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Purdue ready for packed house at Valpo

About an hour before tipoff here at the Athletics-Recreation Center at Valparaiso, and the crowd is starting to trickle in.

The students, sitting in a small section in this high school-gym like atmosphere, were in the building about 90 minutes before trip. The group in the first row already has their shirts off, ready to ham it up for the ESPNU cameras.

It's expected to be a loud environment, even though the place only holds 5,000. We'll see how many of those are Purdue fans.

One would expect there will be a pro-Robbie Hummel contingent. Hummel is from Valpo, grew up as a ball boy for the Crusaders and his family has been long-time friends with the Drew family. Coach Homer Drew has been at Valpo for 22 seasons.

"This game was for him, and it is disappointing that he's not going to be able to play," Matt Painter said of the injured Hummel, who made the trip and will be on the sidelines.

  • Sophomore D.J. Byrd warmed up some before the game and got some shots up. Painter said on Monday that Byrd (shoulder) would be a game-time decision. If Byrd doesn't start, 6-5 guard Kelsey Barlow likely will for the second straight game.