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Purdue gets Butler in 2011

Purdue will play Butler in men's basketball in the first Crossroads Classic next season in Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Boilermakers will square off with the Bulldogs on Dec. 17, 2011, in the night game of a doubleheader. The opening game is Notre Dame against Indiana.

The announcement of the matchups was made Monday morning by the four athletic directors during a news conference at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Purdue will play the Irish in 2012, the first time the teams will play in the regular season since 1966. They played in the NIT in 2004.

"I think it's going to be great for the state of Indiana to see those four schools compete in the next two years," coach Matt Painter said during a teleconference Monday. "Hopefully, it'll be a hit and will be well-attended and we can continue and really make this a tradition annually.

"It just helps everybody involved. I think it's going to be a smorgasbord for fans to go see these four teams compete in one day."

Painter said the Boilermakers have had some trouble scheduling marquee opponents of late, and he likes having this Classic as something to pencil in every season.

Painter said he expects Purdue would play either Butler or Notre Dame in the Classic and only match up with Indiana during seasons when the two rivals only play once in Big Ten play.

"It's difficult once you have some continued success to schedule," he said. "You're always trying to have that forecast of where your team is going to be and you do a lot of things three to six years in advance. It's a hard process because you don't know how strong your team is going to be.

"This is another example of being a win-win for everybody."

Painter on ...

Painter covered a variety of topics in his teleconference.

  • With conversation of adding a ninth conference game for football when Nebraska enters the league next season, Painter was asked if he would like the basketball schedule to expand as well? "I think 18 (games) is fine. I think 20 would be way too many. No one else is playing 20. When some teams are playing 16 and others are 20, that's a huge difference. How do you gauge that? I'm all for it if it gets us more teams in the NCAA tournament. (But) ... with 20 games and a conference tournament, I think that's too much."
  • On the Mackey reconstruction project. The coaches were recently relocated to temporary offices inside the renovated structure after being in the football suites in Ross-Ade Stadium: "It's pretty cool. You went four, five years talking about (the renovation), it seems it's been forever. So just seeing how things piece together (is neat). Every two months, we'll put on the hard hats and go walking through there and see the progress they're making. At first, you can't see how it pieces together. You see their improvements and the progress and you see, 'OK, this is where the practice facility will be.' But with three different levels, it's tough to see at times. It's going to be pretty cool. I think it's definitely going to help us in recruiting."
  • Painter admitted he would have liked to have had another "more high-major type opponent coming into Mackey Arena" on his team's non-conference schedule. But they couldn't find a school that would bite. Painter said he didn't expect JaJuan Johnson, Robbie Hummel and E'Twaun Moore all would be back for their senior seasons, and that changed the approach to scheduling a bit.