Caleb Martin

Tough end to Purdue’s season

March 26th, 2013 at 11:52 pm by under Sports 18

Only one team goes home happy at the end of the year. That is just the truth. However, it was very sad to see the Purdue women’s basketball team’s season come to an end against Louisville.

It’s always tough speaking to the players when their season has come to an end. For some of them it is the end to their careers!

Purdue’s Sam Ostarello was one of those players that saw her career end with this loss. I have always enjoyed covering Sam ‘O’ over these past years. She has been one of my favorites. She was the final one I spoke with in the locker room after the game. She always jokes with me and holds my microphone instead of letting me hold it like I do for everyone else. She grabbed the mic and said, “one last time, right?” She made me tear up a little when she said that.

What a great career she had! I wrote about all of her stats in the article about the loss. She was a special player just as Chantel Poston and Drey Mingo were. Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp shared her thoughts on the three seniors.

“Chantel Poston has been a part of an Elite 8 and two Big Ten Tournament teams,” said Versyp. “She is just an amazing young woman. I am very proud of Chantel. I just wish she could have played more this year. Sam is one of the best rebounders that we have every had at Purdue. She has grown immensely. She is a young kid and started our program at 17. With her growth, she will have potential to play at the next level. With Drey, it doesn’t matter anything about basketball, she is alive. She has taught us more about everything. It doesn’t matter about rings, national championships, Sweet Sixteens; this is a young woman that battled back from bacterial meningitis who almost died and lost her hearing. For her to have that uniform on, and to win a Big Ten Championship and win MVP of that, and to now probably have a WNBA career or play overseas before she becomes a docto. I think that will be a great exclamation point on her career.”

This team has been through a lot over the past few years! The Boilers have endured this season that saw assistant coach Terry Kix battle stomach cancer. They played their hearts out for her and I know she is very proud of them!

I am shocked but not shocked that the Boilers lost this game. If that makes any sense. Louisville is a good team. I knew they had a chance, especially on their home floor! Speaking of that, Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino was in the crowd and was helping lead with the cheers! That was pretty cool! The crowd did play a factor in the game and helped swing momentum Louisville’s way. I really thought this was the Boilers year to go to the sweet 16 though. They were playing great basketball entering this game. However, it only takes one off night for the season to come to an end. Purdue had an off night! So, I guess I was wrong on my prediction. It wouldn’t be the first time.

So, this brings and end to my trip. It has been a fun one! I now get to drive home and enjoy a few days off. Thanks for reading. It’s been a blast!

Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

–Caleb Martin

 


Louisville has a stong defense

March 25th, 2013 at 6:38 pm by under Sports 18

Purdue knows that if it is going to make it to the sweet 16, the Boilers have to take care of the ball.

Louisville finally broke the game open against Middle Tennessee State due to their press defense that forced MTSU in to 24 turnovers.

I dropped by Purdue’s locker room early this morning and spoke with the players. Each of them spoke about watching the 1-2-2 press that Louisville runs. They believe if they can limit turnovers they can win this game.

Also, Purdue is not really worried about the crowd. Louisville had a crowd of nearly six thousand people at its game against MTSU! I think their will be even more on Tuesday night. However, the Boilers say they like to just pretend they are cheering for them. If it works, why not right?!

I spent time at Louisville’s press conference too. They have a lot of respect for the Boilers and know they will have their hands full! Purdue is playing great basketball right now!

I was not able to watch either practice today. They were closed to media. So, I can’t add a lot of insight to what took place. Purdue’s players did tell me that it would be a mental practice. They would work on implementing the game-plan.

Chantel Poston told me that she feels good. I think she will play about the same amount of minutes that she played against Liberty.

Purdue’s Drey Mingo scored just two points against Liberty. The Boilers will need more production out of her in order to get this win.

It should be a lot of fun and I will be there to bring you complete coverage!

Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

Caleb Martin


Purdue routs Liberty

March 24th, 2013 at 6:59 pm by under Sports 18

Purdue dominated from beginning to end in its game against Liberty on Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center.

