March 22, 2013
By Tom Schott
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Today, we debut a new weekly feature on purduesports.com - Tracking the Boilermakers - that will serve as a catchall of what's going on in and around the Purdue athletics department.
Women's Basketball Loves March
The Boilermakers depart today for the NCAA Tournament in Louisville, Ky. They are the No. 4 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional and take on No. 13 seed Liberty (27-6) on Sunday at 12:10 p.m. ET, live on ESPN2. Since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1994, Purdue has earned 19 berths, advancing to the second round 17 of the previous 18 times and to the Sweet 16 on 10 occasions.
Purdue's dominance in the Big Ten Tournament is astounding. In the event's 19-year history, the Boilermakers have captured nine championships, while the other 11 schools have combined to win 10 titles. Purdue has won 37 games, Ohio State 31 and Penn State 25. Furthermore, head coach Sharon Versyp has as many or more wins in the tournament than nine schools. With 17 victories (15 at Purdue and two at Indiana), Versyp is tied with Illinois and Iowa for fourth on the list. Former coach Kristy Curry (14) has as many or more wins than six schools, and Carolyn Peck (6) has as many or more than three.
Men's Basketball in the CBI
By virtue of his team's 81-67 victory over Western Illinois on Wednesday, Matt Painter now is tied for third on Purdue's all-time wins list. Painter, in his eighth season, and Ray Eddy (1951-65) both have 176 victories. Gene Keady (512) and "Piggy" Lambert (371) rank 1-2.
The Mackey Arena crowd of 3,046 was the second-largest among the eight CBI first-round games, behind only Houston's gathering of 4,407 against intrastate rival Texas.
Football This and That
The marketing and fan experience staff has put the finishing touches on the 2013 football poster and schedule card. Both feature new head coach Darrell Hazell and will be available at the spring game April 13. Each day next week, a portion of the poster will be unveiled on the Purdue Athletics Facebook page.
Also in the works is the design of a new paint job on the field at Ross-Ade Stadium that may include the motion P logo at midfield.
Be sure to keep an eye out for a new weekly video feature set to debut next week - Purdue Football 212¢ª - that will take a behind-the-scenes look at the Boilermakers. Check purduesports.com for details.
Five of Hazell's assistants - Jim Bridge, Marcus Freeman, Jon Heacock, Gerad Parker and Jafar Williams - are on Twitter. Follow them @CoachJimBridge, @Coach_MFreeman, @Coach_Heacock, @GeradParker1 and @Jafar_Williams
With Maryland and Rutgers beginning play in 2014, new Big Ten football schedules are being constructed, and word is they will be announced in June. Division realignment also is in the works.
NCAA Championships Update
The NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships are under way in Indianapolis, and the Boilermakers are represented by six swimmers (Lauren Gustafson and Rhiannon Sheets as individuals; Allie Davis, Carly Mercer, Lauren Nichols and Nika Carlina Petric as part of relays) and two divers (Michelle Cabassol and Casey Matthews). On Thursday, Matthews won the consolation final of the 1-meter diving competition to earn her fourth career All-America honor.
Five wrestlers are in Des Moines, Iowa, for the NCAA Championships: Brandon Nelsen (141 pounds), Ivan Lopouchanski (149 pounds), Tommy Churchard (157 pounds), Chad Welch (174 pounds) and Braden Atwood (197 pounds). Nelsen, Lopouchanski and Churchard are still standing after Day 1 on Thursday. Live coverage is available on ESPN3.
Congratulations to first-year track and field head coach Lonnie Greene and his staff for having five student-athletes earn All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Jakob Engel (shot put), Geoff Davis (high jump) and Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (weight throw) earned first team honors, while Vanessa McLeod (800 meters) and Dani Bunch (weight throw) received second team recognition. As a team, the men finished tied for 18th nationally, the third-best showing in program annals. The Boilermakers were tied for 17th in 2003 and tied for sixth the following year.
After having Tuesday's game "weathered out," the baseball team hopes to the play its inaugural game at Alexander Field today at 5 p.m. against Ohio State. It's the first of a three-game set to open Big Ten play. With a less-than-ideal weather forecast for Sunday, the Boilermakers and Buckeyes will play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 2 p.m.
When Doug Schreiber passed Dave Alexander as the winningest baseball coach in school history last spring, he did so with his 408th victory. Did you know that the center field fence at razed Lambert Field was 408 feet from home plate, and it's the same distance at Alexander Field?
The women's tennis team has built on last season's Big Ten Tournament championship, the first in program history. The Boilermakers currently have a 9-1 record and were ranked as high as 14th nationally earlier this season. They play host to Ohio State today at 3 p.m. and Penn State on Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Schwartz Tennis Center.
Athletics director Morgan Burke will join Krannert School of Management professor Rick Cosier and Tony Benton, a partner with Stuart & Branigin law firm, in teaching a graduate-level class on intercollegiate athletics as a business at Purdue this fall.
Planning continues in earnest for the inaugural Golden Pete Awards show, set for April 7 at the fabulous Loeb Playhouse on campus. In addition to presenting traditional honors like the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award, Varsity Walk Award and Wooden Leadership Institute Certificate of Achievement, there will be recognitions for outstanding performance of the year, top pregame ritual and more. Talent performances by student-athletes will be sprinkled into the festivities. The event is open exclusively to John Purdue Club members, who are asked to RSVP by March 29 by calling 765-494-3248 or by sending an email.