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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 15 O n Feb. 25, Dakota Mathias, Vincent Edwards, Isaac Haas and P.J. Thompson said good-bye to Mackey Arena, where the four seniors' legacy won't soon be forgotten, though that lega- cy's final chapter is yet to be written. But as of senior day, the group had established itself as one of the pro- gram's most successful classes ever, with championships and various superlatives to show for it, steering Purdue into its final March together ranked top-10 nationally, having fall- en just shy of a second consecutive Big Ten championship. Their impact was felt most, though, in context, in the substance they brought to Purdue's program when substance was desperately needed. Rapheal Davis is widely credited as being the leader who guided Pur- due out of the misery of back-to-back lost seasons, but had Davis' prodding fallen on deaf ears, what good what it have done? The 2014 class served as a willing and eager audience and one happy to take those reins from Davis when he graduated. And, they've been really good bas- ketball players, all four of them having spent the past few seasons scribbling their names all over Purdue's record books in one way or another. Here's how it all began, how all four wound up Boiler- makers, as told by those most involved. DAKOTA MATHIAS Matt Painter and Greg Gary knew it. Struggling with teams that couldn't shoot and too often wouldn't pass, the Boilermaker coaches found Mathias in Elida, Ohio, and, they thought, the solution to their program's offensive problems. For as elite a shooter as Mathias looked like, there was reason to debate whether it was even the strength of his game, considering his savant-like passing. HERE'S HOW PURDUE'S INFLUENTIAL SENIORS NOW ON THEIR WAY OUT CAME IN BY BRIAN NEUBERT How It Came To Be Charles Jischke / Purdue Athletics Matt Painter took several looks at Dakota Mathias before the Elida, Ohio guard com- mitted. Timing was everyhing in getting him to Purdue. Tm Campbell

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