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Archive for Friday, March 14, 1997

March 14, 1997

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— Yes, Gene Keady has plenty of information about Kansas in his hotel suite. No, the Purdue basketball coach isn't anxious to go over it.

"I'll probably go home and throw up," Keady said good-naturedly. "Even their coach says they're scary."

Sometimes Purdue looks scary to its head coach, too, but for a different reason. With seven freshmen, it's the youngest team Keady has had in his 17 seasons in West Lafayette, Ind.

Purdue earned the opportunity to meet Kansas in the NCAA Southeast Regional second round by squeezing Rhode Island, 83-76, in overtime on Thursday afternoon at the Pyramid.

Kansas and Purdue will meet at 1:25 p.m. Saturday.

Purdue, 18-11, is the No. 8 seed. Rhode Island was No. 9.

"These eight-nine games are tough," Keady said. "Now we want to live the American dream and get a major, major upset."

Anything is possible, of course, in a tournament, but Purdue probably won't have a chance against the Jayhawks if Brad Miller doesn't produce like he did Thursday.

Miller, a 6-foot-11 junior from Kendallville, Ind., scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed eight rebounds against the Rams. Miller made 15 of 21 free throws.

Miller's career hallmark has been inconsistency, and he knows it.

"I feel like I've been letting everyone down," Miller said. "I'd play a good game, then play a bad game. My stats were real bad, so I wanted to step up and not be a nuisance to my teammates with my shooting."

Miller is actually a good shooter -- 52 percent from the field and an impressive 79 percent from the free-throw line. He averages about 14 points a game.

Purdue trailed by as many as 14 in the first half and lagged 45-36 at intermission. In the second half, the Boilermakers forged a lead of six points, then frittered it away.

It took a three-point goal by red-shirt freshman Brian Cardinal with 16 seconds remaining in regulation to notch a 70-70 tie and force overtime.

"We don't think anybody can beat us in overtime," Keady said. "We have a rigid conditioning program, and we're in good shape."

Purdue will be in really good shape if it can knock off the top-seeded Jayhawks on Saturday afternoon.

"We always expect the unexpected," Keady said. "You never know what's going to happen in the NCAAs."

Cardinal finished with 16 points for the Boilermakers. Junior Chad Austin and freshman Mike Robinson added 15 apiece.

  • Box score on page 9C

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