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OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS | BACK TO TexasBoiler'S COLUMNS

PURDUE SPORTS:
OGFP Update For 10-24-2003


1 day to #10 Purdue vs. #13 Michigan at The Big House!!!


Date: 10/24/2003
Author: TexasBoiler
© Old Gold Free Press Columnists

    Good morning Boiler Fans! If you're like most diehards, you've had trouble concentrating at work this week. Just admit that you've been caught playing "When Worlds Collide", "Hail Purdue", and watching a/v clips at www.spoilermaker.com. It's okay to acknowledge that your TIVO is taping the Purdue-UM game from 2000 as positive karma for tomorrow. Knowing that Brent "Brees to Moraleeees, Touchdown Purdue, HOLY TOLEDO" Musberger and Gary "(choking back Boilermaker alum tears) that is the most clutch play in 10 years of calling college football that I've seen" Danielson will be on the call tomorrow, you will probably won't to print out the rules to The Brent Musberger Drinking Game to help calm your nerves:

    http://www.or4ne.com/musberger.html

    Naturally, the hype building around our #7th BCS ranked Boilermakers and #10 in the coaches and AP Polls is reaching monumental proportions. Make no mistake about it, this is a watershed game for our program. Should we win at The Big House for the first time since 1966, the national media will be very impressed and Purdue will be the topic of conversations on national shows like never before. Why does that even matter? It's simple...recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. I guarantee you that we won some mindshare battles with some of our top recruits and someone like 5-star WR Lance Leggett from TX gave us some extra points when ranking us with his top choices...Miami, Florida, and Oklahoma. Do you think Lance's HS coach and Purdue verbal teammate, QB David Ramirez made a few comments during ESPN Gameday and during the ESPN broadcast? You know something like..."Hey Lance, John Standeford has played since his frosh year at Purdue and on a gimpy knee he just caught 14 balls for 176 yards against a top 20 Big 10 team in a hostile environment on National TV...can you imagine what you would do in Purdue's offense next year after Standeford has graduated?"

    But I digress, tomorrow will be the toughest game we have played all season for a number of reasons:

    1. It's our 2nd road game in a row against a top 20 team in front of a huge crowd and this time it's at the place where frankly we've come out "spooked" for the last 15 opportunities
    2. This Michigan team is very talented, deep, and more physical than any team we've seen all year. The 2 losses they have had have been on the road in hostile environments against jacked up teams. Tomorrow they will be at home where they've only lost 6 times under Lloyd Carr
    3. Michigan will be motivated to prove that they should be ranked higher than Purdue...few teams come to The Big House ranked higher than The Blue

    Having said all that, this is the most battle tested, experienced Purdue team to come to Ann Arbor under Joe Tiller. Our defense is on fire lately in nearly all facets of the game. I guarantee you that the 8 senior starters...Phillips, Terrill, Nesfield, Koutovides, Johnson, Gardner, Reeves, and STU have had this game circled on their calendar as one of 2 games (OSU being the other) that defines their career this year. Sure, beating ND and PSU at home was great...sure beating UW on the road again was HUGE, but ending the streak at the Big House would be simply EPIC! The key for our defense tomorrow as it is nearly every week is to force turnovers (2 or more), contain Chris Perry to under 130 yds, and force Navarre in to 3rd and 7 or longer passing situations. Iowa showed us the gamelan last year in terms of beating UM at their place. Stuff the run game, force some fumbles, and rattle John Navarre with either a killer pass rush or incredibly tight passing lanes OR both. Meechigan is notorious for burning the blitz with well set up screen passes. I'm praying that Brock Spack has seen the film on this and has prepared the guys well enough that we don't give up too many big plays on the Chris Perry screen. The other thing UM does brilliantly on offense is the misdirection handoff or the misdirection play action bootleg and pass to the dragging TE or WR. You simply have to play flawless assignment football to stop this UM offense. You also have to expect that UM will hold Shaun Phillips on nearly every play and NEVER get called for it!

