The Purdue men’s basketball team will open the 2009-10 season ranked in the top 10 of both major polls, garnering the No. 7 spot in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today preseason rankings on Thursday.
The No. 7 ranking marks the Boilermakers’ first preseason top-10 nod from the AP since the organization listed them ninth prior to the 1997-98, a span of 11 seasons. Purdue, which narrowly missed the AP preseason top 10 last year with a No. 11 ranking to start the campaign, is also ranked the highest by the AP that it’s been since receiving No. 2 billing prior to the 1987-88 season.
With their No. 7 ranking, the Boilers are included in the AP preseason top 10 for the sixth time in program history. The Old Gold and Black has been ranked in the last 26 AP polls, nearing the program record of 34-straight weeks that has been achieved twice.
Purdue is one of two Big Ten teams in the top 10 of both polls, while the AP poll features six league teams and the ESPN/USA Today ledger boasts five squads from the conference.
Purdue returns six of its top seven scorers, and more than 80 percent of its points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, from last year’s squad that won the program’s first-ever Big Ten Tournament title and earned its first Sweet 16 berth in nearly a decade. The Boilers put together an overall record of 27-10, including an 11-7 mark in the Big Ten that was good for a second-place tie in the league.
The Boilermakers kick off the exhibition season on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET when they welcome California of Pennsylvania to Mackey Arena. Purdue opens the 2009-10 regular season at home against Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m. ET on Nov. 13.