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Let’s Get Ready to TBT: Purdue vs Tennessee

Nothing like a first round grudge match to get things started!

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-Purdue vs Tennessee Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Men of Mackey face off against the Ballinteers tomorrow night in the TBT tournament at 7 PM EST at the Covelli Center in Columbus, Ohio. The Purdue roster should be familiar with iconic names like Robbie Hummel, A.J. Hammons, Lewis Jackson, and Isaac Haas gracing the floor, but the Ballinteers roster should look familiar as well. Purdue and Tennessee have faced off 3 times in the history of the two programs, and all 3 games are classics.


The first matchup between the Boilermakers and Volunteers went down in the Virgin Islands on November 23rd, 2009. Purdue took the game, and subsequently the Paradise Jam trophy, in a thrilling 73-72 showdown of top 10 teams.

The 2009 Tennessee team makes up the bulk of the Ballinteer roster, featuring the Vols 3 leading scorers from that night.

Wayne Chism - C - 24 Pt, 6 Reb, 3 Blk

Bobby Maze - PG - 13 Pt, 5 Reb, 2 Ast (GM for the Ballinteers)

Tyler Smith - F - 10 Pt, 4 Reb, 3 Ast

Their roster also features a couple key 2000 reserves.

Skylar McBee - G - 3 Pt, 4 Reb, 1 Stl

Cameron Tatum - F - 8 Pt, 2 Reb, 1 Ast

Not to be outdone, the Purdue roster features 3 key players from that contest.

Robbie Hummel - F - 20 Pt, 7 Reb, 3 Ast

Kelsey Barlow - G/F - 3 Pt, 6 Reb, 2 Ast

Ryne Smith - G - 2 Pt, 1 Blk, 1 Stl (Smith won’t be playing but is the head coach)

The Game

Our illustrious leader and site racketeer (ahem, excuse me) raconteur covered this game in his “Best Wins of the Painter Era” series last year.

I recommend checking out Travis’s work on this one, but if you’re looking for the quick and dirty version. The game went back and forth, had a little bit of everything including the famous (or infamous depending on your team affiliation) Chris Kramer swim down the the court, Robbie playing like a sure fire lottery pick, Etwuan doing his normal “oh, wow, I guess he scored 22 points” schtick, and Kelsey bringing the chaos (both good and evil) at all times.

This thing went back and forth all game long. Barlow missed two critical free throws that would have iced the game late. Chism got a good look at the buzzer, but it didn’t drop. Purdue and Coach Painter left with the trophy and Bruce Pearl left with a suitcase full of sweaty Hawaiian shirts and plans for a big cookout at his house.


The rubber match took place almost a decade later on 11/22/2017 on Paradise Island in the Bahamas at The Battle for Atlantis Tournament, and required an extra session of play for the Vols to pull out the 78-75 victory.

This game only featured 1 Ballinteer, but his was critical in the outcome.

Lamonte Turner - 17 Pt, 5 Reb, 2 Ast

The Men of Mackey have a representative from the game as well.

Isaac Haas - 13 Pt, 3 Reb, 1 Blk

The Game

Unlike the sublime 2009 game, this one was a little rough around the edges. Purdue continually built up and squandered leads. The Boilermakers had an 11 point lead in the 1st half that didn’t hold up after a barrage of late 3’s by Lamonte Turner that forced the game into overtime. Purdue built a 5 point lead in the extra session that also evaporated under the onslaught of Grant Williams and the Volunteers absolute domination on the glass.

If you want to relive some frustration, I’ve got you covered.


We didn’t have to wait long for the Purdue vs Tennessee rematch, and it was one of the best games in the history of the NCAA Tournament. If you’re reading this article, there is a 90% chance you’ve got the game stored on your D.V.R. and watch it after you’ve had a tough day at the office.

Lamonte Turner....Again

Lamonte Turner - G - 15 Pt, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

Men of Mackey

The Men of Mackey secured the services of former Boilermaker Jaquil Taylor, but Taylor’s TBL team (The Syracuse Stallions) are in the TBL Championship series. He is unavailable for the TBT.

The Game

No need for a recap on this bad boy, but here’s the game.


This is an incredible match-up for Tennessee and Purdue fans. The two teams have exciting recent history, and while the recent games aren’t represented much by rostered players, you know the smack talk between the two groups will be robust. Throw in the fact that the TBT is all about the smack talk (basketball should be entertaining!) and this game should get interesting.

From an actual game preview perspective, it’s a hard one to predict. Purdue was dealt a significant blow with the loss of Taylor and Jon Octeus (who may return if Purdue advances) because those two guys are young, in-shape, and currently playing basketball. I’ll be interested to see what Lew Jack and A.J. look like on the court because neither has played much organized basketball recently. Robbie’s been playing 3 on 3 at a high level, and should be sharp, but I’m not sure how he looks running the court.

Tennessee lost a couple young guys as well. Recent UT graduate Jordan Bowden no longer appears on the roster, and I’m going to go ahead and assume he’s not playing. Much like the Purdue team, the Ballinteers will rely on an older roster. I expect Lamonte Turner to lead the way, but what can they get out of legendary sharp shooter Chris Lofton? Can Wayne Chism guard Haas in the paint? Can Haas guard Chism on the perimeter?

I’m not sure how this is going to play out, but I’m excited about a basketball game taking place on July, 23rd.

Come for the nostalgia, stay for the basketball!