MADISON – For Purdue it was bad enough to suffer a heart-wrenching defeat last Saturday, in retiring coach Gene Keady’s last home game.
Monday, that loss became much worse for the Boilermakers, when Keady announced during his regular Monday press conference in West Lafayette, Ind., that star forward Carl Landry is lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, an injury he suffered in the first half of Purdue’s 59-57 loss to Minnesota Saturday.
There have been few bright spots for Purdue (3-11 Big Ten, 7-18 overall) in what has been a rather trying season. One undeniably had been the outstanding play of Landry, a junior who transferred to Purdue after spending two seasons in the junior college ranks at Vincennes University.
Landry’s 18.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game rank second and sixth in the Big Ten respectively. Despite the injury, and Purdue’s poor play, he will receive some All-Big Ten consideration when the teams are announced next week.
The Boilermakers, however, will have to wait until next season to see their shining star burn bright again.
“He will have surgery after the swelling goes down,” Keady said. “We will miss his scoring and rebounding. He is an inside threat that allows outside open looks because he is double teamed.”
Landry, who attended Milwaukee Vincent High School, will miss an opportunity to play against his home-state Wisconsin Badgers this Saturday, when Purdue visits the Kohl Center here. When the teams met in West Lafayette earlier this season, Landry posted 23 points and nine rebounds despite playing just 24 minutes while battling foul trouble.
Purdue is also playing without guard Bryant Dillon, who ruptured a tendon in his right knee last month and is out for the season. In addition, forward Charles Davis may miss the Boilermakers’ game at Illinois Thursday due to a death in his family.
“We have to keep going and keep our head up and be positive,” Keady said. “All we can do is keep working hard.”
Asked during a conference call Monday how he could juggle his lineup this week, Keady engaged in friendly banter with the reporter.
“Any way you want it,” he said. “Give me a lineup and I’ll start them.”