    Frankly, this UM offense has been very potent...averaging 2nd best in the Big 10 with 39 pts per game. They are first in pass offense with 277.5 ypg and 16 passing TD's. They are third in rushing offense with 191.2 ypg and 20 rushing TD's. In the Red Zone, UM is 31-34 and 25 of those 31 or 81% are TD's. Nonetheless, if UM gets down there, we will have to keep them to FG's 75% of the time to win, IMO. John Navarre is a 4 year starter and I don't think our D will be fooling him too often. He has a veteran o-line with 3 seniors and 2 juniors and they have protected him very well with just 8 sacks so far. Where UM is vulnerable is on turnovers...Navarre has thrown 7 picks and UM has lost 6 fumbles. We will have to do a great job of creating turnovers, but not doing so in too risky of a manner that allows for WR Braylon Edwards, RB Chris Perry, TE Tim Massaquoi, or maybe a WR Jason Avant or WR Steve Breaston (watch the damn reverse!) to torch us for the easy 6. Without question, our D will be tested like never before all season. I think we will be up to the challenge though, as our stats indicate - we are 2nd in scoring defense, giving up only 14.4 ppg...3rd in pass defense, giving up 235.4 ypg and 2nd in rushing defense, giving up 66 ypg. We've also given up the least amount of first downs, just 103 all season! Moreover, the turnover trend is our friend as we've recovered 7 fumbles and picked of 12 passes.

    Shifting to the breakdown of our offense vs. UM's defense. We are 4th in scoring offense with 31.6 ppg while UM is 4th in scoring defense, giving up 17.1 ppg. We have passed for 235.4 ypg and 12 TD's while UM has given up just 136.8 ypg and 2 TD's. UM is more vulnerable to the run, giving up 147ypg and 20 TD's while Purdue is averaging 172.6 ypg and has 12 TD's on the season. For this reason, I would expect our healthiest and most powerful RB, Brandon Jones to see 25 carries. Brooks has a thigh bruise and Void has a sore ankle but of the two Void appears more ready to go. I could see us running the ball 35 times and passing the ball 35 times with our most balanced play calling to date. I expect Chaney to feed off Orton's passing confidence but use B. Jones in a 1 back spread most of the game. Jones will be counted on to pose the running threat, help in pass protection, and this week UM gets some of their own medicine on the RB screen. I also think Chaney may decide to get Garrett Bushong of C. Davis a couple passing opps b/c UM won't be looking for them at all. Standy and Stubbs are healthier than they have been all season but I guarantee you that Michigan will play press man and hold the hell out of them all game long. I hope they hit the weights extra hard this week and worked on their "swim" moves. The way to help them is to get them in motion and also to establish Orton or Jones as a viable running threat that distracts the DB's. Michigan's DB's are the biggest we've seen...with Jackson and LeSueur going 6-1, 200 lbs and Shazor going 6-4, 219 lbs - only Markus Curry is 5-11, 180 lbs. I bet Shazor gets the call on the Ingraham fade matchup and frankly he might be the most capable of defending it that we've seen. What I'd do with Kyle is sell the fade hard do the swim move and cut sharply in for the slant TD. I could see Anthony Chambers getting some more reps b/c of his strength. Another key for tomorrow will be to solve our Red Zone woes from last week where we went 0-4 on TD's in our last 4 opps - go 1/4 and we put the Wisco game out of reach most likely. Whatever the case, Orton and crew will need to keep turnovers down and make sure that we are +2 overall. We are +12 on the season while UM is even. I think that bodes well for us, don't you?

