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Purdue basketball to play IPFW, Irish

– Purdue has eight home games and three in-state opponents on its nonconference schedule for the upcoming men’s basketball season.

The Boilermakers announced Friday their full nonleague slate, which includes four first-time opponents and a trip to the Maui Invitational.

There is only one true road game, at Vanderbilt on Dec. 13. Commodores coach Kevin Stallings graduated from Purdue in 1982.

In facing IUPUI, IPFW and Notre Dame, Purdue scheduled its most in-state nonconference foes since the 2008-09 season.

The Irish game is part of the annual Crossroads Classic on Dec. 20 in Indianapolis. Purdue is 20-21 all time against Notre Dame.

The other highlight is a Dec. 2 home game against North Carolina State as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The Wolfpack fell a win shy of the Sweet 16 in March and return four of their top five scorers.

“We are really pleased with the balance of our schedule and the way it came together,” Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said in a release from the school. “We think we have a strong mix of opponents that will challenge us as we head into Big Ten play.”

Purdue went 10-3 in the nonconference last year but just 5-14 the rest of the way.

Last year, the Boilermakers’ nonconference strength of schedule was ranked 321st out of 349 Division I teams. Northwestern (239) was the only Big Ten team with a nonconference schedule close to being that weak.

Purdue opens the season Nov. 14 against Samford at Mackey Arena. Exhibition games are Nov. 2 against California University of Pennsylvania, a Division II school south of Pittsburgh that went 11-16 last year; and Nov. 7 against Carroll College, an NAIA school in Helena, Montana, coached by ex-Boilermaker Carson Cunningham.

Purdue has never faced IUPUI, Grambling, Arkansas State or Gardner-Webb, but all four will have visited West Lafayette by Christmas.

The Big Ten schedule has not been announced, and times and television information will be released later.

cgoff@jg.net

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