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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 5

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Page 66 of 92

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED OLUME 26, ISSUE 5 67 Boilermaker fortunes will rest with underclassmen BY KYLE CHARTERS A year ago at this time, the Boilermakers had been thrown out of their locker room and had their Purdue apparel taken away, only earning it back after weeks of intense offseason training. This spring, there's no need for such harsh punishments, with Purdue having responded from its rare losing season with a winning one, a nine- win jump that was one of the best in the country. Still, Coach Sharon Vers- yp wants the Boilermakers' attention now, knowing that if Purdue is to take another step forward, like competing at the top of the Big Ten and getting to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, it starts now. That means getting physically stron- ger, a trait that was missing during Big Ten Tournament and NCAA losses to Michigan State and Oklahoma, and better conditioning. The mantra "Why wait?" has be- come Purdue's offseason buzz phrase, Versyp's call to get going immediately. "We really want that toughness, the growth in those areas, and I think all of our players are really determined to do that," Versyp said shortly after the season, which ended with a loss to Oklahoma in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Lexington, Ky. "And it's not so much the physicality, it's just sustaining and being strong, Next Step Starts Now Tom Campbell Tiara Murphy played only a bit role as a freshman — and missed six games with a stress fracture — but showed enough offensively for the Boilermakers to feel good about point guard. Purdue Women's Basketball

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