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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 71 BY ALAN KARPICK B ruce Parkinson. The name doesn't roll off the tongue when discussing the all-time great basketball players at Purdue. But it should. During the Fred Schaus Era in the 1970s, Parkinson was the leader of a fast-paced offense that produced championship-level teams year in and year out. In Par- kinson's five years at Purdue, the Boilermakers finished in the top three in the league race each year. He was the undeniable floor leader of the Boilermak- ers' 1974 NIT title team, a squad that ended the season ranked No. 11 in the country in an era where the Big Ten was limited to having one team in the NCAA Tour- nament. Yet, for Parkinson, his impact was felt from the first day he set foot on Purdue's campus. "The first time I played with Bruce was at the Co- Rec early in our freshman year," classmate Mike Steele said. "I called my dad after and told him, 'I just played with the best player I have ever seen.' My dad said, 'Well, there are going to be guys that are pretty good.' I said, 'Yes, but Dad, he plays the same position as me.' And Dad said, 'Son, that's not good.'" Like Parkinson, Steele came to Purdue from a small town — Robinson, Ill., for Steele; Yorktown, Ind., for Parkinson — and Steele knew his ability to break into the lineup would be hampered the rest of his career, and it was. But during the fall of 1972, the first year freshmen became eligible to play varsity since World War II, it was beyond Parkinson's wildest imagination The Greatest Asset PRESENTS: PURDUE'S GREATEST STORIES, TRADITIONS AND PEOPLE Wayne Doebing Bruce Parkinson and Indiana All-America guard Quinn Buckner had some classic head-to-head battles during their college days. And Parkinson never came out on the short end. Parkinson set the standard for team play in the 1970s By The Numbers 1 In Purdue history in assists with 690, averaging a record 6.2 per game. 2 Players in Boilermaker history to average 10 points, four rebounds and three assists per game (Billy Keller, 1967-69). 2 All-Big Ten selections, in 1974 (third team) and 1975 (first). 112 Consecutive games started at Purdue, the best in history. Started in every game he played. 18 Record for most assists in game, set against Minnesota in 1975. 33 Ranking all-time in scoring with 1,224 points (10.9 average).

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