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Barlow's versatility a plus for Purdue

Kelsey Barlow doesn't mind locking up on opposing teams' point guards.

That's what his primary role was last season for Purdue.

But to not have to guard full court, into an opposing point guard's grill, sometimes 20 seconds of the shot clock and for at least 20 minutes a game has been a nice change of pace this season.

With Purdue using more of a four-guard lineup, Barlow has started alongside point guard Lewis Jackson. In that lineup, Jackson has been assigned to defend opposing points, and Barlow has been able to utilize his 6-foot-5, long frame to frustrate wing players.

He'll get another chance when the No. 14 Boilermakers play IPFW tonight.

"It's been a good thing," Barlow said Monday of his versatility defensively. "As you've seen with guarding the point, you've got to pick up full court, kind of wears down your hammies, quads, so you get a little tired. So it's like a stamina thing. Not saying I'm not down to do it. But guarding the wing sometimes gives that extra breath to go both ways pretty hard."

Coach Matt Painter likes Barlow's defensive effort regardless of the matchup.

"He's a tremendous player," Painter said. "He has to work on some other parts of his game. He's just a sophomore, he's a work in progress. I'm glad we got him. Not a lot of people recruited him, and I thought they were foolish because of that, because he's really helped us win some games here at Purdue."