The Purdue men’s basketball team finalized its 2009-10 slate on Wednesday with the announcement that it will face Ball State in the John R. Wooden Tradition on Dec. 19, and welcome Buffalo to Mackey Arena on Dec. 5 in BSU’s original slot on the schedule.
“Even though this was essentially a wait-and-see process for us, we’re happy to have the schedule finalized heading into practice this week,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “We’ll be playing two teams who were both at the top of their divisions in the MAC last year, so both should be quality games and good experiences for our team.”
Making its ninth appearance in the Wooden Tradition, founded in 2000 in honor of Boilermaker legend John Wooden, Purdue will square off with Ball State for the 10th time in program history at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Dec. 19. The contest will tip off at 4 p.m. ET and air live on the Big Ten Network.
“Moving the Ball State game to the Wooden Tradition is exciting because it will provide fans with the opportunity to see a clash of two in-state teams in a top-notch facility in the state capital,” Painter said. “The people at the Wooden Tradition put on a first-class event every year, and we’re looking forward to another great experience in Indianapolis.”
This season’s meeting will mark the third-straight year that Purdue and BSU have gotten together on the hardwood, as well as Ball State’s first-ever appearance in the Wooden Tradition. The Cardinals tied for the Mid-American Conference West title in 2008-09.
Purdue owns a 7-2 edge in the all-time series, and the Old Gold and Black have taken the last two decisions, including a 68-39 victory in Muncie last season.
The Purdue Athletic Ticket Office will begin taking orders for tickets for the Wooden Tradition, which range from $15-60 per seat, on Thursday, Oct. 15. Purdue fans can purchase premium seating (sections 3,4,5,6 and 7) reserved for the Boilermakers by contacting the Purdue Athletic Ticket Office at (765) 494-3194 or (800) 497-7678, logging on to purduesports.com or visiting the ticket office’s location on the first floor of the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET).
Purdue students who are members of the Paint Crew will be receiving emails in the upcoming week regarding special tickets and discounts that will be available to group members.
Beginning on Saturday, Oct. 17, general tickets may also be purchased at the Conseco Fieldhouse Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations, as well as by calling (317) 239-5151.
The Boilermakers’ first-ever meeting with UB will be held at 5 p.m. ET and air on the Big Ten Network, as originally scheduled for Dec. 5.
The Bulls bring back four starters from a team that won 21 games, tied for first in the Mid-American Conference East Division and lost in the championship game of the MAC Tournament last season. Leading scorer Rodney Pierce (14.3 ppg) and top rebounder Calvin Betts (6.3 rpg) return to lead a Buffalo squad that also qualified for the College Basketball Invitational a year ago.
“Buffalo is a tough, hard-nosed team that we’re excited to bring into Mackey Arena,” Painter said. “They’re well-coached, have strong veteran leadership and led the MAC in road wins last season, so this is certainly a great addition to our non-conference schedule.”
Purdue returns all five starters and more than 80 percent of its points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals from a team that finished last season with a 27-10 record, won the program’s first-ever Big Ten Tournament championship and advanced to its first NCAA Sweet 16 in nearly a decade.