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Purdue to Open 2020-21 Season with Evansville

Let’s welcome Ace Purple back to West Lafayette

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 07 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament - Illinois State v Evansville Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A few seasons ago, when Purdue beat Butler in the Crossroads Classic, the Boilers came very close to truly making Indiana “Our State” At that time, and until Notre Dame beat us in the 2018-19 season, Purdue had an active win streak against every other Division I program in the state of Indiana except one:

The Evansville Purple Aces

Purdue has never lost to IUPUI (3-0) or Purdue-Fort Wayne (6-0). It has dominated the series with Ball State (10-2), Indiana State (29-4), and Valparaiso (16-1). Purdue has lost the most recent games to Butler (39-20) and Notre Dame (21-23), but has sustained dominance over Indiana (122-89) with seven straight wins and victories in 10 of the last 11 games.

Evansville has been different. The Purple Aces are 5-9 against Purdue and won the last meeting 75-69 on December 3, 2005 in Evansville during Matt Painter’s first season. Painter has waited 15 years for revenge, but will finally get a chance when Purdue opened the 2020-21 season against Evansville on November 10th at Mackey Arena.

Evansville had the very definition of an up and down season in 2019-20. On November 12 they stunned all of college basketball by winning at No. 1 ranked Kentucky 67-64. On December 14th they were 8-3 after beating Green Bay, but that is when the wheels absolutely came off. Head coach Walter McCarty was suspended on December 27 and later fired for sexual harassment. They did not win another game after his firing, going 0-18 in the Missouri Valley Conference and losing in the first round of the conference tournament.

Leading scorer DeAndre Williams also missed significant time in there, but it is safe to say it was a disastrous season after a promising start.

Purdue will see a familiar face on the sideline, however. Former Butler and Iowa coach Todd Lickliter was hired to replace McCarty and will begin his first full season at Evansville. He was 0-18 in the final games of the season for Evansville.

This game means Purdue will open the season with consecutive MVC opponents from the state of Indiana. Purdue could play a third MVC team in Cancun if it draws Illinois State. There are now only 1-2 non-conference games left unknown depending on if Purdue is playing in the Gavitt Games, plus the unknown ACC/Big Ten Challenge game.

Here is the updated schedule as we know it:

TBD - Rider

TBD - Yale

TBD - ACC/Big Ten Challenge (likely road game)

TBD - Potential Gavitt Games (likely home game)

TBD - Unknown Opponent

November 10 vs. Evansville

November 13 vs. Indiana State

November 24 vs. Illinois State, Clemson, or Mississippi State (Cancun Challenge)

November 25 vs. Illinois State, Clemson, or Mississippi State (Cancun Challenge)

December 13 vs. West Virginia (Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, NY)

December 19 vs. Notre Dame (Crossroads Classic, Bankers Life Fieldhouse)