Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Man Marcus

Who's ready for the Marcus Green "Where Are They Now"???  Me too.  Unfortunately, my pursuit of the green has gotten in the way of my pursuit of Green, so this edition is being delayed a few days due to massive workloads at my actual job.  Meanwhile, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has been announced as Purdue's next president.

You can say whatever you want about Mitch Daniels' political views, but Mitch is clearly perfect for the job - check out his Gene Keady-esque combover! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hammer Down, Boiler...Installed?

The other day I had the unique pleasure of touring a house under construction. Why is this worthy of a post at  Well, this house is being constructed for an individual currently associated with Purdue Athletics.  Obviously to protect the person's privacy, I'm not saying who or where the house is located, but I still find it quite interesting.

The home is definitely large, but not as massive as the owner could surely afford.  It's one sprawling story with a full walkout basement.  I think my house could fit inside it at least four times.

Other features I noticed in the framing:
  • three-car attached garage and two-car detached garage.  Maybe this individual has a few toys that need the room.
  • space for an elevator...for a two story house?  The owner is definitely able to climb stairs, so not sure why you install an elevator.  Maybe it's for an extended family member, or to make it easier for an injured player to get to the basement to watch something on the big screen in your...
  • theater room that looks setup for some stadium seating.  Perhaps to watch game/match film?
  • an odd circular room in the basement, possibly a great trophy room?
Before I sound any more like an episode of House Hunters, let me just throw up some more photos from my phone.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where Are They Now - Bryant Dillon

The five months between Basketball and Football season can be kind of dull for Boilermaker fans.  Luckily for you, we're here to quench your thirst of all things Purdue by looking back at (and following up with) one of the worst teams in Purdue history - the 2005-2006 Men's Basketball team.

Past Where Are They Now Posts:
Part 1 - Matt Kiefer
Part 2 - Nate Minnoy
Part 3 - Korey Spates
Part 4 - Marcus White
Part 5 - Chris Lutz
Part 6 - Gary Ware
As we round the turn and begin the second half of the 2005-2006 men's basketball team, by now we realize our niche.  You all read the site for the "Where Are They Now" posts (since there's little else for us to rant/comment about in the slow summer), so we're going to (hopefully) start posting these with less delay so we can finish with this team and cover some other men (and women!) of interest.

Our seventh installment of the Worst Year Ever edition features the team's starting point guard, but due to his quiet nature and short time at Purdue, some of you probably don't even remember him.

Bryant Dillon went to high school in Indianapolis and earned all-city honors and all-state honorable mention in 2001.  As a 6'6" combo guard with a 6'10" wingspan, he showcased length that could cause match-up problems, but had to work on this jump shot and overall skills. Also, at only 180 pounds, he was thin as a rail. Out of high school he was a two star recruit and didn't have an offer from Purdue, but Iowa wanted him if he'd commit to one year of prep school, and Bowling Green (led by this schmuck) were the front runner for his talents.  Instead, Dillon went to Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) where he received a lot of praise from coach Jay Harrington, who's amassed over 700 wins at the school. After a nice freshman season, there was chatter that Dillon may come to Purdue after his second season (possibly even walking on), but three games into his sophomore campaign he tore his ACL.  Apparently the curse even impacts JUCO recruits.  After taking a redshirt year to recover, Dillon increased his scoring (15), rebounding (6), and assists (5) per game and accepted an offer from Purdue as a three-star recruit, turning down Baylor and Mississippi.

Coach Keady was excited with Dillon's 6'6" frame and versatility and knew the team would desperately need a point guard after Brandon McKnight graduated.  Also, while at SWIC, Dillon developed a strong defensive presence, hassling shorter point guards and playing tough on the ball, which fit nicely with the Purdue culture.  In his first season as a Boilermaker, Dillon played a quiet 24 minutes per game backing up McKnight and sometimes alongside him as McKnight averaged almost 38 minutes a contest.  I say "quiet" because he averaged only about two points (on only 30% shooting), two assists, and two rebounds per game.  His season came to an abrupt halt only 15 games in as he ruptured the patella tendon in his right knee in January. Two nasty injuries in just about two years (I see a theme of 2's here).

Fortunately Dillon healed well and was ready to serve as the starting point guard for his senior season.  That year, he improved his shooting to 50%, although only attempting about five shots per game and averaging 6.9 points.  At the point he unsurprisingly led the team in assists (3.0 per game) and used his length to pull down the second most total rebounds on the team (3.5 per game).

