AP photo by Nam Y. Huh|
Purdue guard Tarrance Crump feels pressure from Iowa's Seth Gorney, left, and Adam Haluska in a March 9 contest. Crump, who played at Decatur High, leads the Boilermakers into the NCAA tournament. Purdue plays Arizona at 6:20 p.m. Friday.
Decatur player on the 'big stage'
Former Red Raider Tarrance Crump joins Purdue in NCAA tourney
By Josh Cooper
email@example.com · 340-2460
Tarrance Crump is going on a road trip, and it's a good one.
Following Purdue's Big Ten tournament first-round win over Iowa, the 6-foot-1 former Decatur High standout and current Boilermakers guard started celebrating.
Before the game, Purdue was uncertain about its NCAA tournament fate. But after the 74-55 win and even facing a semifinal game against No. 1-ranked Ohio State, Crump and his friends broke into jubilation.
"We were just messing around," Crump said. "We were hoping things went our way, but also we were being humble about it. We were trying to get a good feeling after a win."
As it turned out, he was right. When NCAA bids went out Sunday, Purdue landed one. The Boilermakers will play Arizona in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday at 6:20 p.m. in New Orleans.
It has been a long road for the 23-year-old junior to make it to his first NCAA tournament.
After transferring to Purdue for the 2005-06 season from Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Crump was involved in a hit-and-run incident, where he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence charges. He was suspended for the season and was redshirted by the Boilermakers.
But Crump has bounced back solidly this season. A former all-state selection for Decatur and one of the keys to its 2001 state runner-up squad, Crump scored a season-high 20 points against DePaul on Nov. 22 and 14 points against Missouri on Dec. 9.
He started 14 games and averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 assists and 1.6 rebounds.
"I have great people around me," Crump said. "The fans here, the people, they all embrace me and look at it like I made a mistake, and they don't hold it against me. They all actually care about me, and I like that family bond that Purdue has."
In terms of what to expect of the NCAA tournament, Crump said that he gets his advice from former Illinois standout and current Utah Jazz guard Dee Brown.
The two know each another from when Crump was grew up in the Chicago area.
According to Crump, Brown told him that the tournament is the "big stage." He's going to be playing in front of a "packed house."
Save $84.50 a year off our newsstand price:
Subscribe today for only 38 cents a day!