I think I was able to have as much fun as the Boilermakers too! I was able to sit court-side as the Boilers routed the Lady Flames 77-43. After the game I was standing outside the Boilermakers locker room. I was able to shake Courtney Moses’ hand and congratulate her, KK Houser, and Sam Ostarello before they were escorted to the press conference room.

Now when I conduct interviews at the NCAA Touranment, I just spend time in the locker room and speak with the players there. The players were in great spirits and were joking around after the big win! I spoke to the Louisville native and Purdue freshman guard, April Wilson first. I had to ask her if she noticed any friends and family in the stands. Of course she said yes. She said she heard her name screamed out a few times but she was more focused on what was taking place on the court. It showed too. Wilson led the Purdue bench in scoring with 8 points!

I then went on to speak with Chantel Poston, Taylor Manuel, Sam ‘O’, Moses, and Houser. How about Ostarello’s game?! She poured in 10 points, 17 rebounds, and four blocks! Ostarello set a Purdue NCAA Tournament record with the 17  boards. Liberty’s head coach Carey Green shared his thoughts on Ostarello’s performance.

“I don’t think it changed. I wanted her to wear a Liberty jersey yesterday so she proved me right,” said Green. “She did a great job with 17 rebounds. I’d still like to have a Liberty jersey on her.”

All of the players I spoke with were in great spirits but they are focused on gearing up for their game Tuesday against Louisville.

Speaking of Louisville, I was able to watch most of its game from my court-side seat. Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp was just a few seats down from me taking in the game and getting a game-plan ready for Tuesday. Versyp spoke about playing Louisville in her press conference.

“They are a very athletic team,” said Versyp. “They extend their defense with their length. They have great scorers. They have obviously done very well at home.”

Middle Tennessee State played Louisville extremely well for most of the game but the Cardinals were just too strong and too deep down the stretch in the second half.

I really think the Boilers are going to get the win on Tuesday if they play the way they did today! There was a huge crowd for Louisville’s game. So, the crowd might play a factor in the second round match-up. However, the Boilers have played in tough environments throughout the Big Ten. So, I don’t think it will play too much in to the outcome.

I will be back at it tomorrow. (Monday) I am going back to the KFC Yum! Center to get interviews with the Boilers. So, make sure to check back here and remember to check out my stories at WLFI.com.

Hope everyone back in West Lafayette have their snow shovels ready! I hear it is going to get bad. I am looking out my hotel window now and it is still just rain here. I guess I will see what happens.

Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

Caleb Martin


Purdue practices at KFC Yum! Center

March 23rd, 2013 at 6:04 pm by under Sports 18

I was up bright and early this morning to make a trip to the KFC Yum! Center.

I was able to get interviews with the Boilers at 10:50 am. They were tired but excited to get to practice. They said their main concern in playing Liberty is the Lady Flames rebounding. The Lady Flames are averaging 48 rebounds per game and 17 more rebounds a contest than their opponents. Purdue is averaging 37 rebounds per contest. The Boilers know they have to box out and they have to be physical.

Liberty’s head coach Carey Green knows Purdue has good players that can rebound though. He specifically spoke about Sam Ostarello.

“She does a great job,” said Green. “I’d like to have her on my team. She’s a great challenge. I could easily put a Liberty jersey on her. She’d fit with our team really well.”

The Boilers also spoke about getting a lot of shots up in their 90 minute practice. They struggled shooting at the beginning of practice. They didn’t seem to like how the ball bounced on the rims. So, it was vital to shoot a lot so they could get used to the rims! Purdue also continued to work on the gameplan, while working on some out-of-bounds plays.

The team was in great spirits during practice. They were making me laugh with all their excitement. They are a really fun group to be around and I enjoy each time that I am able to cover them!

The Boilers are fairly healthy going in to this game against Liberty. Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp said the two weeks the team had off, really helped Chantel Poston.

“It helped her. It’s just being fresh,” said Versyp. “If the swelling stays down then she can get out there and really help us. Right now she’s doing pretty well.”

I have to add that I really like the KFC Yum! Center. It is really cool and if you have not visited the facility, you should!

