I'll have a baseball update later today since I am planning on going to Alexander Field for the first time tomorrow. In the meantime, there are a few mailbag questions to answer.
Do you think this year's Purdue Basketball team would have improved with a psychologically healthy Kelsey Barlow? I always liked him when his head was in straight, especially when he'd get elevated and throw one down (over Sullinger was my favorite). - Grant Evans
Absolutely. I have been on record several times as saying Purdue would have been an NCAA Tournament team if Barlow and John hart were on board. They simply would have made too much of a difference in those early close non-conference losses to Bucknell, Xavier, Villanova, and Eastern Michigan. A think an engaged Barlow with Hart as a second shooter turn those into wins and they also make a difference in 1-3 Big Ten games that were losses. Perhaps Barlow can at least slow down Trey Burke when he went into hero mode with Michigan down big in the second half at Mackey Arena. Perhaps they wake the team up in a dreadful loss at Northwestern. If you turn those four non-conference games into wins and one Big Ten loss into a win Purdue is probably in the NCAAs.
Does Purdue have a shot at getting Dominique Hawkins? I heard Painter offered him but haven't heard anything about him since. Thanks. - Mark Atkinson
One of the areas I am trying to improve here at the site here is basketball recruiting, but my knowledge is mostly limited to in-state players. In looking at Hawkins' resume it seems like he blew up late and has a solid pedigree. He was named the best player in a basketball-crazed state and led his team to a state championship in one of the few states that does its basketball tournament right. He has his eyes on Kentucky, however, who could offer him as a long-term player in their usual NBA-ready recruiting tactics. He is supposed to make his decision soon, which does not bode well for Purdue since we currently do not have a scholarship available unless Sandi Marcius is definitely gone.
Now, onto the links:
Minnesota Gophers Reportedly Hire Richard Pitino As The University's 17th Basketball Coach - The Daily Gopher
Multiple media outlets are saying the Gophers have found their new coach (University has not yet announced the hiring). And they are plucking this new coach from the family tree of one of the...
The Big Ten Close To Agreement With Pinstripe Bowl - The Champaign Room
The Big Ten has been wanting to diversify its bowl lineup, and it seems it's on the verge of doing so.
Michigan's Long Quest Back to the Final Four - Maize n Brew
After two decades Michigan has made it back to the last weekend of the tournament.
Wisconsin Spring Football: Badgers' New 3-4 Defense Drawing Rave Reviews - Bucky's 5th Quarter
First-year defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has brought the 3-4 with him from Utah State. The transition has the Badgers excited and looking forward to the fall with a unit that's not even at full strength yet.
Report: Ackerman, Maduegbunam to Transfer - Black Shoe Diaries
According to CBS' Jeff Goodman, the underclassmen pair is on the way out of Penn State. The program has refuted the report at this time.
Iowa Hawkeyes Defeated 74-54 by Baylor in NIT Championship - Black Heart Gold Pants
Hawkeyes close season with horrendous shooting performance in 20-pint loss to Baylor.
Midseason Update: NCAA Field Of 64 Projection - BaseballAmerica.com
No surprise, but Purdue is not projected in the NCAA baseball tournament this year.
Spring-ing to the Top: The Very Early Best of the Best Running Backs in the B1G - Off Tackle Empire
Follow along as Off Tackle Empire ranks the Top 5 Running Backs in the conference going into the 2013 season.
Prayers for Andrew
Andrew Fant is a 21-year-old Purdue student that was hit by a bus earlier this week.
STS Cookin': Creamy Mashed Potatoes - Shakin The Southland
We offer our own unique take on one of the old classics of football tailgating.