WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Atlanta Tipoff Club has announced that Purdue head coach Matt Painter is one of 15 late-season finalists for the Naismith National Coach of the Year award.
It marks the second straight year that Painter has been named to the late-season candidate list. He has led Purdue to a 20-7 overall record and a 13-3 record in the Big Ten entering tonight's contest with Illinois in Mackey Arena.
The Boilermakers entered the year with just one returning starter and opened the season with a 6-5 record following a loss to Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic. Since that loss, the Boilermakers have won 14 of their last 16 games, including victories over four ranked teams during that span. Purdue is fifth nationally in quadrant-1 wins with eight and is second in combined quadrant-1 and 2 victories with 14.
Painter owns a 315-156 record in 14 years at Purdue and needs one win to move into the top 10 of the all-time Big Ten wins list. His 10 NCAA Tournament appearances at Purdue are the sixth most in league history entering this season.
He recently led Purdue to its 13th Big Ten win of the season, becoming just the sixth program in Big Ten history to win at least 13 games in three consecutive Big Ten seasons. Purdue's next win will make the Boilermakers just the third program in league history, and the first in 23 years, with at least 14 league wins in three straight Big Ten seasons.
Painter is joined on the list by Rick Barnes, Chris Beard, John Beilein, Tony Bennett, Mark Few, Tom Izzo, Mike Krzyzewski, Chris Mack, Eric Musselman, Nate Oats, Kelvin Sampson, Roy Williams, Steve Wojciechowski and Mike Young.
The Boilermakers and Illini will tip Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET, in Mackey Arena. The game is sold out and will be televised by the Big Ten Network.