My story on Purdue women’s basketball runs tonight at 11 or whenever the cast goes on. It could be pushed back due to NCAA basketball. I really had a lot of fun today and I am excited to cover Purdue’s game against Liberty tomorrow!

Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

Caleb Martin

 

 


Two days away from Purdue/Liberty game

March 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 pm by under Sports 18

I have arrived safely in Louisville, Kentucky! It’s nice that the Boilers are playing so close to home! It saved me from driving too far.

I hope you checked out my story on Purdue freshman April Wilson and her return home. She is very excited to be playing in front of her family and friends. Hopefully she helps pack out a crowd for Purdue!

On Saturday, I will be up bright and early. Purdue speaks at 10:50 am. I will be getting interviews with the team at that time. Then it will be time for me to get video of practices! I will be at three practices: Purdue, Liberty, and Louisville.

Once the practices and interviews are over with, I will be bringing you a story on Purdue at 11 on WLFI. Don’t miss it!

I have to give a prediction before Sunday! I say the Boilers get the win, 72-56. I really think Purdue will advance to the sweet 16 this year. I guess we will see if I am right!

I will continue to have blog entries all week, so make sure and keep checking back!


Boilers get a desperate win

November 11th, 2012 at 10:35 pm by under Sports 18

A lot was on the line for Purdue’s football team heading into their game against Iowa on Saturday. At the beginning of the season, many members of the media and fans expected the Boilers to compete for the top spot in the Leaders Division. Obviously, this season has been the complete opposite.

Purdue lost its first five games in the Big Ten and were in dead last in the Leaders Divison. That has placed head coach Danny Hope’s job on the line.  A win at Iowa didn’t mean that his job status improves but it at least brought about a positive to a negative situation.

As if there hasn’t been enough turmoil surrounding the Boilers this season, earlier this week Gary Nord injured his back and was admitted into the hospital. He didn’t make the trip to Iowa which left the offense in the hands of Patrick Higgins.

Purdue picked up the 27-24 win over Iowa as Paul Griggs made a 46 yard field goal as time expired. Higgins and the Boilers offense mustered 490 yards in the win! Robert Marve passed for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Ralph Bolden enjoyed his best day since returning from his ACL tear as he rushed for 102 yards.

I was really impressed with Purdue’s offense in the win. However, you do have to take in to consideration the Boilers were playing Iowa!

But a win is a win and right now Purdue could use anything that is positive. The Boilers still have a chance to become bowl eligible. They just need to win at Illinois and beat Indiana at home. Amazingly, I think they will do it.

–Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

–Caleb


Colts get road win

October 28th, 2012 at 10:52 pm by under Sports 18

Who would have ever guessed that the Indianapolis Colts would begin this season with a 4-3 record?

I was guessing this team would win 5 to 6 games this year and I guess they still could but I would have never thought they would begin the season 4-3. I am truly impressed with the win on the road against Tennessee. This Colts team is just resilient and never quits. They have really taken on the spirit of their head coach who is fighting to stay alive while battling leukemia.

I’m not really for sure where to start on spreading around praise with this team. I think it starts with Andrew Luck. He is playing great football as a rookie quarterback in the NFL. He makes mistakes but he bounces back each and every time. He had a good day on Sunday but not a great one, but in the end he found a way to help lead his team to a win. That is what I like, he is a winner!

Vick Ballard is playing great football right now! What an amazing play by Ballard to win the game! I was impressed with Donald Brown and his return back to the field after knee surgery. I was impressed by the offensive line finding a way to dominate at the end of the game. I was impressed with the defense that held the Titans to just 13 points. I was impressed with Jerry Hughes who came up with his third sack this season. This is a fun group to cheer for and they keep getting better each week.

I watched CBS’s crew chat about the Colts win and I was liked that Bill Cowher said that the Colts would make the playoffs. I’m not for sure if I believe they will yet because there is a lot of football left to play and this team is still very young.  However, I wouldn’t be shocked if they did. They do have talent and they are playing inspired football for their coach Chuck Pagano. If they do make the playoffs and Chuck is able to make it in the booth for that game, I would not want to be their opponent, because you saw what happened against Green Bay!

Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

–Caleb


Emotional win for the Colts

October 7th, 2012 at 11:09 pm by under Sports 18

It was an incredible day for the Indianapolis Colts! Most people didn’t give the Colts a chance to beat the Green Bay Packers but they were able to pull off the 30-27 upset.

Somehow, the Colts used their emotion in the right way and made an incredible comeback! It was a tough week for the Colts, who found out that their head coach Chuck Pagano had been diagnosed with Leukemia. He was watching the game from his hospital room this afternoon and what he witnessed was a group of guys that came together and fought with everything they had to honor their coach. It was one of the most impressive games I have ever watched. Historically, it was an impressive game too. Green Bay had not suffered a loss in a game while leading by 18 points at halftime since November 1957! It also was the biggest comeback victory for the Colts since Peyton Manning led them back in the AFC Championship game against the Patriots!

Andrew Luck played an incredible game. He is a special player and he proved today that he is no ordinary rookie. Luck threw for 362 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown in the win. Also, how about the play of wide receiver Reggie Wayne? The guy was simply amazing! He finished with 212 yards receiving and the game winning touchdown.

It’s hard to believe but if it wasn’t for one bad defensive play against Jacksonville, this Colts team would be 3-1 on the season. Not too shabby for a team that no one expected to hardly do anything this season.

The Colts are here to play and they will continue to grow together as a unit as they give everything they have for their coach! What a fun game to watch and I hope there are many more wins like this one!

Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

–Caleb


Luck gets first career win

September 16th, 2012 at 10:23 pm by under Sports 18

Andrew Luck picked up his first career win with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday when they beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-20.

I just want to say that I did call the Colts win in my post last Sunday!

I really believed Luck would bounce back against the Vikings. He completed 20-31 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. The big stat is that he didn’turn the ball over! Luck had his moments where he still looks like a rookie and he will have plenty more times looking like a rookie the rest of the season. But I was happy to see the improvement. However, the Vikings defense compared to the Bears defense is vastly different.

I was very impressed by the play of wide receiver Donnie Avery. Many have said that he is bust but I think for at least one game, Avery showed his critics he can still play. The Colts need him to be a reliable target because Austin Collie might not see the field for awhile.

I thought the Colts defense bounced back well too after allowing the Bears to walk up and down the field on them in week one. The Colts held Adrian Peterson to just 60 yards rushing on 16 carries. Also, they sacked Christian Ponder four times and made a forced him into a fumble. Now, the negative part for the defense is they let the Vikings rally back and tie the game up at 20-20 late in the fourth quarter. That can’t happen but also the offense should have helped put the game away. Cory Redding really stood out for me! Great pick up by the Colts!

How clutch is Adam Vinatieri? I mean the guy is a future hall-of-famer!

The Colts improve to 1-1 on the season and I believe they will get the win over Jacksonville next week. It would be something to see the Colts be 2-1 entering the bye week.

Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

–Caleb


Luck makes his regular season debut with Colts

September 9th, 2012 at 11:30 pm by under Sports 18

Well, the Indianapolis Colts first game against the Chicago Bears went about how I thought it would. The only play that happened that surprised me was the Colts’ interception that returned for a touchdown.

The Bears are just a better team right now than the Colts. Chicago has a lot more talent and experience and the Colts looked like a young team without very much experience.

It is just going to take time for the Colts.

As for my opinion on Andrew Luck, I saw some positives and negatives. Luck was under a lot of pressure because the Colts line struggled protecting him. Luck still stayed calm on most plays and stood in the pocket and delivered his pass. I liked that he has built a trust with Reggie Wayne but he needs to not rely on him too much. I saw Luck forcing it a few times to Wayne and once resulted in an interception in the red zone. Luck has to limit his turnovers but overall he did move the ball up and down the field against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Luck should have an easier time next week against the Minnesota Vikings.

The Colts defense must improve! It’s tough that the Colts lost Dwight Freeney and are already without Brandon McKinney and Pat Angerer. However, they did start the game off very strong but they couldn’t keep it up the rest of the game.

I still think the Colts bounce back next week and pick up a win over the Vikings.

–Follow me on twitter: @sportsguycaleb

Caleb