WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Eight regular-season home games and a trip to Hawai’i for the EA Sports Maui Invitational highlight the 2014-15 Purdue men’s basketball non-conference schedule released today.
The Boilermakers will open with a pair of exhibition games before tipping off the regular season at home on Friday, Nov. 14, against Samford at Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers will play their first three regular-season games at home before traveling to The Aloha State for the competitive EA Sports Maui Invitational during the week of Thanksgiving.
“We are really pleased with the balance of our schedule and the way it came together,” head coach Matt Painter said. “We think we have a strong mix of opponents that will challenge us as we head into Big Ten play.”
There will be four first-time opponents on the schedule, and for the first time since the 2008-09 season, Purdue will play three non-conference opponents from the state of Indiana.
Season tickets are now available by calling 1-800-49SPORT.
Below is a detailed look at each non-conference opponent.
November 2 — California (Pa.); EXHIBITION
Posted an 11-16 overall record and a 6-10 mark in the PSAC (NCAA Division II) a year ago … marks the second time the Vulcans have played Purdue in an exhibition game … the Boilermakers defeated the Vulcans, 78-44, on Nov. 3, 2009 … the Vulcans return their top five scorers, including four players that averaged between 10.3 and 11.6 points per game … head coach Bill Brown gave VCU head coach Shaka Smart his first job, a graduate assistant at Cal (Pa.).
November 7 – Carroll (Mont.); EXHIBITION
Went 9-19 overall and 4-12 in the Frontier Conference (NAIA Division I) … former Boilermaker Dr. Carson Cunningham is in his second year as the head coach … guided the Saints to a seven-win improvement in 2013-14 after the team won just two games in 2012-13 … lead NAIA Division I in free throw percentage a year ago (.792).
November 14 — Samford
SERIES: Purdue, 1-0
Went 13-20 overall and 6-10 in the Southern Conference a year ago … game with Purdue marks the second straight year Samford will have played a Big Ten foe (lost to Indiana, 105-59, last year) … junior and Chicago native Tim Williams led the team in scoring a year ago at 17.6 points per game … sophomore Isaiah Williams averaged 11.9 points and 3.4 assists per game … head coach Bennie Seltzer was part of Tom Crean’s staff at both Marquette and Indiana … assistant coach Yasir Rosemond was on the staff at Seattle U., when former Boilermaker Sterling Carter played with the RedHawks.
November 16 — IUPUI
SERIES: First Meeting
Amazingly, this is the first meeting between the two schools despite being just an hour away … went 6-26 last year and 1-13 in the Summit League … first-year head coach Jason Gardner was the 1999 Indiana Mr. Basketball at North Central High School, before excelling at Arizona for legendary head coach Lute Olsen … sophomore forward Justus Stanback is a West Lafayette native (West Lafayette HS), and the son of former Boilermaker Ian Stanback … senior guard Khafu Najee is the leading returning scorer at 9.9 points per game, but the Jaguars lost their top two scorers from last year’s team … return just two of its top six scorers.
November 20 — Grambling
SERIES: First Meeting
Posted a 5-24 record and a 3-15 record in the SWAC a year ago … first meeting between the two teams … Purdue is 6-0 against teams currently in the SWAC, outscoring its opponents by an average of 37.5 points per game … played its first seven games against Division I opponents on the road a year ago … returns its top five scorers, including three players that averaged double-figures … has two players from Indianapolis on its roster (Richard Freeman, Thomas Chandler) … head coach Joseph Price prepped at Marion High School in Marion, Ind., and played collegiately at Notre Dame … Tigers allowed foes to shoot 51.2 percent from the field and to score 79.9 points per game.
November 24-26 — EA Sports Maui Invitational
APPEARANCES: Third (1999, 2006, 2014; 4-2 record)
Teams competing are Arizona, BYU, Kansas State, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Purdue, San Diego State and the host school, Chaminade … four of the other six Division I teams are ranked in ESPN.com’s “Way Too Early” Top 25 … Boilers finished second in the 1999 event, losing to No. 4-ranked North Carolina in the finals, 90-75 … finished fifth in the 2006 event, losing to No. 19-ranked Georgia Tech in the first round, but bouncing back to defeat Oklahoma and DePaul … Boilermakers looking for first multi-team tournament title since the 2009 Paradise Jam.
December 2 — North Carolina State (ACC / Big Ten Challenge)
SERIES: NC State, 4-0
The Wolfpack went 22-14 and 9-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference last year … reached the NCAA Tournament third round a year ago, falling to a miraculous Saint Louis comeback to deny the Wolfpack a trip to the Sweet 16 … returns four of its top five scorers from a year ago, but lost ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren (24.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg) … welcomes in a top-20 recruiting class … N.C. State is the only team that Purdue has played at least four games against and failed to record a win … marks the third meeting in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge (1999, 2004), both N.C. State wins … Purdue has won five straight games in the event.
