Purdue men’s basketball coach Matt Painter knew coming into the 2012-13 season that he’d have a lot of questions to be answered with this group. With five new players taking the court – each with a very good chance of contributing significantly – Painter decided to get an early look at his team and scheduled a four-game exhibition tour to Italy earlier this month.
The seventh-year coach is adding to that test by seeing what his team can do against even better competition. The Boilermakers released their non-conference schedule on Friday and it will be challenging to the young squad to say the least.
“One of the principles of scheduling is that you schedule for the team you have each particular year,” Painter said in a release. “This year, we have a relatively young team and the non-conference season will be important for us. This schedule has several challenges and will help us figure out who we are heading into Big Ten play.”
The schedule includes 10 games, including a pair of tournaments that are among the nation’s best.
The Boilers will open the season as part of the 2K Sports Classic, which will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Purdue will have a pair of games in Mackey Arena before travelling to New York City to compete among Alabama, Oregon State and Villanova for a pair of games at Madison Square Garden.
The Boilermakers will battle in-state rival Notre Dame on Dec. 15 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as part of the Crossroads Classic.
The two programs have played 40 times and each has won half of those contests. This will be the second year for the tournament and is an annual event for four most-storied college basketball programs in the state of Indiana (Indiana and Butler will play in the other game).
The universities agreed in May to extend the tournament through 2014 in Indianapolis.
The rest of the schedule doesn’t get much easier. Of the known or potential opponents on the Boilermakers’ schedule, six advanced to postseason play a year ago, including five NCAA Tournament participants. Six of Purdue’s known or potential non-conference opponents won at least 20 games last season.
Purdue will play its first two games of the 2K Sports Classic at Mackey Arena on Nov. 9 and 11 against teams yet to be determined as ESPN.
The Boilermakers will square off with Villanova at the Garden on Nov. 15 and meet either Alabama or Oregon State, depending on the results of the semifinal games, the following night.
The Boilermakers will play a couple of southeastern squads in late November. Purdue will host UNC Wilmington on Nov. 21 before taking on Clemson on Nov. 28 as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Boilermakers and Tigers will meet at 7:15 p.m. with the game airing on ESPNU.
The Boilers will play at home on Dec. 1 and Dec. 4, against Xavier and Lamar, respectively.
On Dec. 8, Purdue will visit Eastern Michigan in a return in a return date from last season’s meeting in West Lafayette.
Prior to the start of Big Ten play, the Boilermakers will play at home against Ball State on Dec. 18 and William and Mary on Dec. 29.
Purdue will wait until January to put the finishing touches on its 2012-13 non-conference schedule, as the Boilermakers will host 2012 NCAA Tournament participant West Virginia on Jan. 19.
To prepare for the regular season, Purdue will play two exhibition games against Montevallo on Oct. 30 and Newberry on Nov. 3.
The Big Ten schedule will be released in the near future and Boilermaker season tickets are currently on sale through the Purdue Athletic Ticket Office. Purdue fans can purchase them online at purduesports.com or by calling (800) 49-SPORT.