The 8-3 Boilermakers under their coach Gene Keady is looking forward to starting his Big 10 season with the Wildcats:The Coach
This will be a great opener for us because you have to be on top of your defensive principles when you play Northwestern. It will especially be a big challenge for the younger guys because they haven't seen the back-cutting style of play much before. [Big 10 Teleconference]In the 90's, Purdue had played second fiddle to only one other Indiana team in the Big 10. In the late 90's, Purdue enjoyed playing in March - Sweet 16 in 98 and 99, the Elite 8 in 2000. The Boilers are the only Big 10 school with a winning record against everyone else in the conference.
Then things went south - Purdue Basketball started to resemble a disaster area combined with a soap opera. There was an NCAA probation, and other problems in the locker room. The loss last year to Iowa in the Big 10 Championship Tournament was a wakeup call, and Gene Keady hitched up his jeans, and went back to work.
We changed some things, and we went back to doing some things the way we used to do them. I wasn't going through that kind of season again. It was agony [Keady in the Indy Star]Keady lays some of the blame on last year's 4 seniors - he doesn't think they played very hard - and he doesn't think he bears all that much responsibility for recruiting them in an attempt to advance beyond the top 8 at the NCAAs. What is different now is that he's gone back to his old way of recruiting and coaching.
You can't discount Willie Deane [The Scoring Machine - PU Photo-right], but the top thing in West Lafayette is called "Keadyball," and this year its already credited for at least two turnover laden wins; the 87-55 win over Valpo and an 84-56 victory over Colorado State. In both games, Keady's charges forced over 20 turnovers!
Ask Scott Drew, Coach of Valparaiso;
(Purdue) defense is what makes them so difficult to play. When their offense is on and their defense is as good as it is, it makes it very tough because the offense gets moved out. They are able to get transition baskets and when they don't get transition baskets, they hit 3s.And the NU Motion Offense doesn't seem to bother the Purdue Coach:
We haven't seen them much, but we'll watch tape on them over the next four days to see how much different they are from last year in terms of talent. We want to see what their style of play is, to see if Bill (Carmody) has changed his style at all. I'm not going to put much worry into our opponent. We never put a lot of stock into worrying about our opponents. We've always concerned ourselves with our play. We want to play solid defense, play hard and play smart. If we can do that, we'll probably be in a good position in a lot of our games. [Big 10 Teleconference]The story out of Lafayette is that if you don't play defense for the Boilers this year, you don't play..
It's about us keeping the other team's points and field goal percentage down. [Keady / Boilerstation]Oh yes, there's also a story out about how the team is also working on passing and rebounding as they get ready for the Wildcats
It seems that Gene Keady has been coaching the Boilermakers forever. Actually its only 23 years.The Starters
Keady is the Black and Gold's all time winningest coach with over 700 career wins, 6 Big 10 Championships and a .661 winning percentage. He's been the national Coach of the Year 6 times.
His teams feature a suffocating defense (that term again) and seem to back on track to become a force in the Big 10 again.
- Forwards: 6-10 Junior Chris Booker [#31 - 10.4 ppg] and 6-3 Junior Kenneth Lowe [#20 - 12.0 ppg]
- Center: 6-11 Junior Ivan Kartelo [#5 - 2.9 ppg/2.6 rbpg - right]
- Guards: 6-1 Senior Guard Willie Deane [#0 - 16.2 ppg] and 6-2 Sophomore Brandon McKnight [#10 - 4.1 ppg]
Willie Deane, "The Scoring Machine" has got to be considered the top man on the floor for Purdue. He's averaging 16.2 ppg this season.The Rest of the Team
Off the Boards: New this year is JC Transfer, #31 Junior Chris Booker [left] who leads the Boilers in Rebounding with 5.9 per game. He also is 3rd in scoring with 10+ ppg.
The Bomber: Deane has the best 3 point average among the starters, but off the bench are two players with a 400+ average: 6-5 Senior Guard Darmetreis Kilgore is 17-40 [.425] from outside, and 6-5 Freshman Guard David Teague is shooting .422 [19-45] from the arc.
Seven different players have scored in double figures so far this year, and almost everyone has played as Keady has used an 11 man rotation off his 13 man bench.Challenges for the Wildcats
Darmetreis Kilgore [right] has played in 10 games, started two early, and averages over 20 minutes a game.
6-8 Junior Forward Brett Buscher [#3 - 7.9 ppg - left] had started 8 games, but was replaced by McNight in the last 2 games..
6-5 Freshman Guard David Teague [#2 - 6.6 ppg], 6-10 Junior Forward Matt Kiefer [#42 - 4.7 ppg] and 6-7 Freshman Guard/Forward Melvin Buckley [#24 - 4.0 ppg] have all played in all 11 games.
In other words - expect to see a bunch of different players as the game progresses - like Bill Carmody, Keady uses different players to get matchups so you may see a 3 guard or 3 forward set at times during the game.
FWIW: The Boilermakers are a much taller team than a year ago, with four players at 6-foot-10 or taller. Juniors Ivan Kartelo and Kevin Garrity are both 6-foot-11, while junior Chris Booker and freshman Matt Kiefer are 6-foot-10. Junior Brett Buscher and sophomore Matt Carroll are 6-foot-8, and freshman Melvin Buckley stands 6-foot-7. Last season, the Boilermakers had merely four players taller than 6-foot-7. [From Purdue Sports]
And once again we may hear some trash talking in Croatian - Purdue Center Ivan Kartelo is also from Split, Croatia.
- Stop Willie Deane from scoring.
- Don't let Purdue go on a long run - they've done it twice in each of their last 3 games!
- Don't let them get their 3 point game going - they shoot almost 40% [38.5] from outside the arc
- Stop Deane
- Take care of the basketball - these guys are the turnover experts in the Big 10
- Break through the Boilermaker Defense - They are really good defensively, especially (Kenneth) Lowe and (Willie) Deane. You don't want them guarding you [Drew Scott]
- Did I mention stopping Deane?
ESPN Plus Regional will have the game, Shon Morris will be doing the color. Dave Eanet will have the radio call on WGN 720 AM and on WGN.com. The Game is scheduled to start at 11:17 CST. Yes, we'll chat.
Photos copyright Purdue University