Nov. 21, 1997

Purdue Heads to Great Alaska Shootout

  • 20th Annual Carrs Great Alaska Shootout
  • November 26-29
Brad Miller
With his next point, Brad Miller will become the 35th Purdue player to score 1,000 career points. (File Photo)

Quick Look at Purdue, Alabama-Birmingham: The No. 8/6 Purdue Boilermakers remained undefeated with a convincing 107-80 win over Northeast Louisiana on Nov.20. Purdue played without All-America candidate Chad Austin, who suffered a broken nose in practice on Nov 19. It ended a streak 96 consecutive games that Austin had played in as a Boilermaker. However, he should be ready for the Great Alaska shootout as Purdue faces Alabama-Birmingham in the first round on November 26. The Boilermakers will put their 18-game "holiday" tournament winning streak on the line. The Blazers are 2-1, defeating Arkansas-Pine-Bluff 81-51 and Cleveland State 74-58, and losing to Indiana 80-64. UAB is coached by Murray Bartow, in his 2nd year with a 20-15 record.

Head Coach Gene Keady: Purdue's Gene Keady (Kansas State '58) is 407-179 (.695) in his 20th season as a Division I head coach and 369-160 (.698) in his 18th season with the Boilermakers. The six-time Big Ten Coach-of-the Year has guided Purdue to six league titles (1984, 1988, 1994, 1995, and 1996) and 16 postseason tournament bids, including five straight NCAA Tournaments. Keady has been honored as the nation's top coach five years (1984, 1988, 1994, 1995, 1996). On the national scene, Purdue finished third, 12th and tied for fourth in the final AP poll from 1994-96, respectively. In Big Ten games, he is the third winningest coach all-time with a 203-103 (.663) record and is fifth in victories. Keady was inducted into the National Junior College basketball Hall of fame in 1990. Keady has also led the United States to a 22-2 (.917) international mark and four medals (two golds, a silver and bronze). He needs just three wins to become Purdue's all-time winningest coach, passing Ward Lambert's 371 victories.

18 Straight Holiday Tournament Wins: Purdue has a current holiday tournament (Thanksgiving/Christmas-December) win streak of 18 games. During that span the Boilermakers have captured eight straight Holiday Tournament titles, including the Boilermaker Invitational in 1996. The Boilers' last loss came in the 1991 Boilermaker Invitational against Wisconsin-Green Bay. Purdue has won six holiday tournament championships the last three seasons (the Great Alaska Shootout and Boilermaker Invitational in 1993, the Big Island and Boilermaker Invitationals in 1994 and 1995 and the 1996 Boilermaker Invitationals). Although it wasn't a "true" tournament format, Purdue was the only undefeated (2-0) team in the Puerto Rico Shootout in December of 1995 (Purdue defeated Iowa State and UNC Charlotte). Gene Keady has won 15 Holiday Tournaments in his Purdue tenure.

Note: Senior center Brad Miller has scored 999 career points as a Boilermaker. He will become only the 35th Purdue player in history to score 1,000 points.

Boiler Bits: Purdue is shooting nearly as well from the field (.616) as it is from the foul line (.619) after three games...Chad Austin missed the first game of his career against Northeast Louisiana with a broken nose, breaking his streak of 96 consecutive games...Purdue is averaging 99.7 points and giving up 77.0...Purdue has four players averaging double-figures, led by Austin (20.0)...Brad Miller has made an incredible 18-21 shots from the field for 85.7 percent in three games...Purdue has six players shooting 50 percent or better from than field, led by Miller (.857), Brian cardinal (.724), Mike Robinson (.719) and Austin (.583)...Cardinal is a perfect 4-4 from three-point range...Purdue is averaging 113.0 points in Mackey Arena...Miller has played in 97 consecutive games as a Boilermaker without a miss.

Roster Notes: The 1997-98 Purdue basketball roster 11-man roster includes senior captains Brad Miller and Chad Austin, two juniors, six sophomores and one redshirt freshman (B.J. Carretta)...Carson Cunnigham, a 6-1 guard, will only be able tp practice with the Boilermakers this season after transferring from Oregon State...sophomore Mike Robinson has switched his jersey number from 32 to 23...eight of 11 Boilermakers are from the state of Indiana...Tony mayfield, a 6-1 point guard from Tyler Junior College, is the lone newcomer in 1997-98...Carretta could be classified as a newcomer after redshirting last season...Purdue has only one player on its roster over 6-8 (6-11 Brad Miller)

Preseason honors: The Boilermakers have been picked high by several national publications. Some of Purdue's preseason national rankings; third by Street and Smith's, sixth by Playboy, seventh by Preview Sports, eighth by Ultimate Sports, ninth by Dick Vitale's College Basketball, ninth by Athlon's, ninth by Basketball Times, 10th by Sports Illustrated, 10th by Billy Packer's, 12th by Blue Ribbon Basketball, and 18th by Slam. The Boilermakers are virtually a unanimous pick to win the Big Ten Conference title. Purdue was picked first by the Big Ten media with 215 points, followed by Indiana (109) and Iowa (78). Senior Chad Austin has been picked as the preseason Big Ten Player-of-the-Year by several magazines, including the Big Ten media. Austin is also one of 25 players selected for the John R. Wooden National-Player-of-the-Year Award. Senior Brad Miller is rated the sixth-best center by Dick Vitale.