    I mentioned it earlier this week but I'll be reaching for the Alka Seltzer every time we line up to punt. We HAVE GOT TO do our best to get serious hang time on our punts or attempt to kick the ball out of bounds. I'm telling you that I've been watching UM football since my days in the crib due to my dad's influence and I've seen great ones like Anthony Carter, Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson, and Marquis Walker and none of those guys can shoot through a hole like Steve Breaston. The guy is "lightning in a bottle" and we cannot afford to allow him take one to the house tomorrow. As for the rest of ST match ups, Meechigan was vulnerable to the punt block earlier this season but they reassigned that coach after the Iowa game and have since fixed the problem. Still, I bet we have a scheme to get a block tomorrow and let's not forget we've got a solid punt return threat in Anthony Chambers. Ben Jones has been nails this year and I think he gives us the PK advantage in a tight ballgame.

    Soooo...my prediction is Purdue 24, Meechigan 20. Brandon Jones rushes for 100 yds and Orton throws for 275 and a TD. Our D finally takes one to the house as STU picks up a fumble or picks one off in the 4th quarter, which proves to be the game winner. STU is DUE folks and I think the look on Lloyd Carr's face after the play would be absolutely priceless. Post game interview on the UM radio network..."Coach Carr, can you tell us why you arrogantly told Schweigert that he had to commit on the spot during his Junior year visit?"

    Article coverage to follow and you may enjoy the more intense rivalry brewing between Coach Keady and Mike Davis after Keady's comments about The Vaden debacle in The South Bend Tribune.

    Boiler UP!
    -Barclay

    ___________________________________


    Football Game Notes
    Purdue-Michigan: Oct. 25, 2003

    Oct. 20, 2003

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/102003aab.html


    Game Notes in PDF Format
    Download Free Acrobat Reader

    "No. 10/10 Purdue Boilermakers (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten Conference)
    at No. 13/15 Michigan (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten Conference)
    Michigan Stadium (107,501) - Ann Arbor, Michigan
    October 25, 2003 - 3:30 p.m. EDT

    ALL-TIME RECORD: 535-454-48 (.539) - 116th season
    BIG TEN RECORD: 287-316-32 (.477) - 108th season

    PROJECTED ATTENDANCE: 110,000+ (sellout)

    RADIO: Boilermaker Sports Network (Flagship - WAZY, 96.5 FM, West Lafayette) - Joe McConnell (play-by-play), Pete Quinn (color commentary), Brett Schetzsle (sideline), Tim Newton (pregame/halftime/postgame), Gary Kline (engineer)

    TELEVISION: ABC - Brent Musburger (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analyst), Jack Arute (sidelines)

    A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: The 10th-ranked Purdue football team, under seventh-year head coach Joe Tiller, squares off against 13th/15th-ranked Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 25, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. It is the Boilermakers' second straight road game - both against ranked opponents - after a four-game homestand. Purdue is one of merely two schools in the Big Ten and one of only 13 nationally to play in a bowl game each of the last six seasons.

    IF THE BOILERMAKERS WIN ...
    * They will be 7-1 for the first time since 1978 and 4-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1980.
    * They will have a seven-game inseason winning streak for the first time since 1979.
    * They will win at Michigan for the first time since 1966 and for just the fifth time overall in 30 trips to Ann Arbor. "

    __________________________

    Boiler basics match up against Michigan muscle

    .

    By Steve Miller
    Assistant Sports Editor

    http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2003/10/23§ion=sports&storyid=football

    On paper, Purdue doesn't look as if it stands a chance against Michigan this weekend.

    "That's the same thing with every Michigan team," junior quarterback Kyle Orton said. "More than likely, they're going to have better athletes than you."

    The Boilers' game against the Wolverines on Saturday is shaping up to be an epic matchup between the gifted athleticism of Michigan (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) and the solid fundamentals of Purdue (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten).

    Orton thinks that, if things go the way he's planned, fundamentals will win.

    "It's just a matter of going out, playing smart football and executing plays," he said."

    _________________________

    It doesn't get any bigger than this for Boilermakers


    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/columns/200310240purdue_football1066973701.shtml

    "The similarities are striking.

