Throughout the day, we'll take a look back at iconic figures — one per school — from Big Ten's basketball past. The 11th installment:
Whatever happened to ... Purdue’s Joe Barry Carroll
Then: Large Coloradoan joined Fred Schaus at Purdue in 1976. The 7-foot-1 center was an immediate hit, swatting away shots and yanking down rebounds at a steady pace. He recorded a triple-double his freshman season, with 16 points, 16 rebounds and 11 blocked shots. As a junior under new coach Lee Rose, Carroll helped the Boilermakers to a share of the Big Ten title. Because Purdue had the worst overall winning percentage, it didn’t receive an NCAA tournament bid. Instead, the team played in the NIT, losing in the finals against Indiana. As a senior, the All-American helped Purdue to the Final Four. The team lost in the semifinals but won the third-place game against Iowa. Carroll finished as the school’s career leader in rebounds and blocked shots and second in points.
Now: Carroll was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1980 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors. The team paid a heavy price to gain his draft rights, trading star Robert Parish and a draft pick that eventually would be used for Kevin McHale. During an 11-year NBA career, Carroll averaged 17.7 points and 7.7 rebounds. He earned one All-Star Game appearance and was part of the playoffs during four seasons. Currently, he lives in the Atlanta area, where he is a businessman.
What they’re saying: “He was one of the prototypical 7-foot centers. His sophomore, junior and senior years, he was a really good player. He was a catalyst leading us to the Final Four. They had a terrific year. Purdue played two home games, beating LaSalle and St. John’s at home. In the regional at Rupp Arena, it was Kentucky, Duke, Purdue and Indiana. Purdue beat Indiana, and Duke upset Kentucky. He was a skilled center. He could catch it well. His footwork was really good around the basket. He was a defensive force. He is in the top five all- time Purdue players, in my opinion.” — Larry Clisby, Voice of the Boilermakers