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North Carolina A&T at Purdue Preview

Basketball season is finally here!

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Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports


Basketball is back Friday night as Purdue opens its season against the North Carolina A&T Aggies. Let's get to know them a little better, shall we?


North Carolina A&T Aggies


Greensboro, NC




Mackey Arena (14,826), W. Lafayette, IN


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Blog Representation:


2015-16 Record:


All-time series

First Meeting

Last Purdue win:


Last NC A&T Win:


2014-15 Record:

9-23, 6-10 MEAC

Last NCAA appearance:

2013 (1-10 in 10 appearances)


Cy Alexander (38-63 in 4th year at NCAT, 381-369 overall)

North Carolina A&T comes from the MEAC, where the conference champ is usually banished to Dayton for one of the play-in games since the conference-wide RPI is often so low. On occasion, the league champ can get a 15 seed, but not often. The Aggies' lone NCAA victory to date came in Dayton in 2013 when they defeated Liberty before they lost to eventual national Champion Louisville 79-48. As a program NC A&T played in seven straight NCAA Tournaments from 1982-88, but in the 64-team era they have only been higher than a 16 seed twice. In 1985 they gave Oklahoma a slight push as a 16 seed, losing 96-83. The same is true in 1994 when they pushed eventual National Champion Arkansas 94-79 as a 16 seed.

Even though the Aggies made the 2013 Tournament and won 20 games the last two years have not been kind. The last two years they have had identical 9-23 records that often begin with very long losing streaks as they travel the country playing guarantee games. Last season after opening with a 91-61 win over Greensboro College they dropped 12 in a row, 9 of which were away from home.

This season they do return leading scorer Bruce Beckford, who averaged 15.1 points and 7.3 rebounds. The senior is a 6'7" 215 forward that plays all over. He can shoot the three a little (25.8%, but he gets to the line a lot too.

Where the Aggies will struggle a lot is in the front court. Purdue has one of the best front courts in America even if A.J. Hammons doesn't play. Steven Burrough is their biggest player at 6'9", 245 pounds but he averages just 5.2 points and 3.1 rebounds. Hammons and Isaac Haas should have an overwhelming advantage inside, not to mention that Caleb Swanigan guy.

This should be a very, very easy win for Purdue. Last season the Aggies were 338th nationally in scoring at 58.9 points per game, 340th in assists per game at 9.3, and 319th in FG percentage at 40%. There were only 351 Division I teams a year ago, so this is one of the worst offensive teams in America going against a solid defense with a massive front line.

The closest comparison to a game from last year is Grambling, whom Purdue beat 82-30. The walk-ons will play. A Lot. Purdue 95, North Carolina A&T 42