WEST LAFAYETTE — Michigan guard Daniel Horton remains suspended indefinitely after being arraigned on domestic assault charges on Jan. 24. While Horton is legally allowed to travel with the team, he was not on the sidelines yesterday when Michigan played Purdue.
“We miss him bad,” guard Dion Harris said. “He’s one of the older guys on the team. Certainly, he’s competed his three years of being here, so we miss him a lot.”
Harris said he had no idea when Horton will return to the team. However, the sophomore wasn’t sure whether or not Horton’s play would have even made a difference against the Boilermakers.
“The bottom line is, with or without Daniel, we could have kept this game closer than it was by coming out here and being tough,” Harris said.
But without Horton — who leads the Wolverines in assists per game (4.1) — Harris has had trouble finding open shots. During the seven games that Horton has missed this season, Harris has shot just .333 from the field.
Not surprisingly the sophomore struggled to find a rhythm in the first half, shooting just 2-for-11. Harris admitted that he was forcing some shots early in an attempt to jumpstart his team.
Yesterday, Michigan had just 11 assists — its third-lowest output of the season — while committing 12 turnovers.
“I think they missed Horton a lot with his ball handling and his expertise of scoring,” Purdue coach Gene Keady said.
The other Coach K: Michigan coach Tommy Amaker played under Keady on the 1991 Pan Am Games team that won a bronze medal.
“I still refer to him as ‘coach Keady,” Amaker said. “It’s always been an honor for me to have a chance to play for him.”
Keady will retire after the end of this season — his 25th as Purdue’s head coach — and assistant coach Matt Painter will replace him next season. The legendary coach said that he has been disappointed with the way his coaching career may come to an end. The Boilermakers are just 1-7 in conference play this season. He joked that other teams are getting back at him and his team for years of success in West Lafayette.
“Why am I getting paid back all in one year?” Keady said. “It’s just one of those things that quirked in life that happens with good kids and good attitudes. They are going to turn it around and keep it going I hope.”
Keady, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Eastern Illinois’s Rick Samuels are all tied for the second-longest coaching tenure in the nation with one school. Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim has coached the Orange for 29 years.
Notes: Michigan converted just 9-of-18 free throw attempts against the Boilermakers yesterday. Purdue converted on 28-of-36. Both teams combined for 45 fouls … The Wolverines were out rebounded 36-to-24. Purdue was ninth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin (-1.2) coming into the game … The Boilermakers came into the game knocking down just 41.4 percent of their shots this season. They connected on 52 percent of their shots against Michigan. Keady is 29-29 all-time against the Wolverines.