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Better Off

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There seems to be some debate about Purdue's choice to continue playing basketball after finishing the season 15-17. I guess my position is fairly simple: if the administration backs the action and the coaches and players want to play, why not? The thought that the program would be better off by not playing just isn't logical.

The Template

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"You have to play with energy and purpose every time out to compete against Big Ten competition."

That's a quote from an article written by Wisconsin State Journal writer Tom Oates describing why Wisconsin fell to Purdue on Sunday. He wrote about how Purdue won the 50-50 balls and how it was much more physical and aggressive. Sound familar?

Matt Painter has been preaching that sermon every day for months, and the members of his congregation finally heard his words and responded with a resounding, "Halleleujah!"

Belief System

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Purdue and Indiana have played 198 times in the rivalry.  I've been fortunate to have been part of 70 of those games and Indiana holds the advantage with 37 wins over that period dating back to the 1978 season.

Continue to Improve

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Here we are in early January, and the Boilermakers are one game under .500 on the season. It will be a fight to finish above that mark this year, to be honest. There's no doubt in my mind that this team has improved. It's just too bad it wasn't able to win some of those close non-conference games, as those losses may negate a postseason opportunity.

Keys to a Successful Conference Ride

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The Big Ten begins tonight for the Boilermakers, and the first three games should be telling. Illinois, Michigan State and Ohio State are a combined 34-6. The Illini come to Mackey Arena tonight as a 13-1 team, with its only loss coming to a ranked Missouri team.

Plenty of Hope

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I'm not real sure what the exact significance of the Notre Dame game is, but it appears to be important for a number of reasons. The two schools haven't met in a regular-season game in nearly 50 years, so that alone makes it historic in my viewpoint. The reasons the two programs haven't played each other have been discussed over the years, and none of them make much sense. If the two schools can meet every year in football or other sports, why not basketball?

Perfect Storm

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It is very rare to witness what happened in Clemson, S.C., on Wednesday night.  Competitive teams rarely trail by 20 points at half on their home floors. To be honest, it was probably a perfect storm. The Boilermakers were focused, Clemson not so much. Still, in my career, I haven't seen that happen more than a handful of times.

It Will Take Patience

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I have to admit, I didn't expect this type of start to the season. On the other hand, I don't know what I expected. It's just so rare to lose three of four at the beginning of the year, including a loss at home.

For Entertainment Only

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What kind of season will Purdue have this year? I already put myself on the line with a statement last week that I thought this would be an NCAA Tournament team, and not one on the bubble.

Not Buying It

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On the eve of another basketball season, it's hard not to think about all those people affected by the weather that has hit so much of the east coast and elsewhere. It's pretty hard not to be awed by the power of such a weather system. It's sometimes hard to talk about sports when such things are happening.

Time To Wrap It Up

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It's time to wrap up the season with some final thoughts on the recently-concluded college basketball year.

One More In Omaha

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I'm not really a big fan of late night games in the NCAA Tournament, but I am a huge fan of playing in them if you catch my drift.

Welcome To Omaha

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Welcome to Omaha, Neb., and second-round play in the NCAA Tournament. Okay, I don't like that description of "second round," but it is what it is. Purdue will play its first game against St. Mary's tonight at 7:27 ET.

Tournament Time

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It's tournament time, the part of the season that invigorates fans and has them dreaming of the loftiest of goals.

Building Confidence

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In my humble opinion, the most not-talked about sports achivement from all of last year was Connecticut's run to the national title. We heard a lot about the Uconn women's team's winning streak, about the unlikely appearance of VCU and Butler in the Final Four and how the Cardinals won the World Series.

Rollercoaster Ride

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Unlike in the pros, there's no way Matt Painter and his staff can browse the waiver wire and add someone to this year's team. We'll finish with who we have.

Comes In Waves

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One of my great interests in life is the study of human behavior. I regret my lack of expertise about the subject, but I still pursue it superficially.

A Ton Of Memories

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I've been part of so many incredible Purdue-Indiana games, it's very hard to pick favorites. I'll attempt to do so, though.

Work To Do

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Please accept my apologies for being dormant for a couple of weeks. With a recent move, I had some computer issues. Good timing, yes?

What The Heck Is Going On?

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Ok, let's see if we can figure some things out. Purdue loses by 20 to Penn State, wins by 13 at Minnesota and follows that up with a home loss to Wisconsin, a team that won at Mackey Arena for just the second time in nearly 40 years.

Anatomy Of An Upset

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Winning any game in the Big Ten is difficult, but Purdue was expected to beat Penn State on Thursday night. The Boilermakers entered the game a solid seven-point road favorite and with only three losses on the season, all close games.

Important Week

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First off, good luck to the football team in Detroit. Due to my semi-retirement, I do miss covering the football side of things, but I still root hard and will do so on Tuesday.

Some Good Basketball Coming Up

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Some thoughts on the upcoming Crossroads Classic. Wonderful concept, just way too long in coming. I applaud the coaching staffs and administrations of the respective schools for seeing this to fruition. What's not to like about a basketball event in downtown Indianapolis around the holiday season the ensures great play, energetic fans and national television coverage? Just makes perfect sense to me.

Time To Have A Short Memory

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As anyone can imagine, it was a long bus ride home from Cincinnati on Saturday night. What almost turned out to be a spectacular week for the Purdue men's basketball team ended with a thud in the 66-63 loss at 11th-ranked Xavier.

Challenge(s) Lie Ahead

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Looking at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, we could end up with a tie for the first time with Nebraska's entry into the Big Ten.

Pre-Puerto Rico

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It was a great weekend for Purdue athletics, but the men's basketball team flirted with disaster on Monday and managed to survive. As I often say, the beauty of competition lies in the unknown.

Exhibition Wrap-Up

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I'm not a huge fan of exhibition games, but they do serve a purpose to the staff and the players prefer them over practices. For the fans, exhibition games provide a chance to see some players you may rarely see during the season. But those games are behind us, and so let's pass along some observations as we count down to the start of the regular season.

Looking Backward And Forward

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It's time to dust off the keyboard and start pecking about the 2011-12 Purdue basketball season. Welcome to the Cliz Blog for another year. I'll pass along my thoughts on a weekly basis through March.