A home game against NIT champion Texas and a matchup with Butler at the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis highlight Purdue’s non-conference men’s basketball schedule, which was released Wednesday.
The Boilermakers will open the season Nov. 5 against Green Bay before hosting Texas on Nov. 9. The Longhorns went 21-16 last season under fourth-year coach Shaka Smart, closing the season with an 81-66 win over Lipscomb in the NIT title game.
After a matchup against a Big East opponent to be determined in the Gavitt Games (Nov. 14-16), Purdue will return home to face Chicago State (Nov. 16) and Jacksonville State (Nov. 23) in the Emerald Coast Classic. From there, Purdue will face either Tennessee, Florida State or VCU in the semifinals and finals of the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Fla., on Nov. 29-30.
Purdue will face an ACC opponent to be determined in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge Dec. 3-4. After a Dec. 17 game at Ohio, Purdue will face Butler on Dec. 21 at the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, then host Central Michigan on Dec. 28 to close its non-conference schedule.
The Boilermakers return two starters and eight players overall from a Big Ten championship team that reached the Elite Eight for the first time since 2000. The big challenge will be replacing the scoring void left by junior guard Carson Edwards, who declared for the NBA Draft after averaging a team-high 24.3 points per game.
“We’ve got a lot of good players there,” Edwards said following a predraft workout with the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. “There’s a lot of guys who can play really well. Hope they can fill that void.”
IU’s Mercer, Saalfrank win Big Ten honors
First-year Indiana baseball coach Jeff Mercer won Big Ten coach of the year honors Tuesday, while IU junior lefty Andrew Saalfrank was named conference pitcher of the year.
Mercer led IU to its seventh Big Ten title and first since 2014 with a 36-19 overall record and 17-7 record in league play.
Saalfrank ranked second in the Big Ten in wins (8) during the regular season. In 69.2 innings, Saalfrank currently ranks third in the conference in strikeouts (96) and fifth in earned run average (2.56).
IU designated hitter/pitcher Matt Lloyd earned All-Big Ten first-team honors. Third baseman Cole Barr and outfielder Matt Gorski were named to the second team, while outfielder Elijah Dunham made the third team. IU outfielder Grant Richardson was named to the All-Big Ten freshman team.
IU adds two soccer recruits
IU has added two midfielders to its 2019 men’s soccer recruiting class. Joris Ahlinvi, a transfer from FIU and Quinten Helmer, a club standout from Amstedam, will both be eligible to play for the Hoosiers next season.
Ahlinvi and Helmer increase IU’s recruiting class to 14 players that will join a team that lost to Maryland in the NCAA Tournament national semifinals last season.