July 25, 1997

1997-98 Purdue Men's Basketball Schedule Announced

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Purdue men's basketball team will play 30 regular season games in 1997-98, plus the first-ever Big Ten Conference Tournament in Chicago's United Center March 5-8. The Boilermakers open the season several days earlier than in the past, hosting Long Island on Nov. 14.

"We have the toughest schedule since I've been here," says coach Gene Keady. "We were rated as having the No. 1 schedule in 1982, and this is tougher than that. It's a schedule that can really help you or it can really hurt you, depending on how many people develop, get better and take pride in what we're doing. "

The 16-game Big Ten schedule will determine the league champion, while the tournament winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers will play four teams just once: home games against Northwestern (Jan. 24) and Wisconsin (Jan. 31) and road trips to Michigan (Jan. 29) and Iowa (Feb. 18).

Purdue will compete in the Great Alaska Shootout Nov. 26-29. Only former shootout champions are included in the field. The Boilermakers, who captured the title in 1993, will face Alabama-Birmingham on Nov. 26, and the UMass/Southwest Louisiana winner on Nov. 28. Traditional powers North Carolina and UCLA are in the opposite bracket as Purdue.

The Boilermakers will play national runner-up Kentucky for the second straight year in the Great Eight Tournament on Dec. 3 at the United Center. It's Purdue's third appearance in the Great Eight (the Boilers played Missouri in Auburn Hills, Mich., in 1994).

Purdue will host the eighth annual Boilermaker Invitational Dec. 12-13. The Boilers will play Tennessee-Martin in the first round and either Idaho State or San Francisco the second night.

Other attractive December matchups include a road trip to Louisville on Dec. 6 and a home matchup against Big East power Providence on Dec. 27. Sandwiched in between is a game with Xavier in the fifth annual Boilermaker BlockBuster in Indianapolis on Dec. 20.

Purdue will open league play by hosting Michigan State on Dec. 30. After three Big Ten games, the Boilers will play a non-conference game at Houston on Jan. 10.

At least eight of Purdue's 30 games will be broadcast on national television. The rest of Purdue's schedule will be shown on regional TV. Coach Gene Keady's 18th Purdue team will appear on ESPN at least five times, CBS at least twice, and ESPN2 once. The Boilermakers could be showcased more nationally by advancing to the winner's bracket in the shootout. Purdue's final two regular season games could also be selected for national TV, as well as selected games in the Big Ten Tournament.

Coach Keady on the Great Alaska Shootout: "We're excited about it. We've had pretty good success there. We've won five out of six games, won it one year and got third the other year. The people up there treat you great, and it's a good experience for the kids."

About Playing Kentucky Again: "It's a challenge, and we understand that. It may not be the smartest thing we've ever done but hopefully it will help us if we're competitive. We want to get our game up to the level it takes to reach the Final Four."

Purdue's regular-season schedule includes 14 games in the friendly confines of Mackey Arena, where the Boilermakers have posted an impressive 49-6 (.891) mark the past four seasons. Purdue plays 11 road games and five contests on neutral courts. In addition, the Boilers play two exhibition games in Mackey, Nov. 3 and Nov. 9.

Purdue's 1997-98 Men's Basketball Schedule

Date        Day     Opponent                                TV Network                        Time
Nov.  3     Mon.    AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL TEAM (Exh.)         ESPN-Plus TV                8 p.m. EST 
Nov.  9     Sun.    SHAKHTER/RUSSIA SELECT TEAM (Exh.)      ESPN-Plus TV                2 p.m. EST 
Nov. 14     Fri.    LONG ISLAND                             ESPN-Plus TV                8 p.m. EST 
Nov. 17     Mon.    at Valparaiso                           ESPN2                       7 p.m. EST 
Nov. 20     Thurs.  NORTHEAST LOUISIANA                     ESPN-Plus TV                8 p.m. EST 
Nov. 26-29          Great Alaska Shootout (@ Anchorage, Alaska)      
Nov. 26     Wed.    vs. Alabama-Birmingham                  ESPN-Plus TV                6 p.m. AST 
Nov. 28     Fri.    vs. UMass or Southwest Louisiana        ESPN (winner's bracket)  5:30 p.m. AST
Nov. 29     Sat.    vs. TBA ESPN (championship)                                         8 p.m. AST 
Dec.  3             Great Eight Tournament      
            Wed.    vs. Kentucky (@ United Center/Chicago)  ESPN                     8:30 p.m. CST 
Dec.  6     Sat.    at Louisville                           ESPN                        7 p.m. EST 
Dec. 12-13          BOILERMAKER INVITATIONAL    
Dec. 12     Fri.    TENNESSEE-MARTIN                        ESPN-Plus TV                       TBA 
Dec. 13     Sat.    SAN FRANCISCO or IDAHO STATE            ESPN-Plus TV        4:30 or 7 p.m. EST
Dec. 20             Boilermaker BlockBuster
            Sat.    vs. Xavier                              ESPN-Plus TV                7 p.m. EST      
Dec. 22     Mon.    FLORIDA A&M                             ESPN-Plus TV                7 p.m. EST 
Dec. 27     Sat.    PROVIDENCE                              CBS                         2 p.m. EST
Dec. 30     Tue.    MICHIGAN STATE                          ESPN-Plus TV                7 p.m. EST
Jan.  2     Fri.    at Minnesota                            ESPN                         Noon  CST
Jan.  7     Wed.    PENN STATE                              ESPN-Plus TV                8 p.m. EST 
Jan. 10     Sat.    at Houston                              ESPN-Plus TV                7 p.m. CST 
Jan. 13     Tue.    at Illinois                             ESPN                     6:30 p.m. CST 
Jan. 18     Sun.    at Indiana                              CBS                       12 Noon  EST
Jan. 21     Wed.    OHIO STATE                              ESPN-Plus TV                8 p.m. EST 
Jan. 24     Sat.    NORTHWESTERN                            ESPN-Plus TV                8 p.m. EST 
Jan. 29     Thurs.  at Michigan                             ESPN-Plus TV                8 p.m. EST 
Jan. 31     Sat.    WISCONSIN                               ESPN-Plus TV                8 p.m. EST
Feb.  7     Sat.    at Ohio State                           ESPN-Plus TV                8 p.m. EST
Feb. 10     Tue.    INDIANA                                 ESPN                     7:30 p.m. EST
Feb. 14     Sat.    ILLINOIS                                ESPN-Plus Regional TV    2:30 p.m. EST
Feb. 18     Wed.    at Iowa                                 ESPN-Plus TV                7 p.m. CST 
Feb. 21     Sat.    at Penn State                           ESPN-Plus Regional TV   12:15 p.m. EST 
Feb. 24/25  Tue/Wed MINNESOTA                               ESPN-Plus TV or ESPN 
Feb. 28/M 1 Sat/Sun at Michigan State                       ESPN-Plus TV or CBS 
March 5-8   Th-Sun  at Big Ten Tournament (@ United Center) Various Networks


Note: Times subject to change and not all ESPN-Plus games available in all markets; check local listings for games in your area. Note: Alaska Time is four hours earlier than Eastern Standard Time.