By Jeff Goodman
When D.J. Byrd was arrested for public intoxication, it was expected that the junior wing would be suspended for Sunday's game against Michigan State. Nothing more than that.
What wasn't anticipated was that teammate Kelsey Barlow would be kicked off the team.
“This is an unfortunate situation, but we will move forward as a program,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We expect our student-athletes to live up to a high standard, and when their actions become detrimental to the program, there are consequences.”
According to a source, the story goes like this: Barlow left his wallet in a bar last night and couldn't get back into the establishment. He rounded up a few of his buddies -- Byrd included -- and they went back to the bar. There was apparently a verbal exchange and Byrd wound up getting arrested while sticking up for his teammate. He was booked into jail at 3:35 a.m. and released at 8:31 a.m.
Barlow was under a zero tolerance policy with Painter for several issues in the past -- including one last season that resulted in a suspension from the NCAA tournament.
The timing couldn't be any worse with Purdue hosting No. 8 Michigan State on Sunday and now being without two starters. The Boilermakers have won two straight and are 17-9 overall and 7-6 in Big Ten play. However, they can ill-afford to slip-up with five regular-season games remaining in order to secure an NCAA tournament bid.
Byrd has been terrific over the past five games, averaging nearly 17 points per game and making 18-of-34 from beyond the arc. He was 7-of-9 from deep in a close lose in Columbus to Ohio State and finished with 13 points and was 3-of-6 from beyond the arc in the win over the Illini earlier this week.
Barlow (8.3 ppg) has been erratic throughout his career, an underachiever of sorts who was suspended for the NCAA tournament a year ago.