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November 16, 1995 - Image 25

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-16
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22 - The Michigan Daily - TIPOFF '95-96 - Thursday, November 16, 1695

The Michigan Daily -TIPOF

Purdue set to defend back-to-back Big Ten titles
" Boilermakers hope to sneak up on unsuspecting conference opposition 0B y Barry Soi enberger

The Purdue Boilermakers are rarely the
most talented team in the conference.
But Gene Keady's boys keep doing
something that frustrates the rest of the
league. They continue to win Big Ten
championships - two in a row and five
since 1984, to be exact.
Two years ago, Purdue won the confer-
ence behind Keady's best player ever, a big
dog named Glenn Robinson. After
Robinson left for the NBA, the Boilers fig-
ured to disappear in the Big Ten.
Nope.
Last year, Cuonzo Martin led a number
of nobodies back to the conference title.
Martin has since moved on to the NBA,
leaving Purdue without a star in the race for
an unprecedented third straight conference
crown.
"Our kids are talking about a third title
some," Keady said. "But we need to have
someone start to step forward and put the
ball in the basket and I haven't seen anyone
do that yet in practice."

players, but if they play together and have
good ball movement and play good de-
fense, I think we'll probably have a great
team by March."
The Boilers return six seniors, but it's
two youngsters that have Keady excited.
"I think that Brad Miller should have
been (Freshman) Player of the Year in the
Big Ten last season," Keady said. "I think
that anytime a freshman starts at center for
a league champion, he should be (Fresh-
man) Player of the Year."
The sophomore center averaged 6.5
points and 4.8 boards per game last season.
More importantly, Purdue was 15-2 after
he entered the starting lineup last season.
"He's a hard-nosed kid who can run for
a big guy," Keady said. "He's a competior
and a little bit mean, or ornery, or whatever
word you want to use."
While the Boilermakers have had their
way in the Big Ten in recent years, they
haven't won where it's most important -
the NCAA Tournament.

PrleBOILERMAKERS

Last year: 15-3 Big Ten, 25-7 overall
Postseason: NCAA 2nd round
Returning starters:
Justin Jennings (6.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
Brad Miller (6.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
Porter Roberts (4.9 ppg, 3.8 apg)
Key losses:
Cuonzo Martin (18.4 ppg, 2.2 apg)
Matt Waddell (9.3 ppg, 3.5 apg)
Coach: Gene Keady
Career Record: 360-161 (17 years)
Record at Purdue: 322-142 (15 years)

You can bet Keady is looking for Bran-
don Brantley to be that man.
The senior forward is Purdue's top re-
turning scorer (10.0 point -per game) and
rebounder (6.1). He also finished fifth in
the conference in blocked shots per game
last season (1.1).
"We have a lot of good players,"
Keady said. "We don't have any great

BRANTLEY

Purdue has not been to the Final Four
under Keady and is just 9-10 in the NCAAs
during his 15 years in West Lafayette.
"We want to win another (conference

title)," Keady said."But I think it would be
even more important to do well in the
NCAAs. I think our seniors are more inter-
ested in that."

Head Lion sets high goals
Dunn looks to improve on Parkhill's efforts * By Brent McIntosh

Penn State NITTANY LIONS

It's a whole new ballgame in Happy
Valley.
The 1995-96 season -the 100th bas-
ketball season for Penn State - finds the
Nittany Lions led by a new coach and a
new captain and playing a new style in a
new arena.
After a dismal first year of Big Ten
play,prospects started to look a little
brighter last year in Happy Valley. In their
sophomore season in the conference, the
Nittany Lions finished tied for seventh at 9-
9, but they also managed to win 12 of 14
non-league contests, split their series with
Michigan and grab a third-place finish in
the NIT.
That was under 12-year head coach
Bruce Parkhill, though. Parkhill has since
resigned, but remains a Lion as assistant
athletic director. The helm he vacated was
filled by his longtime assistant, Jeny Dunn.
Dunn won't venture far from the ways
Parkhill trod.
"My goals are to maintain what's been
done (at Penn State) already by Bruce and
the staff, in terms ofthe tradition and corn-

The center spot is up for grabs; leading
candidates are 6-11, 205-pound redshirt
freshman Calvin Booth - whom Dunn
describes as "more athletic than Amaechi"
- and 6-10,265-pound Jeremy Metzger,
a transfer from Richmond.
"Both guys have done a solid job in the
preseason," Dunn said. "Right now I
would have to say that Calvin Booth is a
little ahead of the game at that position."
With the loss of the stalwart post
player, Penn State will be forced to look for
other ways to get its buckets.
"We'll go from being a club that has
the primary look to the big guy first to pos-
sibly being a perimeter-type team," Dunn
said."
Penn State returns three starters, but 6-
6 forward Rashaan Carlton will be slowed
by knee problems. Guard Dan Earl, who
averaged 5.7 assists per game last year, and
6-8 forward Glenn Sekunda(12.8 ppg) will
have to step up for Penn State to succeed,
as will 6-4 sophomore guard Pete Lisicky.
"Those three had a great postseason in
the NIT, and they gained a lot of confi-

Last year: 9-9 Big Ten, 21-11 overall
Postseason: NIT semi-finalist
Returning starters:
Glenn Sekunda (12.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg)
Dan Earl (9.3 ppg, 5.7 apg)
Rashaan Carlton (8.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
Key losses:
John Amaechi (16.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg)
Greg Bartram (4.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg)
Coach: Jerry Dunn
Career Record: First year
Record at Penn State: First year

DUNN

petitiveness that's been established," Dunn
said. "(We want) to build upon that and get
us to the point that we're going to the
NCAA Tournament ... on a consistent ba-
sis."
The new skipper will, however, be
faced with replacing all-Big Ten center
John Amaechi, who racked up 16 points
and 10 rebounds per game last year includ-
ing 26 points in the Nittany Lions' victory
over Michigan.

dence from that experience," Dunn said.
"Our team as a whole responded well in
some difficult situations."
One difficult situation that Lion oppo-
nents won't face this season is the lecture-
hall-masquerading-as-an-arena that Penn
State called home in years past. The
Nittany Lions have replaced the ludi-
crously small Rec Hall with the new
15,000-seat Bryce Jordan Center.
Dunn is confident that the Nittany Li-
ons will find success as they move into the
new facility.

"The system ... is primarily based on
personnel," Dunn said. "We don't have an
awful lot of things that are broken, so I'm
not going to do a lot of fixing."
Few things are broken for the Nittany
Lions, but with Amaechi leaving a gaping
hole in the middle, the Nittany Lions could
struggle in the Big Ten.
While they should destroy their patsy-
cake non-conference schedule, ensuring
another postseason berth, breaking .500 in
the league would be a solid showing for the
Nittany Lions.

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