    Twenty-three years ago, a Purdue football team went up to Ann Arbor with high hopes of knocking off Michigan in the Big House. In fact, the sentiment among Boilermaker fans was nearly unanimous -- this was the Purdue team that could win in Michigan Stadium.

    After all, those 1980 Boilermakers were led by quarterback Mark Herrmann. No. 16 Purdue headed to Ann Arbor for its Nov. 15 date with the 11th-ranked Wolverines with a 7-2 record, and dreams of playing in the Rose Bowl. A victory at Michigan would put Purdue in the driver's seat, with only a home game against Indiana (which Purdue won 24-23) remaining.

    I remember spending the night before the game in a popular Ann Arbor student hangout at the time, called Dooley's. It was wall-to-wall, elbow-to-elbow people. The famed Michigan fight song, "The Victors", blared out every 15 minutes or so, and you had to be careful you didn't get decked by Michigan fans raising their right fists every time the song called for a Hail."

    ________________________________

    Michigan game tests Purdue's offense


    By Steve Miller
    Assistant Sports Editor

    http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2003/10/24§ion=sports&storyid=index

    "They're big. They're fast. They're strong.

    But they're beatable.

    The members of Michigan's rugged defense may be among the best defenders in the country, but the Purdue offense is no bunch of pushovers either.

    "Coming into these next few games, we're going to be in trouble if we don't score touchdowns down in the red zone," Orton said. "Obviously we're not going to score a touchdown every time, but we've got to cash in on those opportunities."

    If Purdue's offense hasn't proven itself yet, its performance against Michigan should erase any doubts.

    ________________________


    Weekly Football Press Conference

    Selected coach and player quotes from Tuesday, Oct. 21

    Oct. 21, 2003

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

    Joe Tiller, Head Coach

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/102203aaa.html

    "On the win against Wisconsin and the week ahead...
    "It's great to win a game in the Big Ten Conference, it doesn't matter who the opponent is or where you're playing. A conference win is always an important win for your football team. We feel fortunate to have gone to Madison and won a football game against a very good Wisconsin team. Now here we go again, we're back on the road to Ann Arbor to play a superb Michigan team, so it will be the ultimate challenge for our team."

    On the national trend of skyrocketing offensive statistics...
    "If the talent level continues to improve and it gets dispersed around the country, those numbers can be improved on. I don't know if you're going to see schools breaking (national) records, but I suspect you're going to see schools breaking their university's records in terms of offensive productivity in the passing game. I do think it is a trend that is not likely to reverse itself, because everything kind of bounces down hill. For instance, at the college level, what you see is a tremendous amount of zone blitzing now. You never saw three to five years ago, but it started in the NFL and now it's at the collegiate level. Colleges are throwing the football all over the place, and five years ago you didn't see that many high schools throwing it, but now you see a lot of them throwing it all over the place. So they're going to produce that type of a player, and I suspect this is going to be a continuing saga."

    ___________________________

    Boilers have skid to snap
    Purdue hasn't won a game at Michigan Stadium since winning streak in mid-1960s.
    http://www.indystar.com/print/articles/2/085731-8062-041.html
    Ann Arbor blues

    Purdue has lost 15 consecutive games at Michigan Stadium dating to a 22-21 victory on Oct. 15, 1966. Among the most memorable:
    • Oct. 11, 1969 -- Michigan 31, Purdue 20: Purdue quarterback Mike Phipps enters as nation's total offense leader, but Boilers commit seven turnovers in their first-ever game on artificial turf.
    • Nov. 19, 1972 -- Michigan 9, Purdue 6: Unranked Boilers outrush No. 3 Michigan 126-100, but Wolverines get the victory on Mike Lantry's 36-yard field goal with one minute left.
    • Nov. 15, 1980 -- Michigan 26, Purdue 0: Both teams are 6-0 in the Big Ten, but Purdue star quarterback Mark Herrmann throws four interceptions and Boilers fail to get a first down over the final 36 minutes.
    • Oct. 2, 1999 -- Michigan 38, Purdue 12: No. 11 Purdue enters with nation-best 10-game winning streak, but Boilers drop 11 passes and have three bad snaps against No. 4 Wolverines.
    • Oct. 13, 2001 -- Michigan 24, Purdue 10: The 17th-ranked Boilers enter 4-0, but commit 15 penalties and four turnovers against No. 12 Wolverines.


