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The Spokane Experience

... Is not that great, apparently

Usually, players make a trip to a new place in the NCAA tournament and find some joy in the freshness of the location, of the exploring unknown territory.

That's apparently not the case for Purdue in Spokane, Wash.

"I'm not high on it at all," senior Chris Kramer said. "Since the first day we came, we went down to the mall, right down the road from The Davenport (hotel) and there was no shoe store. Abercrombie was like the only store there. So I'm not too high on it. There's an IMAX, but I don't have any time to go to that."

Sophomore Lewis Jackson didn't openly bash Spokane, but he said that he hasn't left the hotel much either.

"Guys are in each other's rooms and just hanging out or just laying down," Jackson said. "I think it's from (senior) Keaton (Grant). He's kind of like an old-school guy, born in like the 60s. We get that old-school vibe from him and we really just chill."

Other than popping over to see Spokane Falls, a gorgeous sight located downtown inside Riverside State Park, or sauntering around the small blocks of downtown, there doesn't seem to be much to occupy time in the town. What has surprised me is the lack of buzz.

The early games Friday weren't sold out. There aren't even many downtown establishments that are touting the NCAA tournament being in town.

The most excitement I've seen is when people are cheering for Washington and Gonzaga, both tournament teams in other regions.

So it's a good thing Purdue's players get along and enjoy spending time with each other.

Jackson and Hart live together at Purdue, shared a room in Indianapolis for the Big Ten tournament and now in Spokane. Hart said Jackson snores, but Jackson countered with, "I let him go to sleep first!"

Kramer, at least, has family and friends in town to hook up with. He said he has seven people who made the trip. That includes his parents, Jon and Susan, and brother Matt.

"The last place I wanted to go was Spokane, but they all came out to give support," Kramer said.

For junior JaJuan Johnson's take on the atmosphere, check out the video clip.

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