Senior guard Keaton Grant started and played 30 minutes in No. 6 Purdue's 69-61 victory over Northwestern in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals Friday in Indiananpolis.
That participation made Grant the winningest player in the program's history. Grant has played in 99 victories, and he also moved past former teammate Marcus Green for the most career games played (134).
"It shows I'm a winner," Grant said. "I plan on holding it this year, but I'm pretty sure one of (the current juniors) are going to beat me next year. At least I'll be fourth or something."
Grant said he thinks he has brought toughness, defense and the ability to step up and hit big shots to the program.
"Some people get rattled at certain positions," Grant said. "When most people get tight, I like that moment. I feel like that's what you play basketball for."
Grant likely would have played more than 30 minutes, but he had leg cramps that forced him to the bench late. He went in, then out, then in and out. Eventually, coach Matt Painter told him to stay out.
"I don't blame him," Grant said "I was only good for 20 seconds. I drank like four Gatorades (Thursday) night, water. I didn't drink any fruit drinks. I don't know (why it happened), just one of those days.
"I'm glad I cramped (Friday) and not (Saturday), and we got a W."
- Junior JaJuan Johnson was tagged with a technical foul in the second half. Purdue had the ball, and Johnson was posting up. Northwestern's Michael Thompson, a 5-foot-10 guard, somehow got switched on to guarding Johnson. Thompson appeared to be hitting Johnson, um, below the waist. Johnson turned to an official and complained. A couple seconds later, Thompson was whistled for a foul. But Johnson wasn't happy with that. Johnson had something to say to Thompson, and one ref didn't like it and gave Johnson a technical.
- Senior Chris Kramer added an highlight to his career reel. In the first half, Northwestern's John Shurna got the ball on a break and appeared to be headed for a layup. Instead, Kramer leaped to block the shot off the backboard. Kramer appeared to reach near the top of the square on the backboard – that's high. "Somebody ran in front of (Shurna), and that's like the key to all your blocks," Kramer said. "Because then they alter their shot and just flip it up there. I think it was Lewis (Jackson), and I just timed it up and blocked it off the glass."