Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Weather or not, Steel Yard ready for action ]]> Lead story image

Words of advice from Michele Pickering? Be careful not to lose a shoe. When the RailCats head groundskeeper and other team personnel first took to the field at the Steel Yard to attempt to get it into playing condition after a brutal run of weather, they were standing in five inches of mud. It was only at the beginning of this week that any tending could be done without sinking. And that was only after the use of three pallets of Turface, well more than the one — maybe one-and-a-half — usually necessary for the job. For sure, it has … ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 17:51:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Depleted roster clouds future for last-place Purdue ]]> Lead story image

Whether you view Ronnie Johnson’s transfer as addition by subtraction or subtraction by subtraction for Purdue, there’s no doubt it dramatically changes the dynamic going into next season. Without their two-year starting point guard, the Boilermakers currently have just one player on their roster at that position in Bryson Scott. He has the work ethic, drive and determination to improve, but the freshman scuffled to adapt to that role this season. P.J. Thompson, too, has verbally committed, giving Purdue another option at that spot, a crucial one in general and a focus of coach Matt Painter in particular (with his … ]]> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 02:10:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Boilers haven’t made much progress since start of season ]]> Lead story image

What’s that expression? Something about, if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse? That’s the position in which Purdue seemingly exists at the moment. The Boilermakers aren’t necessarily trending downward, but they aren’t trending upward either. They’re just sort of trudging onward. And there’s been a palpable sense of frustration for them. “If you have the same mistake in January that you had in November, that might be who you are,” coach Matt Painter said earlier this week. “Or maybe you don’t quite realize what’s going on, you’re young. If you have the same mistake you’re making as a freshman … ]]> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 16:33:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ Osipoff: Purdue hopes to build momentum as Big Ten play begins ]]> Lead story image

When last it played, Purdue put together a much-needed win at West Virginia on Dec. 22, its most well-rounded performance of the young season and most solid result from the non-conference portion of its schedule. Was that game indicative of how the Boilermakers (10-3) will play in the Big Ten? Nine days later, as they open conference play against No. 3 Ohio State (13-0) on Tuesday afternoon at Mackey Arena, will there be any sort of carry-over effect? “Our mindset was good (against the Mountaineers), and we had some toughness about us, and that’s going to have to ramp up … ]]> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 14:55:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Inconsistent Boilers need resume-building win ]]> Lead story image

And then there was one. Purdue has a single game remaining before the start of Big Ten play, at West Virginia on Sunday. The lone road game of its nonconference schedule. It’s not a must-win game for the Boilermakers — not with the entirety of the conference slate ahead. But, man, they sure could use it, as they attempt to return to the NCAA Tournament (not the be-all, but a definite focus). A win against Oklahoma State at the Old Spice Classic would have been enormous for the Boilermakers, if unlikely. A win against Butler at the Crossroads Classic would … ]]> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 08:31:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Osipoff: Can it get any worse for Purdue football? ]]> Lead story image

With the talent level, coaching change and ensuing transition, and daunting schedule, Purdue figured to have a challenging season. Reaching the .500 mark would have been, well, a reach. But could anyone have envisioned Darrell Hazell’s first season with the Boilermakers going this badly for them, spiraling this far downward? They set numerous dubious records in going 1-11, including suffering the most losses in a season in program history and surrendering the most points. In ceding the Old Oaken Bucket — their 10th straight loss to close an 0-8 Big Ten season, with their only win coming against Indiana State, … ]]> Sat, 04 Jan 2014 06:33:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Despite loss, Cardinals still show a lot of pride ]]> Lead story image

FORT WAYNE — Well after the game had concluded, chants of “We are … EC!!!” still were emanating from Zollner Stadium. That was the sort of pride this East Chicago Central football team engendered. Of course, there were plenty of tears in the aftermath of the Cardinals’ 38-0 loss to Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger in a Class 4A semistate on Friday night. But nothing can detract from what they achieved, winning the first sectional and regional titles in school history. “This was a fantastic team,” East Chicago coach Stacy Adams said. “They accomplished things no one thought they could do. … ]]> Tue, 24 Dec 2013 06:14:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Hobbled Matt DeSomer, 59ers offense rise to occasion ]]> Lead story image

MERRILLVILLE — At halftime, Matt DeSomer left the field via cart, after backup quarterback Jake Paliga had taken a kneeldown on the final play of the second quarter. Before the third quarter, DeSomer and Paliga warmed up side-by-side. Moments later, teammates surrounded Paliga, high-fiving him and appearing to generally offer him encouragement. But there was pretty much no way DeSomer, who hurt his right leg, was going to exit Andrean’s 27-7 win over Jimtown in Friday night’s Class 3A regional. “I didn’t want to come out of the game, especially my senior year,” said DeSomer, who didn’t play safety in … ]]> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 06:16:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ MICHAEL OSIPOFF: Renewed Boilers should return to roots, NCAA tourney ]]> Lead story image

This team should return Purdue to its more accustomed levels, after last season’s downturn. The Boilermakers have question marks and unknowns, of course. But they also have the pieces to be significantly improved after going 16-18, missing the NCAA Tournament after six straight trips and ending with a loss at Mackey Arena in the not-that-familiar CBI. There have been recurring themes in the preseason. The Boilermakers should be deeper, with probably nine viable starters and fierce competition in practice. They should be versatile, able to play different ways with different types of lineups. They should be better defensively, again able … ]]> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:03:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Competition for playing time evident in Purdue’s exhibition opener ]]> Lead story image

WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue’s much-discussed increased depth and competition for playing time was enacted from the outset of its exhibition opener, as freshman Bryson Scott earned the start at point guard over incumbent sophomore Ronnie Johnson. Later, when Scott got into a little foul trouble, enter Johnson. Similar deal with the tandem of graduate transfer Errick Peck, who started against Indianapolis, and freshman Basil Smotherman. The Boilermakers placed five players in double-figure scoring in their 80-73 win over the Greyhounds on Wednesday night at Mackey Arena. It clearly was far from perfect for Purdue — in a game that doesn’t … ]]> Mon, 02 Dec 2013 12:25:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Boilers will focus on fundamentals on this bye ]]> Lead story image

Don’t expect Purdue to enact dramatic changes in terms of personnel and scheme this time around. The Boilermakers made those moves — including officially naming Danny Etling as starting quarterback, planning to take three freshman defensive linemen out of redshirt (and following through), and shifting to a three-man defensive front — during their first bye week. As they have their second and final bye week of the season, they will truly focus on fundamentals and technique, executing and fine-tuning what they have in place. “Every week we’ve gotten a little bit better in some area, or areas, which is what … ]]> Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:33:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Purdue’s Lowe excited to start coaching career ]]> Lead story image

As a kid, Kenneth Lowe was taught there was no such thing as a dumb question. With significant success, he has applied that approach throughout his life and career, from West Side to Purdue to playing professionally abroad, and back to the Boilermakers. Perhaps especially as he has returned to Purdue, where Lowe was introduced as assistant video coordinator exactly six weeks ago. He has been working long hours — and relishing most every minute, absorbing as much as he can. “There’s no pride or shame in my game,” Lowe said with a laugh. “I have a lot to learn, … ]]> Mon, 18 Nov 2013 07:59:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Osipoff: After demotion as QB, Rob Henry embraces new role ]]> Lead story image

In turn, Darrell Hazell spoke with each of the quarterbacks to inform them about the decision to replace Rob Henry with Danny Etling. Henry’s response? Allow him to change positions — wide receiver, safety, some sort of special teams role. Whatever he could do to help the team win, to help it play better. And safety it was, a relatively thin position for Purdue. “He goes, ‘I’m all in,’” Hazell said of last Tuesday’s conversation with Henry, one of the Boilermakers’ three captains. “He was great about it. That’s what you need on this football team, is more and more … ]]> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 12:33:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Purdue offense must make strides against NIU ]]> Lead story image

After reviewing the Notre Dame game, coach Darrell Hazell described Purdue as being a foot away from making several plays. Against Wisconsin? Um, not so much. “I honestly felt we took a little bit of a step back this past Saturday,” Hazell said, reiterating what he had said in the immediate aftermath of the game against the Badgers. “It’s a process, and we’re going to continue to work hard through the process. That’s the only way you get out of where we are right now. We have good players, but we still have to get a lot better on all … ]]> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 07:22:39 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hutton: Give girl golfers a break: Let them do circle 10 ]]> Lead story image

ST. JOHN — These are some random scores from the Lake Central’s girls golf sectional, held at Palmira Golf Club on Friday: 172, 155, 140, 167, 156, 143, 132, 144 and 149. Of the 40 girls competing in the event, 26 of them failed to break 100. Pace of play: Roughly six hours. Private grousing by coaches and parents: Frequent. It was a good experience for handful of players, but a brutal one for the majority of them. That’s just the way it went. You can see similar trends in all the sectionals. I love golf unconditionally, but it has … ]]> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 06:24:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Purdue progressing, but still ‘a foot away’ ]]> Lead story image

Notre Dame had just tied the score at 17-17 early in the fourth quarter, and coach Darrell Hazell headed toward Purdue’s defense on the sideline with the intention of providing “a little juice.” None needed. The defense was already fired up. So, too, was the offense throughout the game. No hanging heads. No long faces. No glazed-over eyes. The Boilermakers had an air of confidence about them. They had a different demeanor, an adjusted attitude, from their first two games. Consider it part of a maturation process, part of developing in Hazell’s program. “Our guys are starting to understand the … ]]> Sun, 20 Oct 2013 07:44:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: Boilers don’t back down ]]> Lead story image

WEST LAFAYETTE — From the outset on Saturday night, Purdue showed it wasn’t going to back down against No. 21 Notre Dame. The Boilermakers’ initial adrenaline eventually wore off — maybe — but they sustained an effort and performance worthy of a prime-time ABC game, losing 31-24 to the Irish at Ross-Ade Stadium. Even when they fell behind 31-17 after Notre Dame scored 21 straight points in a span of 3:29 early in the fourth quarter, the Boilermakers continued to compete. Realistically, there are no moral victories at this level of college football. Realistically, the Boilermakers couldn’t hold leads of … ]]> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 06:58:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ OSIPOFF: With rivalry’s future murky, Boilers relish next shot at ND ]]> Lead story image

Purdue and Notre Dame first played each other in football in 1896. The Boilermakers and Irish have met every season since 1946. So even though this season’s game will mark Darrell Hazell’s inaugural experience competing for the Shillelagh Trophy, he knows full well about the tradition associated with this rivalry. “It’s really fun just to think how long this series has been going on uninterrupted,” Purdue’s coach said. “I’m excited about this game Saturday night. There’s a lot of hype going on right now. But we have to make sure as a staff and as a football team that we … ]]> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 06:57:31 -0500