Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Another ‘Landry Day’ for Big Ten

If Purdue's Carl Landry keeps this up, the Big Ten Conference might have to name its Player of the Week award after him. The Milwaukee senior picked up his third consecutive POW laurel after averaging 22.5 points and 10 rebounds in Purdue's wins over Loyola-Chicago and Missouri.

"Rick Majerus made a very good comment to me in the airport that [Landry] is changing his identity," Purdue head coach Matt Painter said during the Big Ten Teleconference call Monday. "He's doing a better job on the defensive end; he's doing a better job on the glass; he's doing a better job taking charges."

Landry, the older brother of Wisconsin forward Marcus Landry, is averaging 20 points (second best in conference) and a Big Ten-best eight rebounds per contest this season.


"He's just leading by example," Painter said. "He's been fabulous. Hopefully, he can continue to be our rock down low on both ends of the court."

Painter was quick to credit Landry's senior running mate David Teague for helping take pressure off of Landry and helping contribute to Purdue's fast 8-1 start.

"David Teague takes on defensive challenges, and we put him on the opponent's best scorer," Painter said.

"Both of those guys have been great. … Our guys haven't been there before. David Teague's the only guy on our roster who's played in an NCAA tournament game, and that was a long time ago."

Feeling fresh at OSU
Ohio State's fab freshman Greg Oden, maybe the most hyped collegiate freshman ever, has gotten his career off to an amazing start, averaging 15 points and seven rebounds in 22.5 minutes. The McDonald's All-American has hit 11 of his 12 shots and swatted away eight blocks.

All this, mind you, occurred with his dominant hand all but immobilized.

"I think every day he does something in practice that not only surprises our staff, but surprises his teammates," said Ohio State head coach Thad Matta. "His left hand has continued to improve. I do think he's gotten stronger. At one point, he was up to 280 points and only 5 percent body fat before the season started."

However, while Oden has attracted much of the hype, there has been another Buckeye freshman more key to Ohio State's 8-1 start this season. That is Mike Conley Jr., Oden's high school teammate at Lawrence North High in Indianapolis and also a McDonald's All-American.

Conley is currently second in the conference in assists, averaging 6.44 dishes per night, but has often been overlooked on the Buckeyes' roster.

"I do think that sometimes people pigeonhole him as Greg's sidekick, and I think that put a chip on his shoulder and really motivated him to prove that he can play [point guard] just as well as anybody," Matta said. "He fits us and our system perfectly. When Mike's on the floor, he makes players around him better."

Knight time
As Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight approaches Dean Smith's all-time wins record of 879, needing only two games to tie and three to surpass the retired North Carolina legend, many have stepped back to examine Knight's illustrious career.

That includes some of the Big Ten coaches, who experienced Knight in the conference where most of his wins were accumulated in his 29 years coaching Indiana.

"If you ever want to hike your basketball IQ, go watch his teams practice or watch his teams play," Painter said, adding that he was recruited by Knight but not offered a scholarship. "He just has a unique way of putting the other team in a bind, especially on the offensive end."

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo remembers Knight very fondly, having had the opportunity to begin his MSU coaching career while "The General" was still stalking the Bloomington sidelines.

"The day I got the job, I got a call from him welcoming me to the job," Izzo said. "First time I played him, I remember waiting for him to come out. So of course when he came out, the crowd went bananas.

"And he came over and I was standing right by the three officials, and he rattled off each of three officials and told me why they weren't very good," Izzo added. "I was nervous, and they were laughing."

The Spartans head coach also recalled an experience from 2000. Following a Michigan State rout of Indiana in Bloomington, Knight called Izzo into the coaches' "war room."

Not knowing what to expect, Knight told Izzo that he believed that MSU was a national championship caliber team and the three-time NCAA championship winning coach offered advice to Izzo as to how to manage the following weeks. The Spartans indeed went on to win a the national title and Izzo remains eternally grateful to this day.

"I'm looking forward to him breaking it; I think he's deserving," Izzo said. "I know in some ways it's controversial, but to me he's one of the greatest of all time and a great guy too."

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