Family ties make Final Four run extra special for Purdue basketball trio

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DETROIT — It’s fitting their lockers are side by side by side.

The last locker on the row belongs to Carson Barrett.

To the right of it, Chase Martin’s locker and next to him is Brian Waddell.

Their contributions to Purdue’s Final Four run were mostly done behind the scenes as scout team players but they, maybe more than anyone else sitting in the locker room with them, can appreciate the magnitude of what had just happened Sunday at Little Caesars Arena.

“Having our dads play together and having that camaraderie kind of drew us together,” Martin said after Purdue defeated Tennessee in the Elite 8 to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1980.

Here’s the backstory for the few of you who don’t know.

More: In a new age of college basketball, Matt Painter and Purdue proves old school still works.

Purdue reached the Final Four in 1980 under head coach Lee Rose, who left after two seasons to go to South Florida. Gene Keady, who’d just gone to the NCAA Tournament with Western Kentucky, was hired as Rose’s successor. Keady became a six-time National Coach of the Year and last summer was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

But he never coached in a Final Four.

Purdue Boilermakers guard Chase Martin (22) shoots the ball during the NCAA men’s basketball game against the Michigan Wolverines, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue Boilermakers won 99-67.

Barrett’s father, Dave, was a guard on perhaps Keady’s best team, the one that went 29-4 and won the 1988 Big Ten title, but ultimately got upset in the Sweet 16 by Kansas State and star guard Mitch Richmond, a team the Boilers beat by 29 earlier that season.

If that team wasn’t Keady’s best, then the 1993-94 team was.

It featured National Player of the Year Glenn Robinson, but a supporting cast led by Cuonzo Martin and Matt Waddell. Purdue won the Big Ten, went 29-5 and was a No. 1 seed. A day after Robinson was dominant against Kansas, he allegedly injured his back rough housing…

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/family-ties-final-four-run-080814440.html

Author : Journal & Courier

Publish date : 2024-04-03 08:08:14

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