Freshman Kelsey Barlow got his first start in Purdue's 84-78 victory over Illinois Tuesday.
And he responded, taking advantage of every minute. Too bad he only played 13 because of foul trouble.
Barlow gave the Boilermakers a spark with ability to get to the basket, making five of six shots and scoring 12 points. He said he was trying to be aggressive offensively.
"Especially once I got a little help with the ball screen," he said. "We kind of put them in a little puzzle. They didn't know whether to stop me or just hedge, so it ended up being open. They ended up just fouling me to try to get back, and I ended up getting three and-ones, I believe.
"It was pretty impressive and pretty fun to do."
Barlow said he had an idea he was going to get the start because he was playing with what he called the "first team" during practice the last couple of days. But he didn't know officially until in the locker room before the game when coaches were talking about defensive match-ups.
Barlow took senior Keaton Grant's place in the starting lineup.
When asked whether he'd trade his night and the first start with redshirt freshman John Hart, who got the coveted post-game interview with ESPN's Erin Andrews, Barlow balked.
"That's a very good question," Barlow said with a smile. "I don't know, man. She's engaged. So I'm going to have to say I'd rather start. Both are good options."
Hart, who scored a career-high 14 points, said all of his teammates asked him about the Andrews' interview, but "I was kind of humble about it" immediately after the game.
"I'll probably talk about it on the way home, on the bus," he said.