WEST LAFAYETTE, IN—Matt Painter has done a spectacular job of helping Purdue basketball earn respect in both the Big Ten and across the country since taking over for Gene Keady. The Boilers are always in the top-25 rankings these days and Saturday fans around the nation had a chance to get to know the Purdue program a little better thanks to ESPN Gameday's broadcast from Mackey Arena.
Reece Davis anchored the coverage alongside commentators Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, and Hubert Davis. Well known reporter Erin Andrews provided on-site interviews as well during special appearances with Purdue players.
"It was tremendous. I never rank the venues, because you can't say one is better than the other, but I'll tell you, we haven't had a better one," commented Davis shortly after the completion of the morning broadcast. "The enthusiasm, respectfulness, and knowledge of the game, to sit out in the cold to get in here...it really was a great environment."
This was the first ESPN Gameday appearance for the Purdue basketball program. The university last hosted the program October 16th, 2004 prior to the Purdue-Wisconsin football game at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Based on the success Painter is having with the Boilers and the outstanding fan support the Boilermaker fans showed, there is a good chance it won't be seven more years until the College Basketball traveling road show returns to West Lafayette.
Check out the video player at the top of the page for Fox 59 video from the ESPN Gameday appearance and hear the broadcasters talk about a number of topics in the related content videos.
Former IU Head Coach Bob Knight is an occasional analyst on gameday, but was not in attendance at Purdue Saturday, much to the dismay of many Boilermaker fans.