After graduating, Dillon appears to have taken a couple years auditioning at various camps before getting a professional contract in Europe.  In 2008-2009 he played for BK Nova Hut Ostrava in the Czech Republic's top league.  Dillon was signed to replace an injured player (Mike Mitchell), but he only lasted six games for the Czech team after not meeting their expectations on the court.  I mean, how could you let him stick around when his "coefficient of usefulness" was only 7.4. The horror! This series has really made me love Google Translator; you have to enjoy a point guard being called "quarterback."

After getting booted from Ostrava, Dillon apparently played a few games for a team in neighboring Slovakia, BK 04 AC LB Spisska Nova Ves.  I'm not making that name up! I have no idea what any of it stands for, but he only lasted three games with that team before departing the region formerly known as Czechoslovakia.  It's probably a good thing he didn't stick around, since he must have felt ancient and out of place playing with a group of high school JV players from Wisconsin.  Seriously though, the Slovaki guys are as white as white can be and look very, very young.  At least the Czech team looks like they mean business.  And by "business" I mean they look like great accountants.

Can you find him? He's the black dude.  Wait, there are two?! The slightly shorter one then.
Dillon's Slovaki team aka "the Wisconsin Badgers' little brothers."  Dillon obviously not pictured. 

The following year he joined the Madrid team in the summer Euroleague, where he played with another former Boilermaker!  Who?  Nate Minnoy!  Apparently we were wrong that Nate was the only member of the 2005-2006 team we had profiled that didn't play professionally after leaving Purdue.  Alas, that season was both Minnoy and Dillon's only stint in the Euroleague that I can find.

In the summer of 2011, Dillon attended the Diamond Midwest Invitational, which helps players get exposure for professional contracts.  Looks like former Boilermaker Dan Vandervieren also attended last summer. He's been playing in the NBA Development League and in Latvia the last two years, but we can talk about him more in a future post.  Back to Dillon - I couldn't make him out in the film from the camp, and he wasn't named to their all-star list, so we can't be certain he actually attended.  If he did attend though, it couldn't be good that they touted his participation but failed to denote him as an all-star.  He also attended the Higher Level Sports International Showcase last summer (looks to be based out of Japan) to try to get signed by an international team.  I hope he's playing somewhere, although he's possibly in a small town in Turkmenistan without the luxuries of the internet. At least it's not Iraq, right Marcus?

You can find Dillon on Facebook, where I'm still awaiting a reply to my request for an interview.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cool Off The Press

I got an email from the John Purdue Club at 9:09 am today saying that I was "the first to know" about an announcement regarding the upcoming Alumni basketball game and Intrasquad scrimmage at Mackey Arena on August 4th.  Obviously, that made me feel very special and excited that I alone knew about this awesome game.  Would the official announcement come out in a week?  Could I utilize this to turn into and post sensitive Purdue sports secrets under a shroud of secrecy?  This was our big chance to become something other than just the "Where Are They Now" site with a crappy name!

And then I saw this and this and this.  Liars!  One day, we'll be the first to post on some breaking Purdue news.  This is not that day.  Until then, we'll stick to analyzing things you've already seen and telling you about people you've all forgotten about.  It's easier that way.

Feel free to go to those links above for all the information about the Alumni game and if you're in the area, make sure to check it out as at least 3 current or future Where Are They Now feature athletes will be playing.  That's right, you'll have the opportunity to tell Matt Kiefer, Marcus Green, and David Teague a stalkerish amount of information about where they are now, and if you don't immediately get strapped with a restraining order, make sure to ask them what they thought of their features on!  Yes, I'm sure the guys read these things.  If you were that famous, wouldn't you google yourself daily to find out what's being written about you?  I would.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Where Are They Now - Gary Ware

The five months between Basketball and Football season can be kind of dull for Boilermaker fans.  Luckily for you, we're here to quench your thirst of all things Purdue by looking back at (and following up with) one of the worst teams in Purdue history - the 2005-2006 Men's Basketball team.

Past Where Are They Now Posts:
Part 1 - Matt Kiefer
Part 2 - Nate Minnoy
Part 3 - Korey Spates
Part 4 - Marcus White
Part 5 - Chris Lutz

So far, the “Where Are They Now Series” has focused mostly on newcomers to the Purdue basketball program.  In fact, Matt Kiefer is the only player out of the top 5 scorers on the 2005-06 basketball team with any prior Purdue experience.   Adding inexperience to the turmoil created by all these newcomers was one of the main reasons the Boilermakers experienced their worst year in decades.  Matt Kiefer may have been the senior everyone remembers on the team, however there was another big man that celebrated senior night with Matt.  Gary Ware is the subject of the sixth installment of’s “Where Are They Now – Worst Year Ever” series.

