Hoop Preview — @ Purdue

<B>Penn State @ Purdue <P>Mackey Arena</B> <P><B>Game Time:</B> 8 p.m., Wednesday.

Records: Penn State 7-14, 1-7; Purdue 5-15, 1-8.

Coaches: Ed DeChellis is 16-33 in his second season at Penn State and 121-126 overall. Gene Keady is 510-264 in his 25th and final season at Purdue and 548-243 overall.

Series: Purdue leads, 15-7.

Last meeting: The Boilermakers beat the Lions (62-47) at the Jordan Center last season.

Last time out: Penn State tumbled at Indiana (68-63) a week ago. Purdue fell at Northwestern (67-61) Saturday.

TV: WPSX (Jim Barbar, Shon Morris).

Radio: Penn State Sports Network (Steve Jones, Dick Jerardi).

Next up: Penn State plays host to Ohio State Saturday. Purdue has a bye before welcoming Iowa Feb. 16.

Probable Starters:

Penn State — G Ben Luber, 6-0 So. (5.8 ppg), G Mike Walker, 6-2 Fr. (7.2 ppg), F Geary Claxton, 6-5 Fr. (12.3 ppg), F Travis Parker, 6-5 Jr. (12.0 ppg), F Aaron Johnson, 6-8 Jr. (13.8 ppg).

Purdue — G David Teague, 6-5 Jr. (13.7 ppg), G Brandon McKnight, 6-2 Sr. (11.9 ppg), G Andrew Ford, 6-2 Sr. (0.9 ppg), F Matt Kiefer, 6-10 Jr. (10.4 ppg), Carl Landry, 6-7 Jr. (18.8 ppg).

Quick Quiz: Keady is second all-time in Big Ten wins with 263 (Bob Knight is No. 1 with 353). What other active coach ranks in the top 10 of that list?

Penn State Notes:

• Penn State has lost 28 straight Big Ten road games. Including conference tournament action, the Nittany Lions have dropped 31 consecutive league outings away from the BJC. Penn State’s last Big Ten road win was at Iowa (78-73) in the next to last game of the 2000-01 regular season.

• Tests showed no serious damage to the left knee of Lions backup guard Danny Morrissey. Morrissey missed most of the Indiana game after twisting the knee. He will play Wednesday and may wear a brace.

• Since this is the only regular-season meeting between these two teams, the loser will all but wrap up last place in the league standings. Purdue has the more challenging remaining schedule, with five of six games against the top five teams in the conference.

• Penn State is 1-9 in West Lafayette. The Lions’ only win there came in 1999 (78-70).

• In Big Ten games only, Claxton ranks ninth in scoring (15.2 ppg), ninth in rebounding (6.5 rpg), seventh in blocked shots (1.25 bpg) and third in offensive rebounds (3.38 rpg).

• Stat watch: Penn State has been outscored by an average margin of 13.9 points per game in the Big Ten this year.

Purdue Notes:

• This is Penn State’s final regular season game vs. Keady. Unfortunately, the Boilermakers and their legendary coach don’t make the trip to Happy Valley this year.

• Items Keady has received on his farewell tour: engraved putter (Minnesota); weekend stay at a resort with Jud Heathcote (Michigan State); humidor (Northwestern).

• Joe Paterno isn’t the only great coach to struggle since the turn of the century. Purdue finished in eighth, ninth, fourth and seventh, respectively, in the Big Ten in the four seasons leading up to this one. Before that Keady had never finished lower than seventh in the league, and he only did that once.

• Stat Watch: Purdue has been outscored by an average margin of 4.3 points per game in the Big Ten this year.

Quiz Answer: Trick question. No other active coach ranks in the top 10 of career Big Ten wins. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo has 110, and is 44 away from cracking the top 10.

FOS Prediction: Purdue 55, Penn State 54.

Comment: The Boilermakers comb-over their season-long struggles while seizing 10th place in the league race.

FOS Prediction Record: 14-7.


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