Purdue's men's basketball team will be settled in St. Thomas by now.
There could be plenty of time to enjoy the 80-degree weather, but there has to be a balance. Expect much of the focus for the Paradise Jam to be about business, coach Matt Painter and players said this week.
Purdue, which left West Lafayette at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, plays at 8:30 p.m. eastern (9:30 in the Virgin Islands) Friday. A victory means another late start Sunday. Another victory means another late start.
So there will be time to hit the beach, stroll the area and soak up some sun. The team has a snorkeling tour already set up, guard Keaton Grant said. There also may be time to catch Purdue's Bucket game against Indiana on Saturday with the John Purdue Club members who made the trip to St. Thomas, Grant said.
"You want to have a little bit of fun when you go on these exempt trips, especially to some place like St. Thomas, but you don't want to have a lot of fun," Painter said. "You're there to play basketball and to win games. That's something coach (Gene) Keady always tried to get across. He didn't lock you up in a hotel and say, "Do nothing," but it wasn't a free-for-all. You're there for business."
- Painter has been to the Virgin Islands before. He got married in St. Thomas.
- While in Australia last year for some preseason prep, many of the Boilermakers took to the water. Then-senior Chris Reid famously sported a thong during those trips. Don't expect a repeat performance, Grant said. "I don't think no one on this team (would). We have some personalities on this team, but not that bold of a personality."