You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Purdue University

  • Ross-Ade patio to offer alcohol
    With nearly 6,000 bleacher seats removed, the south end zone at Ross-Ade Stadium is being turned into a patio area that will serve alcohol and food during games, Purdue announced Tuesday.
  • Purdue’s top teams haven’t been on top
    Raheem Mostert. Dani Bunch.The names do not rise readily from the brainpan, unless you are one of those people who bleed black and old gold from every pore. Yet they are a big deal these days in West Lafayette.
  • Pair of Fort Wayne products key for Purdue
    If the Purdue basketball team is to bounce back from consecutive losing seasons, the reversal of fortune almost certainly will have a strong Fort Wayne flavor.
vs. Ball State
When: 7 p.m. today
Radio: 1380 AM

City native looking to give Boilers spark

Rapheal Davis had played all of about 90 minutes in 10 games when he checked in for Purdue at the 12:51 mark of the second half Saturday, with the Boilermakers down 17 and taking on serious water against Notre Dame.

Not quite 2 1/2 minutes later, Davis drove into the paint, stopped and dropped a short jumper, Purdue’s first points in more than five minutes.

Thirty-three seconds later, he hit a layup.

Sixty-four seconds after that, he rang in a three-pointer.

After that there was a jumper and another jumper, and another and another. And by the time it was done, Davis, the Boilers’ 6-foot-7 freshman from South Side by way of LaPorte La Lumiere, had scored 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting in not quite 13 minutes, one of the few bright spots in a dreary 81-68 loss to the Irish.

Suddenly the TV lights and digital recorders were finding him, and Purdue coach Matt Painter -- desperate for any kind of offense, let alone the instant sort Davis provided – was saying that the kid had indeed appeared on his radar.

“Sure,” Painter said when asked whether Davis had perhaps bought himself a few more minutes with his out-of-nowhere eruption. “We don’t have anybody else that’s scoring 21 points on nine shots. Being efficient like he was tonight, he’s really gonna help us.”

They can use it, frankly. Heading into another cross-state game against Ball State tonight, the young Boilers stand 4-6, and while there’s a lot for that – poor decision-making, spotty defense, all the maladies of inconsistency consistent with young teams – the inability to score sits near the top of the list.

Going into the Notre Dame loss, Purdue was averaging 66.6 points, but it was shooting just 41 percent as a team and 26 percent from behind the three-point line.

“(As a team), we’ve improved, we just haven’t found that consistency,” Painter said Saturday. “We have to take a better shot, we have to make a better decision for our offense. It’s hard when somebody is totally outplaying you to kind of keep that edge and keep that fight. Rapheal really helped us in that area because he was able to score on consecutive possessions there midway through the second half.”

Long before that, Davis looked into the stands, saw his father and his middle school coach looking back at him, and somehow knew this was going to be his day.

“Really once I dribbled into the lane and got the layup, I just knew I was in the zone from there,” he said. “I just got that feeling. It was really, just, me being a scorer all my life, you know when it’s coming. So I just turned it on from there.”

And from here, with Ball State (5-4) coming?

“This game … gave me a lot of confidence,” Davis said Saturday. “Coach Painter knows I work hard. I want to play more, but I know what the team needs, and I trust Coach Painter whatever he decides to do.

“I hope this gets me some more minutes. But if it doesn’t, I know I can still play.”