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Grambling State At Purdue: Preview, TV, Odds, Time, Etc.

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Thursday night should be extended walk-on playing time as Purdue hosts the worst D-1 program in the country.

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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Boilers have one final tune-up before the season begins in earnest out on Maui next Monday. That comes this Thursday when Grambling State, the lowest rated team according to KenPom's preseason rankings.

Opponent

Grambling State Tigers

Location:

Grambling, Louisiana

Venue:

Mackey Arena (14,846) West Lafayette, IN

TV:

BTNPlus

Radio Stream:

TuneIn

Satellite Radio:

SIRI 136, XM

Odds:

No Line

Tickets:

As Low As $3.95 on Stubhub

Tipoff:

7pm

KenPom Ranking:

351 of 351

RPI:

Way too early to be accurate

2014-15 Record:

0-1

All-time series

First Meeting

Last Purdue win:

N/A

Last Grambling State Win:

N/A

2013-14 Record:

5-24, 3-15 SWAC

Last NCAA appearance:

None

Coach:

Shawn Walker (0-1 1st season at Grambling)

As you can see, Grambling is one of the worst college basketball teams in America. In fact, they are so bad that last season's 5-24 record was marked improvement. In 2012-13 they became only the eighth Division I team to finish a season winless at 0-28. Even in that they were awful. Only the SWAC tournament game against Alabama A&M, a 59-51 loss, was their lone loss by less than double digits. The SWAC is probably the worst D-I conference in America, and these guys were getting blown out night after night.

Grambling State dropped 45 straight games against Division I competition between beating Alabama A&M on March 3, 2012 and beating Alcorn State 95-80 on February 10, 2014. They have not beaten a non-SWAC D-1 team since beating Central Arkansas on December 11, 2010 and haven't beaten a power conference team since, well, ESPN doesn't go back that far (though they did take Texas A&M to double overtime on December 21, 2003).

It looks like there won't be a major turnaround this season, or anytime in the near future given some of the controversy surrounding the athletic department as a whole at Grambling. This is a game a lot like several others each year for Grambling: They are coming on the road to a power conference team to get their heads kicked in, but collect a check for a broke athletic department. Their entire season budget is probably what Purdue spends on accommodating Northwestern this weekend as a visiting football team. Yes, they are Division I, but in name only. The check Purdue is cutting them to play us Thursday night is a mere pittance from what we get from BTN, but it is vital to keep their program afloat.

Grambling began their truly vagabond season at George Washington last Friday and lost 92-40. They will play a home game against non-D1 Lyon College (who beat them last year) tonight before coming to Purdue on Thursday. They'll stay in Indiana over the weekend and play Ball State on Monday before going to Notre Dame on Wednesday. A total of 10 of their first 12 games are on the road with only two home games against non-DI opponents. This program is so broke they cannot schedule home games against Division I opponents that are not in their conference. They haven't had one such game since hosting Oakland in November 2011.

It really is just sad to see a team like this. I am sure the kids are trying hard, but they are outclassed every single night and really their conference opponents (who are also financially strapped SWAC programs) are on a truly level field with them. The school is so broke none of the players on their website have bios and it is still cycling news from 2010.

In terms of actual basketball they are led by 6'6" senior forward A'Torri Shine, who was a second-team preseason all-SWAC selection. He had 11 points against George Washington, while Richard Freeman, a 6'7" sophomore from Indianapolis who played at Lawrence Central had 13. Lonnie McElwain, a 6'9" junior who played at Indianapolis Northwest high school, also played 15 minutes against GW but did not score.

To be honest, Purdue can pick its score here. In fact, we could probably start the walk-ons and win. Grambling was down 47-15 at halftime against GW and shot only 28% from the field. They got outrebounded 49-24 and I doubt GW had an A.J. Hammons or Isaac Haas in the post. They also had 17 turnovers.

This is going to be a blowout and Purdue doesn't score 100 if it doesn't feel like it. I see no reason this game should be competitive beyond the first 10 minutes, mostly because Indiana blew out Mississippi Valley State by scoring 116 points on Friday, and MVSU actually lost to these guys by 2 last year. If Anfernee Brown, Jon McKeeman, and Stephen Toyra don't play at least five minutes because we're up by so much something is wrong. Too mad Neal Beshears is out with a broken hand, otherwise he would get extended run.