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Painter, Boilers using March disappointment as motivation

Painter, Boilers using March disappointment as motivation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — The Purdue Boilermakers are 20 days away from tipping off a new season in West Lafayette after a disappointing end to last season.

Purdue was on the wrong side of history seven months ago, losing to 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson in the NCAA Tournament. Now, all eyes forward.

“Coming off a tough loss for us last year, I think that’s what really dwells with us,” head coach Matt Painter said Tuesday. “We fought so hard to be in a great position. We accomplished a lot but then it means so much to advance in the tournament, and we obviously didn’t, so I think that’s really been a motivating factor.”

“It’s really just pushed us,” sophomore guard Fletcher Loyer said. “We’ve got a lot to prove. We’ve got a lot to continue on from last season as we had a great year before that final game.”

Six of the Boilers top seven scorers return, including National Player of the Year Zach Edey.

“We know what’s at stake this year,” Loyer said. “We know we have the returning National Player of the Year, and a great returning team, too. So, we know we have to go out every night no matter who we’re playing and play harder than them.”

Purdue opens up the season ranked No. 3 in the country. That’s the highest preseason ranking for the Boilers since 1987-88. Those high outside expectations matching those here in Mackey Arena.

“I don’t think it’s pressure. It’s what we’ve worked for,” Loyer said. “I don’t believe in being nervous before the game. I think it’s the stage that we’ve set for ourselves. Everyone wants to go out and beat Purdue that night.”

“Yes, it’s nice to have a ranking by your name, (but) It’s like jewelry. It really doesn’t mean anything, but it looks nice,” senior forward Mason Gillis said. “We just have to keep it. We have to hold ourselves to our standard every single day, and chase the number one spot, chase the Big Ten, chase a national championship.”

Purdue looking to be on the right side of history this year.

The Boilermakers tip off the season at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 6 against Samford in West Lafayette.