    By Michael Pointer
    michael.pointer@indystar.com
    October 23, 2003

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Hard as it is to believe, there was a time when Purdue owned Michigan at the Big House.

    The Boilermakers beat the Wolverines five consecutive times during the 1960s -- the final four at Michigan Stadium -- culminating in a 22-21 victory on Oct. 15, 1966. That Purdue team eventually earned the school's first Rose Bowl bid.

    The Boilers didn't play in Ann Arbor again until 1969, Bo Schembechler's first season as Michigan coach. Purdue star quarterback Mike Phipps threw four interceptions that day in the Wolverines' 31-20 victory.

    That began a stretch of 15 consecutive Purdue losses there, heading into Saturday's showdown in Ann Arbor between No. 10 Purdue and No. 13 Michigan.

    "Purdue has never been ranked higher in this game (since 1969 at Michigan)," said Gary Danielson, the former Purdue quarterback who will be ABC's color commentator during Saturday's game. "What's the big mystery? You've got the better team playing at home."

    __________________________

    Boilermakers can turn historic tide with tough defense
    http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2003/10/23§ion=sports&storyid=michigancolumn

    "As if playing on the road against what Purdue coaches have called "one of the most talented Michigan teams ever" isn't tough enough, the Boilers must beat something else on Saturday.

    History.

    Games aren't won or lost based on the past, but it takes a focused team to tune out a 37-year drought — the last Purdue win in Ann Arbor came in 1966.

    Especially when it's printed daily for the team to read in newspapers.

    The Boilers haven't read into the hype, whether it's for or against them, since the loss to Bowling Green. Don't expect a trip to Ann Arbor to change that."

    ______________________________

    The Daily Word - Weekly Previews
    By Andy Gamm

    http://www.thefinalscore.net/

    "Purdue at Michigan - Game Time: 3:30 EDT / TV: ABC
    Unlike last week, where you could have arguably assigned Game of the Week honors to any one of three match-ups, there is but one entrant this week. Purdue sits at 3-0, a half game behind conference leader Michigan State. Michigan is 3-1, a game back with two shots at the only unbeatens in successive weeks. The Boilermakers have not won in Michigan in my lifetime but come into this game in much the same fashion as Iowa last year. The Wolverines really control their own destiny with upcoming games against three of the best in the Big Ten. These teams have had some intense battles over the past decade and this one should be no different. With a lot of talent flowing to West Lafayette from Michigan these days, this one should have a rivalry type atmosphere.

    This game features two of the best passers in the Big Ten. Kyle Orton had been doing more handing off than passing until last week's win over Wisconsin and leads a multi-faceted attack. What might surprise most is that Purdue boasts three able-bodied running backs, two of which reside in the league's top ten for rushing yards per game. Michigan rides the legs of Chris Perry who has put together the best season of his career. Both teams have a pair of money receivers - Purdue has John Standeford and Taylor Stubblefield, Michigan has Braylon Edwards and Jason Avant. The maize and blue are slightly better in the passing game, but not quite to Purdue's production on the ground. Both teams can rack up the points, are efficient with the passing game and on key conversions. In fact, there isn't an area where either team stands above the other. Yet another reason to watch this game.

