Purdue’s list of conference opponents is set!
️ VERSION 1.0 — 2023-24 Schedule pic.twitter.com/0kXzdR1ebM— Purdue Men's Basketball (@BoilerBall) April 25, 2023
Purdue will have a one home and one road game against Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.
The Boilers’ list of non-road opponents provides a favorable slate, avoiding road games at Michigan State, Minnesota, and Penn State. Now I don’t expect Minnesota to be too rough of a road environment next season, but avoiding road games against the Spartans and Nittany Lions is HUGE for Purdue.
The away game at Maryland will certainly be a tough test, but road games at Nebraska and, to a lesser extent, Ohio State (what happened to them last season?) make it seem like the Boilermakers got a pretty favorable draw for the 2023-24 season.
Michigan State (for reasons I don’t understand) will be the pre-season favorite to win the Big10. Purdue misses them in the Breslin Center. They also miss Penn State on the road, which was much better a month or two ago, before Shrews headed to Notre Dame (note: Notre Dame now harbors two former Purdue assistant coaches, clearly establishing little brother status to Purdue).
I don’t worry about the home slate because Mackey is a fortress. Purdue welcomes all comers to the best basketball arena in the nation (this is not up for debate, it is an established fact) and they all leave with their ears ringing and an L in the record books. On the positive side, guys get to tell their grandkids they played in Mackey Arena, and that’s worth a loss.
Purdue’s road to repeat isn’t as tough as it could be, but it’ll still be daunting. I don’t expect Ohio State to be straight cheeks next season, Michigan State returns a the majority of their Sweet 16 roster, and I’m sure Indiana will eventually bring in enough transfers to field a team.
It won’t be easy, but if (when?) Zach returns, it’s doable.