September 28, 2022

NCAA East preview: Beard and Painter reunite in March

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Texas’ Chris Beard has beaten Matt Painter’s Purdue teams twice in the NCAA Tournament. Both times, Beard had the lowest-ranked team.

He will try to do it again on Sunday when the sixth-seeded Longhorns (22-11) face the third-seeded Boilermakers (28-7) in the second round of the Eastern Region.

In Beard’s only season at Little Rock, his 12th-seeded Trojans won a 2016 first-round game 85-83 in double overtime against a fifth-seeded Purdue team. Two years later, Beard was at Texas Tech when the third-seeded Red Raiders won a regional semifinal 78-65 over second-seeded Purdue.

“Obviously, from a training perspective, you learn from it,” Painter said Saturday. “You want your teams to be as tough as their teams. You want your teams to be able to compete like this. That’s why he keeps getting great jobs and that’s why he keeps advancing in the tournament.

Painter and Beard know each other well. They date back to the early 2000s when Beard was an assistant on a Texas Tech team led first by Bob Knight and then by Pat Knight, who played AAU basketball with Painter.

Beard says many of the things he did in his one season at Little Rock were based on Painter’s success in southern Illinois before heading to Purdue.

“He’s one of my coaching mentors,” Beard said. “I’ve contacted him before for training moves, recruiting, just for advice. I’ve had probably a dozen really meaningful conversations with Matt over the years, and he’s someone I listen to and really respect.

Little Rock’s upheaval still bothers Painter. Little Rock trailed by 13 with just over 3 1/2 minutes left in regulation before rallying. The Trojans tied the game by scoring a 3-pointer from about 30 feet away with 5.1 seconds left in regulation.

“We lead three with 18 seconds and we don’t foul and that’s a lot of time, okay, but they don’t shoot until five seconds from the end,” Painter recalled. “It really taught me a lesson in that most people at that point are going to be aggressive right away because they’re against time. They’ll even go for a quick 2 at that point.

“So that was something that really shook me. I thought we should have fouled there, and I made the mistake of not fouling after going under 10 seconds.

Now they face off again, trying to send their respective alma maters to the Sweet 16.

Texas just won their first NCAA tournament game since 2014 and is looking to qualify for the regional semi-finals for the first time since 2008, when it qualified for the Elite Eight.

Purdue has had ambitions of earning its place in the Final Four since 1980. The next step is for Painter to avenge those two previous losses to teams coached by Beard.

“The losses stay with you,” Painter said. “That’s what stings in our business. People have no idea how it’s going with you five, 10 years later. These times are just tough, but you try to learn from them, be better and keep riding.

BUCKET BROTHERS

Texas’ Timmy Allen appreciates how his brother Teddy burst onto the national scene this week scoring 37 points in New Mexico State’s 70-63 first-round win over UConn.

Teddy Allen’s career has been nomadic, with stops in West Virginia, Wichita State, Western Nebraska Community College and Nebraska.

“It’s great to see him swinging,” Timmy said. “He has an interesting story. A lot of people have a lot to say about him. But he is good. It shows that none of this means anything. So it’s great to see him jump.

But he also wants to clarify something. Tim says he was “Timmy Buckets” long before Teddy was given the nickname “Teddy Buckets” for his goalscoring prowess.

“I was the first Timmy Buckets,” Allen said. “It’s been my Twitter account since seventh grade or something. Then he started going crazy and he just went to Teddy Buckets.

RENEWED RIVALRY

This won’t be the first time Marcus Carr and Purdue of Texas have faced off. The Minnesota transfer played three times against Purdue from 2019-21.

Carr scored 27 points in a double-overtime loss to Purdue in 2019-20. Minnesota shared two meetings with Purdue last season. Carr scored 19 points in the win but had six points and shot 2 of 13 in the loss.

“They do a lot of similar stuff, so I’m sure they’ll release their old scouting report on me as well as what I did this year,” Carr said. “I’ll try to help my team and the coaches with some of their tendencies and stuff they liked to do in the past.”

Purdue’s Eric Hunter guarded Carr in those matchups. Hunter says Carr is a different player now.

“Now he’s more like a patient player,” Hunter said. “I think it comes with the nature of, you know, going to a different program. In Minnesota (he’s been asked a lot) to make plays, put the ball in the basket, and now he’s playing a little more than usual. He can definitely put the ball in the basket whenever he wants. You absolutely have to pay attention to that.

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