Gary Ware graduated from Detroit Finney High School in 2002 and spent two years at Dodge City Junior College.  During his second year at Dodge City, Gary averaged 12.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, and nearly 2 blocks a game while being rated the 7th best junior college power forward in the country.  Just prior to that year, Gary committed to Purdue and joined the 2004-05 team with a frontcourt of Carl Landry and Matt Kiefer.

Gary played in 27 games for Purdue in his junior year, averaging a little over 4 points per game.  As a senior on the 05-06 team, Ware averaged 7.3 points per game, but really picked up his play in the second half of the Big Ten season.  In seven of the last ten games of the year, Ware scored in double digits and averaged over 20 points a game in his last 3 games as a student athlete – a great way to go out!  

Ware averaged around 17 minutes per game over his two year career at Purdue, yet that didn’t stop someone from making a 17 minute video of Gary Ware’s Purdue highlights.  It may cover every single basket Gary Ware scored in his 2-year Purdue career, so I definitely suggest you check out all 17 minutes of it…

After becoming only the second player in our series to graduate from Purdue, Gary Ware capitalized on his strong finish as a Boilermaker to earn a contract overseas in The Netherlands at Woon! Aris Leeuwarden.  Gary averaged 12.7 points and 8.4 rebounds in his first year overseas.  Unlike most of the other Purdue players who ended up overseas, Ware really took a liking to the international game.
In the 2007-08 season, Gary averaged 10.6 points and 9.1 rebounds for InterCollege Etha Engomis in Cyprus.  Ware then took his talents to Palatinus Beach where he put up the best numbers of his career with 16.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for Hungary's Debreceni Vadkakasok.  He then went to Cherno More of the Balkan League in 2009-2010 where he averaged 11.7 ppg.  
Ware in Austria

While Ware may not have ended up at four different colleges like his teammates Korey Spates and Nate Minnoy, Gary decided to make up for it by switching teams (and countries) nearly every year of his professional career.  2010-11 brought Gary to Austria to play for the Farstenfeld Panthers.  That year, he was a starter in the Bundesliga’s All-Star game alongside Northern Iowa’s NCAA hero, Ali Farokhmanesh.  

This past season, Gary played his second season for Farstenfeld where he averaged 16 points and 7.2 rebounds in 33 games.  Farstenfeld must have a pretty decent marketing budget, because they came up with a fantastic Gary Ware highlight video.  The 2-minute masterpiece includes Gary making 2 consecutive free throws (Ware averaged well under 60% on free throws at Purdue), so it is a must watch…

Gary just returned to the US this month for his summer break and seems destined to play for yet another team in the 2012-13 season.  However, you didn’t think we’d write one of these things without at least a little controversy, did you?  One of his teammates in Austria (Anthony Shavies from Missouri State) recently wrote a blog post detailing the last month of the season and wrote extensively about Ware: 

Quick note: I just got a call from my teammate JRob (Jeff Robinson), he’s still in Furstenfeld until tomorrow morning.  JRob told me that the team has informed another one of our teammates, Gary Ware, that they are keeping his last check because he did not inform them that he did not have a driving license when they issued him a team vehicle in August.  It’s really not funny, but I’m having a good chuckle at this. I’m sure Gary (who played under Cuonzo Martin at Purdue University) is steaming mad, I’ll list the reasons below: 
  • The team booked his flight for May 7th, two weeks after our season ended. Typically, the flights home are booked for departure 3-4 days after the last game.
  • Gary paid out of his own pocket to have his flight moved up to May 1st.
  • Gary missed his May 1st flight because the team had not paid him yet and he decided he wasn’t going to leave until he was paid.
  • Team informs him on May 3rd (after he had already missed his flight) he wasn’t going to be paid.
OK, should Gary have been driving without a license? No. However, the team found out in February that Gary did not have a license.  And they immediately confiscated the team issued car.  So why is he being punished twice for the same mistake? And how does this give them the right to not pay him? I have about as much a clue as you do right now. Another one of my teammates was fined 300€ (about $400) for not sharing his team car with other players on the team.  The thing about that is they never told him he was supposed to share his car.

Upon reading the rest of the article, it appears that NOBODY has gotten their last paycheck and Gary could be out of luck.  Still, it might be a good idea for Gary to get a license to drive in Europe considering he’s played over there for six years!

Gary’s had a successful post-college career and we hope he continues to represent Purdue well on the professional circuit.  We were unable to find a facebook, twitter, or linkedin page for Ware, so if anyone can find one, make sure to post it in the comments.  We’d love to tell him we’re rooting for him!

Of the six players featured so far, the top player coming out of high school (Nate Minnoy) is the only one to have not played professional basketball.  Although, would you have guessed that Chris Lutz and Gary Ware are the only two of those six still playing?

Stay tuned to all summer long as we continue our “Where Are They Now” series on the 2005-2006 men’s basketball team!