In case you hadn't noticed, Purdue has been winning some basketball games lately. The Boilers currently stand at 8-1 and are on the cusp of being ranked in the top 25. The reason? Carl Landry. Landry has been on an absolute tear lately, recently winning Big Ten Player of the Week for the third consecutive week. He is the first player in conference history to win the award in back to back to back weeks. Not even Glenn Robinson can match this accomplishment, though he did win the award 5 times during the 1993-94 season.
Purdue started the week with a 78-62 win over the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago. Loyola was picked as the preseason favorite to win the Horizon League, the league in which ranked Butler calls home. Landry poured in 22 points, grabbed 8 boards, and dished out 3 assists in the victory. In Purdue's second match up of the week, the Boilers downed the previously unbeaten Mizzou Tigers in Mackey Arena 79-62. In the winning effort, Landry had 23 points and 12 rebounds.
Landry's stellar play this season is a testament to Matt Painter's coaching more than anything else. Coach Painter has Landry committed to being an enforcer on the glass and on defense unlike any other point in his career. Painter views Landry's accolades as just as much a credit to the team as to Landry himself. "That's key, that we're 8-1," Painter said. "If we're 1-8, he doesn't get any of these awards with the same numbers."
Purdue looks to continue their winning ways this weekend as they take on #18 Butler at Conseco Fieldhouse in the 7th Annual Wooden Tradition. Butler started this season on a tear of their own beating Indiana, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Gonzaga on their way to the Preseason NIT Championship. If Purdue can get by Butler this weekend, there is a very good chance that the Boilers will crack the top 25. It's been a long time since the Boilers have been ranked, a draught that spans 73 games. "If we beat Butler, I think we deserve to be ranked," Painter said. All I can say is its a good thing IU homer Terry Hutchens only has one vote.