Purdue basketball debuts at No. 15 in preseason coaches poll

Jan 30, 2016; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter gives instructions to Purdue Boilermakers guard P.J. Thompson (3) in the first half at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2016; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter gives instructions to Purdue Boilermakers guard P.J. Thompson (3) in the first half at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue men’s basketball team is ranked No. 15 in the preseason USA Today / Coaches poll released earlier today.

The Boilermakers garnered 324 votes to sit firmly in 15th place, 43 points behind 14th-ranked Louisville and ahead of No. 16-ranked Connecticut (239 points). Purdue is one of five Big Ten teams ranked, joining Michigan State (9th), Wisconsin (10th), Indiana (12th) and Maryland (21st). Ohio State (12 points) and Michigan (10 points) were other Big Ten teams receiving votes.

Among top-25 teams, Purdue will face Villanova (No. 3), Michigan State twice (No. 9), Wisconsin (No. 10), Indiana twice (No. 12), Louisville (No. 14) and Maryland (No. 21). Among teams receiving votes, Purdue will face Notre Dame (34th; 18 points), Ohio State twice (40th; 12 points) and Michigan (44th; 10 points).

Purdue was 1-of-11 teams nationally to be ranked in every poll a year ago. It’s the second straight year Purdue has been ranked in the coaches preseason poll after being voted 24th a year ago.

The first chance to see the Boilermakers in action is at Purdue’s annual fan day Saturday, Oct. 22, in Mackey Arena. Fans can receive autographs and get pictures with their favorite Boilermakers beginning at 10:45 a.m. ET, and then are invited to stay and watch Purdue’s first intrasquad scrimmage of the season.

The Boilermakers return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s team that posted a 26-9 record and was ranked in the nation’s top 25 all year long. This year’s team is ranked in the top 20 of nearly all preseason polls.