A Look Back: Purdue has three Big Ten championships and a second place finish (1997) over the last four years. Over that period, the Boilers posted an impressive 98-30 (.766) record and appeared in the NCAA Tournament every season (five straight overall). In Big Ten games, Purdue has posted the best four-year mark of 56-16 (.778); Minnesota is a distant second at 46-26 (.639).

Record 21 Big Ten Championships: Purdue clinched its league-leading 21st Big Ten championship in 1996. The Boilermakers are ahead of Indiana (19), Ohio State (15) and Wisconsin (14) in all-time titles. Purdue won three consecutive Big Ten championships from 1994-96.

Purdue Wins When Leading at Halftime: Purdue has a 97-4 record (.960) record the past five-plus years in games they have led at halftime. The Boilers have won 56 of their last 57 games when leading at the break.The last five-plus seasons: 3-0 in 1997-98, 14-1 in 1996-97, 23-0 in 1995-96, 18-1 in 1994-95, 26-1 in 1993-94 and 13-1 in 1992-93.

Tough Schedule: Purdue is playing one of the most difficult schedules in the nation this season. Five of Purdue's opponents were ranked in the preseason Associated Press top 25 poll: Kentucky (8), Xavier (10), Iowa (15), Indiana (17) and Louisville (25). The Boilermakers could face North Carolina (4) or UCLA (6) in the Great Alaska Shootout. Purdue has already defeated Long Island and valparaiso, NCAA Tournament teams from 1997. Purdue could play UMass, another NCAA participant a year ago, in the second round of the GAS.

Purdue makes mark in History With Three-Pete: Purdue became only the second school ever to win three consecutive "outright" Big Ten crowns in 1996. Ohio State is the only other team to ever win three straight outright Big Ten titles (the Buckeyes won three in a row in 1960, '61, and '62) Counting co-titles, Purdue won three consecutive titles in 1934, 1935 and 1936. Other teams to win at least three straight Big Ten crowns include Ohio State (5, 160-64), Indiana (4, 1973-76), Chicago (4, 1907-1910), Michigan (3, 1964-66) and Wisconsin (3, 1912-14)

Looking Ahead to the Shootout: Purdue will be making its third appearance in the GAS on Nov 26-29. The field includes only former shootout champions, UAB, UCLA, UMass, UNC, Seton Hall and Southwestern Louisiana. The tournament host will be Alaska-Anchorage. Purdue has an all-time record of 5-1 in the GAS. In 1985, Purdue defeated Alaska-Anchorage 92-70, lost to UNC, 73-62, then rebounded to defeat Arizona 81-74. In 1993, the Boilermakers captured the title with three straight wins oner Wisconsin-Green Bay, Weber State and Portland. Glenn Robinson was the tournament MVP and set shootout standards for points in a single-game (41 vs. Portland in the title game) and tournamement (97, 32.3 average).

Purdue's Record by Decade: Purdue has posted a 176-75 (.701%) mark to date in the 1990's. Purdue's record the previous three decades; 1980s (216-86, .715%); 1970s (180-92, .662%) and the 1960s (136-106, .562%)

Boilers Set Field Goal Percentage Record in Opener vs. Long Island: Purdue shot 77.o percent from the field (47-61) vs. Long island to set a school record. The old mark of 75.5 came against Michigan in 1981. The Boilers shot an incredible 82.1 percent on 23-28 shooting in the second half. Purdue came up short of another school record for most points in a game. The school mark is 120 vs. Indiana in 1969.

NCAA Tournament - Yearly Affair: Purdue was selected to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight time in 1997. Overall, the Boilermakers have made 16 appearances, including 13 under Gene Keady. Purdue has earned a No. 1 seed three times (1988, 1994, 1996), a No. 2 seed once (1990) and a No. 3 seed three times (1984, 1987, 1995). Purdue has an all-time record of 19-16 in the NCAA Tournament. Purdue reached the Final Four in 1969 and 1980, the Elite Eight in 1994 and the Sweet 16 in 1988.