading scorer from a year ago, and he's got terrific range on his shot. He can really put the ball in the basket.

Pack Pride Top Stories