Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Keady’s last Madtown stand

[media-credit name=’DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]KeadyCUT_416[/media-credit]Legendary head coach Gene Keady will return to Madison one last time as his struggling Purdue Boilermakers (7-19, 3-12 Big Ten) face off against the Badgers (19-7, 10-5) tomorrow afternoon at the Kohl Center.

Tomorrow will also be the final home game for the Badger seniors and will be senior day as per tradition. Guards Clayton Hanson and Sharif Chambliss, along with forwards Mike Wilkinson, Andreas Helmigk and Zach Morley, will lace up their sneakers at the Kohl Center for the last time.

“It’s a great atmosphere for college sports, especially this time of year,” Chambliss said of the Kohl Center.


Hanson agreed, “Just being part of the intensity, you can just feel the energy in the arena. It’s tremendous.”

Keady will retire at the conclusion of this season after 25 years at Purdue. Though in recent years the Boilermaker coach has led struggling teams, such was not always the case.

Since taking the helm in West Lafayette on April 11, 1980, Keady has accumulated 265 conference wins, good for second-most in Big Ten history. His impressive résumé also includes six conference championships, six National Coach of the Year awards (second-most all time) and seven Big Ten Coach of the Year awards (a league record).

Keady has also been recognized internationally. He accompanied former NBA coach Rudy Tomjanovich to Athens, Greece, in 2000 and, as an assistant coach, helped the United States win a gold medal.

“I feel honored as a coach in our profession to get a chance to compete against a guy of his stature because of what he’s meant to college basketball and how he’s represented the game, not only at Purdue but also internationally,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. “He’s a true picture of professionalism in the ranks of coaches.”

Ryan later noted, “He’s always looked at the profession the way somebody with class would. He promotes the game, lives the game.”

In the last meeting between these two teams, Wisconsin snapped a 29-game losing streak Jan. 5 at Mackey Arena by beating the Boilermakers 77-68. From behind the arc, the Badgers were red hot — connecting on 14 of 22 3-point attempts, including 6-for-7 from Morley.

Purdue forward Carl Landry led all scorers with 23 points in the losing effort, while Morley chipped in 22 for the Badgers.

Fortunately for Bo Ryan’s squad, Purdue will be without Landry, a native of Milwaukee, this Saturday. The junior tore his ACL during the first half of Purdue’s loss to Minnesota last weekend and will miss the rest of the season. Before going down, the former Milwaukee Vincent High School star was leading the Big Ten in scoring (18.2 ppg) and was in the top five in rebounding (7.1 rpg) and field-goal percentage (52 percent).

The majority of the scoring load now falls on off-guard David Teague and pointman Brandon McKnight.

Teague, a 6-foot-5 junior, scored 20 against Wisconsin in the previous meeting and is now considered Purdue’s go-to guy.

“[Teague] is a guy who moves without the ball as well as anyone,” said Hanson, who is likely to draw the difficult defensive assignment of guarding Teague. “He plays at different speeds. He will set you up and then come off a screen and have an open look.”

As the Boilermakers’ floor leader, the senior McKnight will carry most, if not all, of the ball-handling responsibility. Noted as a great passer, McKnight ranks fifth in the Big Ten in assists (3.75 apg) to go along with his 12 points per contest.

Saturday’s game has special meaning for the Wisconsin seniors, especially Wilkinson, who has been an integral part of Wisconsin basketball for the past four years.

“We’ve played a lot of great teams, played in a lot of great places,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson has led the Badgers in rebounding in each of his past three seasons and is on pace to do it again. He is only the second player in school history to accumulate 1,200 points and 700 rebounds. Wilkinson will look to follow up his impressive 28-point performance against Indiana with one final strong showing at the Kohl Center.

According to Ryan, it will still be important for the Badgers to control the glass despite Purdue’s depleted front line. Indiana erased a 10-point deficit Tuesday night against Wisconsin in large part by crashing the offensive glass.

“They got some offensive rebounds,” Ryan said. “I thought we guarded well. I thought we forced them into some tough shots, but we did not do a good job of limiting second shots.”

Saturday will mark Gene Keady’s final Big Ten regular-season game. It will also be the last time Wisconsin’s seniors don the cardinal and white in front of a home crowd. Both teams have a little something extra to play for.

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