WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Sunday marked the end of an era at Mackey Arena as all four Purdue men’s basketball seniors earned a joint curtain call late in the second half.
“I don’t think any of us have soaked it all in yet,” said Vincent Edwards, “that we’re not coming back here after today as far as playing another game at Mackey.”
“To walk off together, I think that’s pretty special,” added Dakota Mathias. “To have the whole fan base stay there and listen to us talk, that says a lot about what they think of us.”
“Tonight was awesome,” smiled P.J. Thompson, “and I can’t thank the fans enough for staying. I did come to the senior game against Northwestern (four years ago) and that game wasn’t like that at all. Just to see the culture turn around and how everything is now is awesome.”
To measure what this class meant to the program, look no further than 100 wins as a group, a milestone reached with an 84-60 Senior Day win over Minnesota.
“I think we’ve all done our fair share for this program,” continued Thompson. “I think we’ve set a good example for the young guys as well.”
“There’s no doubt when those guys came in, they were a part of a change to help us,” said head coach Matt Painter.
Facts and figures show what this class has meant to Purdue. On the other hand, the 14,000 plus in attendance could easily see what Purdue meant to the class listening to their senior speeches postgame. Vincent Edwards and Isaac Haas were both overcome with emotion, choking back tears. Dakota Mathias and P.J. Thompson each spoke at length about the importance of their families and how this class has become like family to them as well.
“These guys stuck it out,” said Painter. “You talk about transfers. These guys didn’t transfer.
“It wasn’t an easy road for those guys.”
Though Sunday was a celebration of four players’ legacy, they know that legacy has not been completed.
“Guys understand that this is the last time we’re all gonna ride together on probably one of the best teams we’re ever gonna play on,” explained Isaac Haas.
“I think we’re on the right track, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.”