    With the potency of these offenses, the game will come down to defense and special teams. This is where Purdue has an advantage, even if it is fairly minimal. The gold and black are allowing only 15.7 ppg to Michigan's 24. The Wolverines are slightly better than Purdue in terms of passing yards allowed (134.0 ypg to 149.0 ypg) and passing efficiency defense (84.8 to 90.8) but are not as strong against the run (80.3 ypg to 178.8 ypg)or overall (229.3 ypg to 312.8 ypg). The Boilers also get more turnovers though they have only forced a few more, they cough it up with less frequency. So, while one edge swings in Purdue's favor (defense), special teams might even it back out. Purdue is getting better kicking, but Michigan is rock solid in its return game, led by Steve Breaston, who is poised to break the single season record for punt return yards with four games remaining. If Purdue is smart, they will keep it away from this fantastic frosh. The overall keys are otherwise quite simple: The team with the best balance and the least mistakes (turnovers in particular) will win this game. A second straight big road win by Purdue might just propel the gold and black to a conference title. An "upset" home win by Michigan might do the same for the maize and blue. In an otherwise coin flip prediction, I'll default to my preseason pick of Purdue over Michigan in this game. PURDUE 24 - MICHIGAN 23.

    Bucks Fan says... The real question here is whether or not the Wolverines have mentally packed it in for the year since the National Championship is out of reach with two losses. If Michigan plays to win out and have another nice vacation...er...bowl game, then this game would seem to favor Michigan since it is at home. Purdue seems hungry and does not seem likely to get caught up in the talking heads drooling over their defense - they are legitimate contenders for this years Big Ten title. This game will be a close, hard fought battle that has all the makings of a classic game. The match up of Michigan's athletes on offense versus the great defense for Purdue will be fun to watch. Conversely, the Purdue offense seems to be clicking and will be a real challenge for the UM defense to handle. Purdue just seems hungrier to get to the top and I see them pulling out a close game on the road to join Michigan State atop the Big Ten standings. Prediction: Purdue 20 - Michigan 17"\

    _____________________________________

    Trio has high hopes for Boilers
    http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2003/10/24§ion=sports&storyid=editorspicks

    "No. 10 Purdue (6-1, 3-0) at No. 13 Michigan (6-2, 3-1)

    The Juggernaut: As I said in Thursday's column: Purdue 27, Michigan 10

    Timmah!: "Big House"? What Big House? After those rowdy Wisconsin fans (props to the "big red" student section), one of the most intimidating home fields in college football, Michigan Stadium, should seem rather subdued. Sure it's big, but it's what happens on the field. Purdue’s "D" and "O" end up the victors. Purdue 17, Michigan 10

    Doug's Decision: Michigan is good. Purdue is good. Purdue definitely can win. I want to pick them to win. But I just don't have the good feeling that I had last week. If they do lose, it will be the last time this year. Michigan 24, Purdue 20
    _______________________________________


    Dyeing for victories

    Purdue tackle tints goatee in opponents' colors for inspiration

    By Tom Kubat, Journal and Courier

    http://www.boilerstation.com/football/stories/200310230purdue_football1066887563.shtml

    "As far as goatees go, Kelly Butler's is pretty average. Actually, a little on the shaggy side.

    But on Thursdays, the Purdue junior offensive tackle's facial hair takes on a personality all its own.

    Beginning with the Notre Dame game earlier this season, Butler has dyed his goatee the color of the Boilermakers' opponent each week.

    "I don't know why I did it," Butler said. "I just wanted to do something different for the Notre Dame game. Something fun. I would always shave my head but I wanted to do something different, just because it was Notre Dame."

    _____________________________

    Boilers draw victory from vein of maturity
    By Steve Miller
    Assistant Sports Editor

    http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2003/10/22§ion=sports&storyid=football

    "Experience is the best teacher.

    The Purdue football team has learned its lessons over the years.

    "People have asked me, 'Is this the best team you've had at Purdue?'" Coach Joe Tiller said. "My response has been, 'I guess we'll all know at the end of the season.'

    "But I will say this: This is the most mature team I've had since I've been at Purdue."

    Maturity should play a part on Saturday, when the Boilers (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) head to the not-so-friendly confines of Michigan Stadium to take on the Wolverines (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten)."

