First time or long time, IU-Purdue rivalry stirs emotions for Boilers

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BLOOMINGTON, IN - FEBRUARY 20: P.J. Thompson #3 of the Purdue Boilermakers shoots the ball against Collin Hartman #30 of the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on February 20, 2016 in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana defeated Purdue 77-73. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue freshman Carsen Edwards has never played Indiana. Still, the Texas native does have a brief experience with the rivalry.

“When I came for my visit,” Edwards remembers, “and heard people yelling how they hate IU, and we’re not even playing IU, you start to realize something must be between IU and Purdue.”

Just a little something: 204 prior meetings, a recruiting advantage perhaps, and of course bragging rights moving forward.

“Everybody’s talking about it,” continues Edwards. “Really, for me, I just go out and play. That’s what it was in high school regardless of the rivalry. I’d just go out and be ready to play.”

Whether players come to West Lafayette as newbies to the IU-Purdue rivalry or they grow up rooting for the Boilermakers, the more time they spendĀ on campus, the more the rivalry means to them.

“It’s a huge competition, and you kind of develop that hatred for the other team,” says Isaac Haas, who grew up in Alabama.

“The rivalry is something I’ve watched since I was little,” explains P.J. Thompson, who graduated from Indianapolis’ Brebeuf High School. “Any time you can play in a game like that, I’m definitely blessed and fortunate.

“Gotta get that win for the Boilers.”