Illini Wonk
Saturday, January 28, 2006
  Painter v. Weber: Round 1
When the Purdue Boilermakers visit the Illinois Fighting Illini this afternoon at 3:30 p.m., their best players will be wearing street clothes. Injuries to Carl Landry and David Teague have the Boilermakers in tenth place among the 11 Big Ten teams and make them unlikely candidates to prevent Illinois' game home winning streak from reaching 33 games. On his blog, Brett Dawson summed up the matchup today, saying: Purdue won't win at the Assembly Hall.

Left without much to talk about on the court, the beat reporters were sent in search of a theme for their coverage. They did notdisappointt. They reached up on the shelf and dusted off one of the old standbys in sportswriting, officially billing today's game as 'Teacher v. Mentor.'

In the Decatur Herald & Review, Mark Tupper wrote that Weber, Painter reunited ... on opposite sides of court. Tupper lays out the entire history. It was Weber who, while an assistant at Purdue, recruited Painter to play for the Boilermakers. It was Weber who gave Painter a place on his staff at Southern Illinois.

After recruiting Painter (twice), little did Bruce Weber know that they were destined to become Big Ten coaching rivals. But, according to the Indianapolis Star, they're still friendly foes. The Daily Illini says Coaches' shared past gives game importance.

The Illini are no doubt looking ahead a little to a Tuesday night matchup with Wisconsin, which, if they take care of business today, will be for a share of the top spot in the conference. For Gametracker, click here.
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