    ___________________________


    Purdue-Northwestern Football Game To Kick Off At Noon
    ESPN to televise

    Oct. 20, 2003

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/102003aad.html

    "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Big Ten Conference announced this morning that the Purdue-Northwestern football game on Nov. 1 at Ross-Ade Stadium will kick off at noon.

    The game will be televised nationally by ESPN. Mark Jones will call the play-by-play, with former Notre Dame head coach Bob Davie serving as analyst and Holly Rowe reporting from the sidelines.

    This Sunday, Oct. 26, daylight savings time ends across the country. As a result, the state of Indiana will "shift" from central time (Chicago) to eastern time (New York)."

    _____________________________

    Michael Pointer: Purdue Q&A
    Indianapolis Star sports reporter Michael Pointer answers your questions about the Boilers.

    http://www.indystar.com/print/articles/6/024965-8476-117.html

    October 23, 2003

    "Question: Can Purdue make a BCS bowl with one more loss, or do they need to win out to have a legitimate shot at a BCS berth? (Daniel from West Lafayette, Ind.)

    Answer: The only way I could see them getting in with two losses is if they won the Big Ten. That would put them in the Rose Bowl, obviously. But two losses would eliminate them from an at-large bid to the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar Bowls. There were just too many teams ahead of them in the initial BCS standings.

    Question: With Gary Ware and Carl Landry now on board for the year after next, what do you think of that recruiting class? Any ideas on what the basketball team might do with such a huge class of juniors? (Adam from Indianapolis)

    Answer: That's a good question because it's hard for me to get a read on junior college players. That move is much more difficult than you might expect. There are a lot of great athletes in junior-college ball, but the intensity and expectations don't compare to the Division I level, in my opinion. I have heard great things about Landry, and I know his coach at Vincennes University, Dan Sparks, is a superb coach. If anybody can come in and make an immediate impact, he would be the guy, in my opinion.

    Overall, it seems this was a good news-bad news kind of class. The good news is Purdue appears to have addressed its immediate goal of landing some talented big guys. But there's no question it missed out on some top high school products. Part of me says that's nothing new. It's no secret that Gene Keady has often taken guys who weren't considered future stars coming out of high school and helped make them good college players.

    On the other hand, Keady has never quite gone for junior college players to this extent, either. And you're right about next year's junior class. There will be seven juniors, if all these junior college players qualify academically. That's good if the team meshes quickly. Then, you've got a chance for a really good team for two years."

    ______________________________

    Basketball ticket sales increase
    By Allison Bernard
    Staff Writer

    http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2003/10/23§ion=sports&storyid=BasketballTicketSales

    "Purdue basketball season ticket sales for the men's and women's teams are on the rise, proving that the Boilers have a solid group of dedicated fans.

    "We’re ahead of last year in both sports, so it’s looking up," said George Ade, athletic ticket manager.

    On the men’s side, the 10,558 season ticket sales thus far have already surpassed last year’s total of 9,455.

    Our student ticket prices are unbelievable, just $8 per game, compared to the public’s cost of $17 to $21 per game," said Rasmus.

    Purdue will also offer the "ceiling fan" deal in which tickets are sold on the day of the game for $8 for the highest three rows of Mackey Arena.

    The Gene Pool, for men’s games, is in its third year of existence and, as of Oct. 10, 3,100 students have bought memberships as compared to last season's 1,800 members.

    The Gene Pool offers students a variety of perks including seating closest to the floor, pre-season and post-season parties with the team, game-day e-mails and a live scouting report 15 minutes before the game.

    "Everyone who comes loves (the scouting report) because the coaches will go into the section and talk about the game strategy against that day's opponent," said Rasmus. "People also get to ask the coaches questions at the end."

