Add “out of an abundance of caution” to “at the end of the day” of phrases that should be removed from the English language.
If you are as sick and tired as I am of COVID-19, then you may be more fed up with people using “out of an abundance of caution” to explain closings, cancellations and just about anything else one can think of to avoid doing something.
While Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez did not use that explanation for postponing the Badgers’ football games with Nebraska last week and Purdue this past Tuesday, the skeptic in me thinks it has more to do with only having available a fourth-string quarterback with one career collegiate pass.
Since no replacement for Indianapolis Colts rookie running back Jonathan Taylor has stepped forward either, the Badgers would be vulnerable to a motivated team like Purdue which has not beaten Wisconsin since 2003.
Now, Alvarez and COVID have painted the Badgers into a corner. One more cancellation, either by Wisconsin or a Big Ten rival, and the Badgers can kiss their Big Ten title hopes goodbye. Big Ten rules for this season require teams to play six games to compete for the championship barring multiple postponements. So far, Wisconsin is the only Big Ten team with two no contests this season.
So, what does this mean for Purdue, besides avoiding possible COVID infections from the Badgers?
With a two-game lead over Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois in the West Division, the Boilermakers now have nearly two weeks to prepare for the Nov. 14 night game against Northwestern (7:30, BTN) at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Wildcats could also be unbeaten if they get past Nebraska on Saturday.
The extra time off could allow key players such as Rondale Moore, George Karlaftis and offensive lineman Cam Craig to be ready for Northwestern.
“Every year you’ve got some injuries, got some guys that you need to get healed up, some young players you need to develop, give you a little extra time to prepare for the next opponent,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said when asked Monday about a possible off week.

Southern Indiana coup
When Silver Creek forward Trey Kaufman chose Purdue over Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia and Indiana State last week, it was a momentous occasion for Boilermakers coach Matt Painter.
Memory (and a little research) uncovered very few Boilermakers coming out of that part of Southern Indiana and fewer still that were coveted by Indiana and/or Louisville.
New Albany forward Donnie Hale committed to Purdue in 2009 but never really found a role with the Boilermakers and transferred to Bellarmine.
Jeffersonville forward Wayne Walls came to Purdue in 1974 but the Journal & Courier’s article on Walls’ signing did not list any rivals for his services.
Numerous articles have stated that Martinsville guard Jerry Sichting was recruited by Bob Knight in the mid-1970s but that Purdue won his services when Knight received a commitment from Bob Bender. Sichting went on to play in the NBA.
With Kaufman, Purdue has commitments from the top two senior players in Indiana according to the 247 Sports composite. Fort Wayne Blackhawk big man Caleb Furst is ranked 35th nationally, six positions ahead of Kaufman.
The rest of 247’s top 10 consists of Homestead’s Luke Goode (99th nationally, committed to Illinois), South Bend Riley guard Blake Wesley (uncommitted), La Lumiere’s Treyton Thompson (Minnesota), South Bend St. Joseph’s J.R. Konieczny (Notre Dame), Lafayette Jeff’s Brooks Barnhizer (Northwestern), Brownsburg’s Pierce Thomas (Butler), Perry Meridian’s Jayden Taylor (Butler) and Lawrence North’s D.J. Hughes (Butler).
This list doesn’t include a Mr. Basketball candidate in Luke Brown of Blackford, who is committed to Stetson, and Gus Etchison of Hamilton Heights.
If it’s politics as usual in the Indianapolis Star’s Mr. Basketball voting, Furst and Kaufman may not be slam dunk choices to win the award. Since there are no in-state commitments to Indiana, which has recruited the three most recent Mr. Basketball winners, that could open the door for Brown, Etchison or any of the three Butler recruits. Thompson is ineligible for Mr. Basketball or Indiana All-Star honors as La Lumiere is not an IHSAA-sanctioned school.
Kaufman’s decision makes him the fifth highest-rated recruit for Purdue since 2007. Mr. Basketball winner Caleb Swanigan heads the list, followed by current NBA guard E’Twaun Moore, Furst and former NBA first-round draft pick JaJuan Johnson.
Rounding out the top 10 are Scott Martin, Robbie Hummel, Kendall Stephens, A.J. Hammons and Terone Johnson.

