WEST LAFAYETTE – Recording artist Dirk Hunter walked to a stool near center court at Mackey Arena, wearing a cowboy hat and shades.
He then started playing some tunes on his guitar, including a few notes of Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus.
When he finished, Hunter took off the hat and wig and revealed himself as Purdue guard/forward D.J. Byrd.
And with that, the post-Robbie Hummel era got under way.
Fans were introduced to this years mens and womens basketball teams Friday at Purdues Tip-Off Before the Kickoff event.
I enjoyed it a lot. It previews the season. Were just excited to get back on the court, guard Anthony Johnson said.
The Boilermakers had shooting and dunk contests. Players from both teams also did a choreographed dance.
Hopefully we can play better than we dance, mens coach Matt Painter joked.
A team of three featuring Hayden Hamby, Byrd and a student won the shooting contest. Hamby made the game-winning shot from halfcourt.
Jacob Lawson won the mens dunk contest.
Purdue will have its first official mens practice today.
The womens team has been practicing since Oct. 1. Purdue received a big lift in the offseason when the NCAA granted forward Drey Mingo a sixth year of eligibility.
Mingo missed last season after suffering an ACL tear in her right knee Oct. 29 in a scrimmage at Indiana State.
Were looking really good, said senior forward Sam Ostarello, who won the womens dunk contest. Just very cohesive. Were working well together. Theres not a whole lot missing right now. Were bringing a lot to the table this year.
The mens team lost three of its top four scorers from a year ago in Hummel, point guard Lewis Jackson and guard Ryne Smith.
Guard Terone Johnson is the top returning scorer at 9.2 points per game. Byrd averaged 8.9 points per game.
Purdue has a prized recruiting class, which includes guard Rapheal Davis, who is from Fort Wayne.
Weve had workouts, weve had conditioning, we went to Italy. Weve had some experience, but (today) is when it starts, Byrd said.
The fun was (Friday). (Today) is when the seriousness starts. Weve got to get down to working hard and focusing on the things we need to do and be a disciplined team, because that is how were going to win this year.