The Purdue men’s basketball team had their full schedule released and we now know the dates and opponents. We are seeing some similar trends and definitely getting a feel for where the Big Ten stands on their rivalries and games. Purdue looks to defend their Big Ten title from last year as they come in with a very experienced and skilled team. I will take a look at some of the key games, and breakdown some of the positive and negative aspects of the schedule for the upcoming season. Purdue will need to start strong, as they have some key, and difficult matchups in their out-of-conference schedule.
vs. SIU-Edwardsville (Friday, Nov. 10th)
vs. Chicago State (Sunday, Nov. 12th)
at Marquette (Tuesday, Nov. 14th)
vs. Fairfield (Saturday, Nov. 18th)
vs. Tennessee (Wednesday, Nov. 22nd Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas)
vs. Villanova or WKU (Thursday, Nov. 23rd Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas)
vs. TBA (Friday, Nov. 24th Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas)
vs. Louisville (Tuesday, Nov. 28th)
vs. Valparaiso (Thursday, Dec. 7th)
vs. IUPUI (Sunday, Dec. 10th)
vs. Butler (Saturday, Dec. 16th Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis)
vs. Tennessee State (Thursday, Dec. 21st)
vs. Lipscomb (Saturday, Dec. 30th)
Purdue faces a tough matchup in a Marquette team that landed a former Purdue target, Joey Hauser. Hauser is an absolute beast inside and was ranked as a top 50 player nationwide. It comes early in the season, but Purdue will have been playing a lot of competitive basketball together at that point, given the World University Games, so I would favor us in that one.
Of course, the Battle 4 Atlantis will be a tough tournament given the teams involved such as Villanova and Tennessee. I would love to see Purdue win this one and hopefully get a crack at a Villanova squad that barely beat Purdue at Mackey last year.
November 28th is a great chance for Purdue to bolster their credentials for the NCAA tournament. They get a Louisville team that is well coached and loaded with talent, even with the sanctions against them pertaining to postseason play.
And finally, Butler. The one out of conference game that legitimately scares me. They are always prepared and develop talent as well as any team in the nation. Purdue would love to take this one and have a head full of confidence heading into conference play.
at Maryland (Friday, Dec. 1st)
vs. Northwestern (Sunday, Dec. 3rd)
vs. Rutgers (Wednesday, Jan, 3rd)
vs. Nebraska (Saturday, Jan. 6th)
at Michigan (Tuesday, Jan. 9th)
at Minnesota (Saturday, Jan. 13th)
vs. Wisconsin (Tuesday, Jan. 16th)
at Iowa (Saturday, Jan. 20th)
vs. Michigan (Thursday, Jan. 25th)
at Indiana (Sunday, Jan. 28th)
vs. Maryland (Wednesday, Jan. 31st)
at Rutgers (Saturday, Feb. 3rd)
vs. Ohio State (Wednesday, Feb. 7th)
at Michigan State (Saturday, Feb. 10th)
at Wisconsin (Thursday, Feb. 15th)
vs. Penn State (Sunday, Feb. 18th)
at Illinois (Thursday, Feb. 22nd)
vs. Minnesota (Sunday, Feb. 25th)
First off, if a team wins the conference title, they should NOT be asked to start conference play on the road in the next season. It’s wrong, and the Big Ten needs to show a little bit more respect. Moving on…Purdue gets a matchup at Maryland to start the year. They always have a rabid crowd and after how the previous matchup went, I am sure they would love to wax the defending Big Ten champs on their home floor. This feels like a must-win to me. After Maryland, Purdue’s next great challenge will come from Michigan, at their court. Purdue always has issues with Michigan and they will need to get out early in this one if they want to win it. After that is Minnesota. Although Minnesota is historically inconsistent and not considered a top program, I know this team will be good. They return an experienced lineup and a potential All-Big Ten threat at the 5 with Reggie Lynch. Wisconsin returns Ethan Happ, a potential All-Big Ten and All-American. Even though we face them at home in the first matchup, that game SCREAMS trap and loss. Hopefully not. Outside of those games, the only other one to be on high alert for is the February 10th matchup at Michigan State. Izzo is a legend and I will give credit where it is due. A must-win matchup and one that comes late in the season, so it will provide much-needed confidence. Now onto the real issue…
Purdue and IU should face one another 4 times every calendar year, but I know that is unrealistic. At the very least, the absolute minimum they should play is twice in conference play. But no, not this year. Jim Delaney and his horde of Big Ten elitists look down upon our rivalry and see it as a lesser matchup. The Big Ten dropped the ball big time on this one, and quite frankly, they should be ashamed of themselves. It is one of the most storied rivalries in college, including two teams from the state with arguably the most history when it comes to basketball. I hope they realize their error and correct this next season, because it is a modern day travesty. I will not dwell on it, but I will be damned if Purdue does not get a crack at IU, AT HOME, but once every two years. No way.
Outside of that, Purdue has a great chance at being a top 15 seed in the tourney, and they have as good a shot as anyone in the conference to win the Big Ten title. Outside a few hard games, the preseason is a great time to obliterate some teams they should beat handily, and really gain that cohesion they need heading into conference play. I hope Painter is on the phones for a home, and away, next year for Purdue and IU. Outside that, I am happy with the schedule and see a great balance in the competition. Let’s hope they can realize a new identity that is as good, if not better than last year’s squad.