End of an era
Larry Clisby announced his retirement as the radio voice of Purdue basketball this past Tuesday after calling 1,189 games.
Clisby has been battling health issues and during the 2019-20 season gave up play-by-play duties to Rob Blackman while remaining as an analyst.
“For the last 40-plus years, Purdue Basketball has been a big part of my life, but I am ready to enjoy retirement and watch the Boilermakers from afar,” Clisby said in a statement released by Purdue Sports. “There have been many great moments working with this program over the last 40 years that I can’t begin to name them all. I want to thank Coach Keady and Coach Painter and all of our listeners for all of their support and friendship. I will always be a huge Boilermaker fan.”
Blackman becomes the permanent play-by-play announcer, while former Boilermaker guard Bobby Riddell steps into Blackman’s former role as analyst. Another former Purdue player, Ralph Taylor, will remain as an analyst for home games.
Purdue officials also announced that Lafayette radio station WAZY-FM (96.5) is the new flagship station for Boilermaker basketball. WNDE-AM (1260) remains the Indianapolis affiliate on the 22-station Purdue radio network.

Purdue basketball Hall of Famer dies
To older Purdue basketball fans, Dennis Blind is the answer to an obscure trivia question. To some in west central Indiana, he is remembered as a former basketball coach at Attica.
To me, he was a fair and personable administrator at Lafayette Jeff when I was a student in the 1970s. “Always do what is best for the student” was his educational philosophy.
Blind died Oct. 29 at the age of 87.
He was a graduate of Lafayette Jeff, where he helped the Bronchos reach the 1950 state championship game and the 1951 Final Four. Due to Korean War eligibility rules, Blind was allowed to play four seasons at guard for Purdue and became the school’s first 1,000-point scorer (1,011).
Blind also was a four-time letterwinner as a pitcher for the Purdue baseball team.
The last 18 of his 27 years in the Lafayette School Corporation were as principal of Jeff High School before retiring in 1997.
Blind is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame.

Noteworthy
The current Big Ten football standings are so 2020.
Purdue, Indiana and Northwestern together are 2-0 in Big Ten play for the first time.
On the other hand, who expected Penn State, Iowa and Minnesota to be 0-2? …
From the take it for what it’s worth dept.: Three media outlets predict Purdue will play in the Dec. 29 Pinstripe Bowl at New York’s Yankee Stadium.
Purdue graduate Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com and Sporting News project Virginia Tech to be the Boilermakers’ opponent. Athlon Sports has North Carolina State as Purdue’s rival.
ESPN.com analysts Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach disagree on Purdue’s bowl destination. Bonagura has the Boilermakers against N.C. State in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, while Schlabach forecasts a Guaranteed Rate Bowl matchup with West Virginia.
As for Indiana, the Hoosiers are being forecast to play anywhere from the Music City Bowl to the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day. Palm has a Music City Bowl matchup with Arkansas, while Athlon predicts a Citrus Bowl game with Auburn.
ESPN’s Bonagura and Schlabach concurred with an LSU matchup in the Outback Bowl. Sporting News also sees an Outback Bowl trip but against Florida.
Due to the shortened seasons for many conferences, the NCAA has waived the bowl eligibility rule for 2020. …
Purdue basketball will travel to Miami, Fla., on Dec. 8 for this year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Boilermakers own the conference’s best record in the Challenge (11-8), having won nine of their last 11 games. Aided by Purdue’s success, the Big Ten has gone 6-3-2 in the last 11 Challenges.
Purdue is 3-0 against the Hurricanes all-time. Miami compiled a 15-16 record last season but will be a veteran team with leading scorer Chris Lykes (15.4) among the returning starters.
The Boilermakers also added a non-conference game with Valparaiso, set for Dec. 4 in Mackey Arena. No game time has been set. Purdue has won 11 in a row in this series, which it leads 16-1. …
Ohio State owns the longest streak in Big Ten football history of 14 consecutive wins by at least 10 points against conference foes. If the Buckeyes win by a double-figure margin Saturday against Rutgers (likely), they will break a tie with Nebraska for the national record. The Cornhuskers pulled off their streak against Big 8 and Big 12 teams in 1995-96.  

Kenny Thompson is the former sports editor for the Lafayette Journal & Courier and an award-winning journalist. He has covered Purdue athletics for many years.