WEST LAFAYETTE–The Purdue men’s basketball team will have its first official practice of the fall today.
Guard/forward D.J. Byrd said the key on the first day is listening.
“The hardest thing is listening. Listening when you are tired,” Byrd said Friday. “You are doing a lot of different things. And you have a lot of coaches telling you what you need to do. It’s being able to take that information and doing it on the court.
“That can be difficult when you are running up and down and you are rebounding and a lot of things are going on. That’s what we need to practice, playing hard and listening while you are tired and getting in better shape. We need to be relentless this year.”
Byrd is ready to begin his final season. Byrd and guard Dru Anthrop are the only seniors listed on the roster.
“I’ve been here on campus since May working out. I went toItaly, went through conditioning. Now my last season is finally starting,” Byrd said. “We’re going to hit the ground running and hopefully surprise some people this year.”
Byrd kicked off Friday’s “Tip-off Before Kickoff” event by donning a wig and playing some songs on a guitar.
“I thought about it a little bit and then I said ‘I can do that,’ ” Byrd said. “Then they had a little photo shoot and made some album covers.
“It was still fun building up to it. After that little session we had, I was ready to get on to basketball.”
Friday’s “Tip-off Before Kickoff” featured a pep rally for the Purdue football team, which faces Wisconsin on Homecoming today.
Coach Danny Hope and some players, including Kawann Short and Caleb TerBush, spoke to the crowd.
The basketball teams then took over.
“It was awesome,” said forward Sam Ostarello, a forward on the women’s basketball team. “It was really cool, especially seeing all the fans the Paint Crew brings in for the men’s team. That’s huge for us to have that many more students watching what we can do as well.”