Big Ten Conference

Purdue Athletics

When the Big Ten Conference suggested limiting the participation of freshmen athletes, it was all but laughed at. But Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke says it’s no laughing matter, even as he acknowledges the fact his conference can’t go it alone.

As the NCAA tournament gets set to conclude this weekend, we talk about whether Kentucky coach John Calipari is wrecking the spirit of intercollegiate athletics with his open endorsement of the “one-and-done” philosophy of recruitment.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It's hard to tell much from watching warm-ups. Shots are taken, passes made, slam dunks attempted. But those slams told the tale Wednesday for Purdue's Basil Smotherman, whose energy fueled his team whenever the sellout crowd's adrenaline began to wane.

Though Rafael Davis led the Boilers with 19 points, it was Smotherman's end line-to-end line pushes that defined Purdue in a 83-67 win over a top-20 Indiana team.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

 Long scoring droughts plagued both ends of the court, but Wisconsin was able to make up for lost time with a late second-half run that led to a 65-56 win.

While Wisconsin shot 45-percent from the field, Purdue flailed, making just 31-percent of its shots. This meant longer dry spells for the Boilers and more time for the Badgers to bank 12 points off of 11 Purdue turnovers.

"Our transition defense was God-awful in the last four minutes and that's when they got a run," Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said.

Purdue Athletics

It’s a new year and we’re turning over a new leaf on WBAA’s Off The Field with Morgan Burke. Sure, there’ll be the same question-and-answer format, but on this first show of 2015, we give Purdue’s athletics director a chance to take a crack or two at us in the media. What do we get wrong, screw up and step in?

On this week’s show, we also dig a little into why the Big Ten’s revenue sharing agreement means Morgan Burke is rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes to beat Oregon in Monday’s football national championship game.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Missing some of its top receivers and playing a team fighting for its postseason life, Purdue couldn’t afford many mistakes Saturday. Five turnovers proved way too many to overcome on the way to a 38-14 loss.

Northwestern scored 17 points off Boilermaker turnovers and rushed for 237 yards, including 147 yards and two touchdowns from freshman Justin Jackson.

Purdue’s first possession of the ball came on an interception by Danny Ezechukwu just nine seconds into the game. But when the Purdue offense had the ball, it struggled to advance.

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