APSU Men’s Basketball
November 23rd, 2010 | Mackey Arena | West Lafayette, IN
West Lafayette, IN – The Associated Press has Purdue ranked No. 10 in its latest college basketball poll. ESPN/USA Today has the Boilermarkers ranked 8th.
Regardless of the slight disparity in the rankings one thing Austin Peay State University knows, Purdue is one of the nation’s top basketball teams. The two teams will meet 6:00pm, Tuesday, at Mackey Arena in second-round play of the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
Playing an opponent of this magnitude is nothing new for several of the Governors, who played No. 3 Kentucky and Missouri a year ago. But when you have eight newcomers, competing against a top-10 program in one of the nation’s most electric environments will be a first-time experience.
Purdue has regained its lofty stature among the NCAA elite under sixth-year head coach Matt Painter, who coincidentally served one season as Southern Illinois head coach before moving to Purdue–APSU opened Chicago Invitational Challenge play at SIU, Sunday.
In the offseason several prognosticators listed this Boilermaker team as a Final Four team next spring. Their name almost was in unison with Duke when talking about the top teams in the country.
No other team in the country returned a trio of first-team all-league performers, including a pair of All-Americans. But one day into practice, that changed as All-American Robbie Hummel suffered his second ACL tear in less than nine months. Still, the Boilermakers, 29-6 a year ago, are loaded with terrific talent and depth, led by two of the nation’s premier players in guard E’Twaun Moore (20.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and forward/center JaJuan Johnson (15.7 ppg, 9.0 rpg). Moore had 26 points while Johnson had 25 points and 11 rebounds in the Boilers’ 82-67 win against Oakland, Sunday, in its first-round Chicago Invitational contest.
Meanwhile, the Governors will attempt to bounce back from a second straight loss, a 72-65 loss at Southern Illinois which saw the Governors get outrebounded 39-21. The difference in second-chance points (13-5) equated to the Salukis victory.
Again, junior guard Tyshwan Edmondson led the Governors scoring with 19 points off the bench. Anthony Campbell (15 points) was the only other Gov in double figures.
The Governors cut the deficit to two points on four different occasions in the second half against SIU but could not get the defensive stop to complete the comeback.
What You Should Know
The Series: This is the second meeting between Austin Peay, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, and Purdue, a Big 10 Conference member, with the Governors trailing the series, 0-1. That one meeting came in the 1994 Boilermaker Invitational where the Governors dropped an 81-64 decision to the Boilermakers.