    ____________________________

    Kiefer, McKnight set to surprise at Purdue
    By CURT RALLO
    Tribune Staff Writer

    http://www.southbendtribune.com/stories/2003/10/22/sports.20031022-sbt-MARS-B1-Kiefer__McKnight_set.sto


    "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Basketball season hasn't even started, but Purdue coach Gene Keady fired off the first shot Tuesday morning at the Purdue men's basketball media day.

    Keady was asked about the recruit who got away, 6-foot-5 Mr. Everything Robert Vaden of Indianapolis Pike. Vaden verbally committed to Purdue, but then he switched to Indiana.

    Without naming names, like Indiana head coach Mike Davis, it seemed obvious that Keady's shot was aimed in the direction of arch-enemy Indiana. Keady said that coaches with integrity don't continue to recruit players who have verbally committed to another school.

    "If I know a kid is committed to a school, we won't touch him or call him or anything," Keady said. "I tell my assistants, he's done. He's not on the recruiting list anymore.

    "It's a disappointment, but everybody has different rules about their lives, so I can't judge other people," Keady continued. "That's other coaches' business to do what they think they have to do in order to win."

    ____________________________

    Men's Basketball Holds Annual Media Day

    Boilermakers take day off practice to discuss upcoming season

    Oct. 21, 2003

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/102103aaa.html

    Photo Gallery


    The men's basketball team held their annual basketball media day in the Cary Quad All-American Dining Hall on Tuesday from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Below are some of the comments made during the event which featured over 20 media members.


    Purdue Coach Gene Keady

    On the team captains for 2003-04
    "Well right now Kenny Lowe, and then we'll go from there. I'm taking Brett Buscher with me to Chicago to start with, so those two will be there. Other than that, we'll see how the season goes and hopefully end up having six before it's over."

    On if the program is headed in the right direction
    "Three things that we were disgruntled about after the Iowa loss two years ago, were team chemistry, leadership, and fundamentals. Team chemistry seems to be very good this year. We like the harmony. The team leadership has been tremendous. We've had more vocal chatter in practice than we've had in years, and the coaches have done a great job with fundamentals this season. I think that those things are back on track. I think that you could see that last year after the LSU win that we were back where we wanted to be at that point. Of course, we would have rather have beaten Texas, but it didn't happen. I think that those were the three things that we were really concerned about. We think that they're back established now."

    ______________________

    Men's Basketball Holds First Practice

    Veteran Boilermakers work out for three hours

    Oct. 18, 2003

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/101803aaa.html

    "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's basketball team went through its first full practice on Saturday afternoon.

    The Boilermakers held an enthusiastic practiced from noon to 3 p.m. in a Mackey Arena.

    "We got off to a good start today," said coach Gene Keady, now in his 24th season at Purdue. "The guys were enthusiastic and seemed very anxious to be practicing instead of going through conditioning and individual workouts."

    The Boilermakers return 12 letterwinners and four starters from a team which tied for third in the Big Ten last season. Purdue has six seniors on roster and return 115 starts from last year. In all, it returns 193 starts among all returning players.

    "It's a little easier in the beginning when you have so much experience on the team," said assistant coach Cuonzo Martin. "The guys picked things up where we left off last year and had a good practice today."

    ___________________________

    New Banners Honor Purdue's Basketball Tradition

    Mackey Arena banners commemorate championships and past All-Americans

    Oct. 20, 2003

    Photo Gallery

    http://purduesports.ocsn.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/102003aaa.html


    "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The majority of the new banners honoring Purdue's champion basketball teams and All-Americans are hung in Mackey Arena.

    The men's Big Ten championship banners, numbering 21, are black with gold and white trim. They are hung in clusters of five, with the 1996 banner on its own.

    The 11 women's Big Ten championship banners, which will be hung in the same cluster format this week, are gold with black and white trim.

    The men's four postseason banners, as well as the women's three postseason banners, are white with black and gold trim. The women's banners also bear the NCAA logos from the 1994, 1999 and 2001 Final Fours.

    The banners honoring the 10 Purdue men's basketball consensus."





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