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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 11 son than Purdue and that fact was amplified on senior day, one of the most memorable in the program's modern era. When Haas broke down in tears talking about his sister, Erin, and the Purdue community's outpouring of support for her, there was Edwards, an arm around him and a voice in his ear, talking him through it. These guys have played for Purdue, for those fans, for their families, for their coaches, but they've played for each other as much as anyone, and their togetherness and trust and bond has been tangible, unlike anything this place has seen. What people miss about college sports sometimes is the humanity. I'll never forget standing outside the Boilermaker locker room in 2012 in Omaha. Purdue just had its heart ripped out by Kansas. Robbie Hummel and Lewis Jackson made their way down the hall to the post-game press conference prac- tically carrying each other, crushed that the end had finally come and that their time together was over. That being said, this might be the closest class Matt Paint- er's ever had and that's a mouthful. It was fitting then that af- ter Purdue had properly dispatched of Minnesota on senior day, the four left the game as a group, not individuals. In basketball terms, this class has been something close to inseparable at Purdue, and they'll go down as such in its history, with a legacy for having helped save the Boiler- maker program after a two-year skid, then solidified it, then strengthened it. They'll probably leave West Lafayette having authored the school's first 30-win season. And when you've played basketball since 1897, there aren't many firsts left to check off the list. Purdue's 2018 senior class has done so much for Purdue, meant so much to its program, but its impact could echo through coming seasons too, the program having been put back on a rock-solid foundation. It's never been about them. Defer to Rapheal Davis and A.J. Hammons? OK. Fill roles — important ones, but roles nonetheless — around the force of nature that was Caleb Swanigan? Sure. Carry a team while also giving Carsen Edwards room enough to breath for him to ascend into the Boilermakers' next star already? Fine. Meanwhile … Vincent Edwards was late for something once his freshman year and didn't start a game because of it. That marks the extent of this group's conduct issues since it showed up in June of 2013. There have been better players in college basketball the past four years than these four. That said, I'm not sure Purdue could have been led by a better foursome. j Neubert can be contacted at Tune In to Keep Up

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