Feb. 4, 2005
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EVANSTON, Ill. -
Prior to Saturday's game with Purdue, NU head coach Bill Carmody, his staff and his players will take a few minutes to honor outgoing Boilermaker coach Gene Keady--the Boilermaker mentor is retiring at the end of the season after 25 years leading one of the signature programs of the Big Ten, and this will be Northwestern's only meeting with the Boilers in 2005.
The sentimentality will end as soon as the ball goes up.
Northwestern vs. Purdue
Saturday, Feb. 5 * 3:30 p.m. Central
Welsh-Ryan Arena (Evanston, Ill.)
TV: ESPN+ Regional (Craig Coshun, play-by-play; Mike Kelley, analyst)
Click here for TV clearances for Saturday's game
Radio: WGN 720 AM (Dave Eanet, play-by-play; Bob Hildebrand, analyst)
Coach Keady will understand, of course. After all, this is a game that both teams feel the need to get.
For Northwestern, the reasons are obvious. First of all, the Wildcats are the home team today, and Carmody feels it is important to re-establish the "home court advantage" his team has worked hard to create the last few years. The Welsh-Ryan armor has developed some chinks this season, including the most recent outing when Ohio State outscored the 'Cats 22-1 down the stretch to turn an eight-point deficit into a 13-point win.
"I think that is exactly the word to use: re-establish," said Carmody. "We need to regain that feeling that we are the better team when we are at home, no matter who we play."
Perhaps most importantly, however, NU simply needs a win. A season that began with high expectations has fallen short through the first half of the Big Ten campaign, and Carmody would like to see his team start the second half of conference play with a solid effort.
"It is important that we win, and it is important HOW we win," said Carmody. "Purdue is a team that scraps for everything, and so hopefully that will rub off on us and we will put forth the effort necessary to win."
Did You Know?
With three wins (and a 3-4 record) against Gene Keady teams at Purdue, Bill Carmody is the most successful of the five NU coaches who faced off against the 25-year Boilermaker mentor (also Rich Falk, Bill Foster, Ricky Byrdsong, Kevin O'Neill). In fact, only Falk won more than once vs. Keady--he had two wins in 12 meetings.
The Series With Purdue
Today marks the 152nd meeting between the Wildcats and the Boilermakers in men's basketball; Purdue leads the series 113-38.
NU has won two in a row and three of the last four meetings. Last year, the 'Cats escaped West Lafayette with a 40-39 win.
NU head coach Bill Carmody is 3-4 all-time against Purdue.
NU has two straight home wins over the Boilermakers; the last time the 'Cats won three in a row at home against Purdue? 1953-55.