December 6 — North Florida
SERIES: Purdue leads, 1-0
The Ospreys were 16-16 a year ago, including a 10-8 mark in the Atlantic Sun Conference … this will be the second meeting between the two teams, with the Boilermakers winning 77-57 on Dec. 11, 2010 … Purdue is 9-1 all-time against the Atlantic Sun Conference … sophomore Dallas Moore led the team in scoring as a freshman a year ago, averaging 12.5 points and making 50 trifectas … the Ospreys return four of their five top scorers from last year’s team … Purdue is 18-6 all-time against teams from the state of Florida (11 different opponents) … head coach Matthew Driscoll was an assistant coach at Valparaiso for a seven-week span, before joining Scott Drew at Baylor … Driscoll was on the Baylor staff that lost to the Boilermakers in the 2008 NCAA Tournament (90-79).
December 8 — IPFW
SERIES: Purdue leads, 5-0
IPFW went 25-11 last year and 10-4 in the Summit League, finishing as the league tournament runner-up to North Dakota State … the Bison, which defeated Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament, needed to rally to defeat the Mastodons in the final minutes … Purdue is 11-0 all-time against the Summit League … Purdue has defeated IPFW by an average of 17.2 points per game in the five previous meetings, including by 50 points combined in the last two contests … it will be the first meeting since Dec. 20, 2011, an 81-56 Purdue victory … senior Steve Forbes (6-9, 295) returns after averaging 12.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game … the ‘Dons return just three of their seven players that averaged at least 7.0 points per game … IPFW will be led by first-year head coach Jon Coffman, who took over for Tony Jasick. Jasick left to take the head coaching job at Jacksonville.
December 10 — Arkansas State
SERIES: First Meeting
The RedWolves went 19-13 overall and 10-8 in the Sun Belt Conference in 2013-14 … ASU’s top five scorers from a year ago were all seniors … the RedWolves’ top returning scorer is junior guard Cameron Golden at 7.6 points per game … the team returns just 503-of-2,432 (20.7 percent) points from last year’s squad … head coach John Brady was the head coach at LSU when the Boilermakers defeated the Tigers in the 2003 NCAA Tournament, 80-56 … Purdue is 10-1 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference and 3-1 against the state of Arkansas … it will be the first meeting against a team from Arkansas since Dec. 6, 2008, a 90-42 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
December 13 – at Vanderbilt
SERIES: Series is tied, 2-2
The Commodores went 15-16 overall and 7-11 in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) a year ago … head coach Kevin Stallings graduated from Purdue in 1982 … Stallings scored 333 points with 217 assists in 97 career games … he was a member of the 1980 Final Four team … also served as an assistant coach from 1983-88, where he helped team to a 140-44 record under Gene Keady … sophomore center Damian Jones is the team’s returning leading scorer and rebounder at 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, respectively … the Commodores return just two of their top five leading scorers … the meeting will be the first since Dec. 1965 and the first in Nashville since the 1901-02 season … Purdue’s last win over the Commodores came in a 43-22 barnburner on Dec. 30, 1929, just two months after Black Thursday.
December 20 — Notre Dame (Crossroads Classic)
SERIES: Notre Dame leads, 21-20
Notre Dame went 15-17 overall and 6-12 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) … this will be the second meeting between the two teams in the Crossroads Classic … Notre Dame won the 2012 meeting, 81-68 … the 41 all-time meetings are the second most in Purdue history against a non-conference opponent (Butler – 54) … the December meeting will be just the third meeting in the last 48 years (since a Jan. 4, 1966 meeting) … Purdue hasn’t defeated the Irish since that Jan. 4, 1966 meeting (109-92) … Notre Dame and Ohio State are the only opponents with a minimum of 15 games that Purdue has a losing record against … Purdue is looking for its first win in the Crossroads Classic … Pat Connaughton is Notre Dame’s top returning scorer at 13.8 points per game … the Irish lose three of its top four scorers from last year.
December 22 — Gardner-Webb
SERIES: First Meeting
The Bulldogs went 18-15 last year and 10-6 in the Big South Conference … this marks the sixth straight year that Gardner-Webb will play a Big Ten Conference foe (Northwestern, Indiana, Illionois, Penn State, Michigan) … the Bulldogs gained acclaim in November 2007 for strolling into Rupp Arena and beating Kentucky, thus advancing to the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic Finals in Madison Square Garden … largely because of the upset, tournaments now have pre-determined semifinalists in the event of a major upset … Purdue is just 3-0 against teams from the Big South (1-0 vs. High Point, Radford and UNC Asheville) … junior Jerome Hill (6-5, 210) led the team in scoring last year at 14.4 ppg … Bulldogs return four of their top five scorers.