Omaha, Neb. (WISH) - Purdue's game plan for tomorrow night's matchup with 7th-seeded St. Mary's is in place. At this point, the toughest part is waiting.
"It's kind of different to wake up this morning and the games have started," fifth-year senior Robbie Hummel said. "It's weird because certain teams seasons' have (already) ended and we haven't even gotten out to practice yet."
The 10th-seeded Boilermakers did make it out to practice at CenturyLink Arena late Thursday night. For Hummel and his fellow seniors, this could be one of the last times they put on the old gold and black.
"I think you understand that going into the game - and obviously during the game you probably think about it," senior guard Lewis Jackson said. "This could be the last time I'm out on the floor so I have to give it my all. I think that's what makes college basketball so special this time of year."
"You gotta go out there and give it your all, lay it all on the line, leave nothing on the court," senior guard Ryne Smith said. "Because any possession could be your last one. I think that Rob, Lewis and I have really prided ourselves on playing hard the last four years."
Hummel's approach is different, but perhaps that is to be expected considering he's had to sit out the last two NCAA tournament trips.
"I think you kind of push it out because you can't go out there and think like that - if we lose it's going to be the last game of the season or of our careers," Hummel said. "Their will always be butterflies, but those kind of go away when the tipoff comes."
Purdue head coach Matt Painter says his players seem ready for Friday's test, but it's not always easy to predict how that will translate on the court.
"It's hard to gauge as a coach - sometimes you go through it you really feel like everybody's ready to go, then you get out there and you struggle...or don't have that energy," Painter said. "It's hard to really figure those things out. You know with certain guys they're gonna play hard, and we've got a unit now that's gone out there and played a lot harder in the past couple months."
Carmel High School took over the Colts Complex for a night.
Avon Police Department and Avon Community School Corp. are investigating photos sent from female students to male students, police officials said.
Matt Painter has Purdue on the upswing, and they head into Saturday's Crossroads Classic clash with Butler on a 3-game winning streak. The goal? Win the school's first game in the elite doubleheader.