Kelsey Barlow is a character, to say the least.
Whether we are talking about his goofy attire on campus, his crazy interviews or his off-the-court issues, one thing is for sure: Barlow knows how to get people talking.
When Kelsey Barlow was just a young freshman, the 6'5" guard was coming off a close victory to Indiana at Assembly Hall when he made his first impression with the Indiana fan base, the infamous choke.
As time was expiring, Verdell Jones missed a key free throw that really was a driving factor in the Indiana loss, after which Barlow gave the choke.
Although Barlow quickly apologized for his actions, Lewis Jackson had something very different to say when asked by the Exponent about the incident:
Honestly, coach (Matt Painter) will probably get mad but (my favorite memory) was when Kelsey made the choke sign, It was worth it because he'll always be in the history and 10 years from now everyone will remember when Barlow gave the choke sign down there.
Although the choke is by far the most famous, Barlow upped the ante again last season when the Boilermakers faced Indiana at home. In what was a great defensive performance by Barlow holding Jordan Hulls to just 6-of-15 from the field, he got Hulls a little fired up.
In what was a memorable exchange, Mackey Arena nearly exploded as Hulls swung his elbows after the whistle trying to keep the ball away from Barlow, who was trying to hand it to the ref.
After the game Barlow had this to say about the incident with Hulls:
Some people just aren't mentally tough enough, I was actually telling him to hand me the ball so I could hand it to the ref, and he thought he was hard, and I was like, I've never met a little kid like that who thought he was so hard.
Love him or hate him, Barlow brings an intensity to the court like no one else. There is just something about playing Indiana that makes Barlow tick, and Purdue is going to need that to happen on Saturday.
Although he is likely not starting due to his lack of offense, Barlow will get his shot guarding some of the best shooters in the league.
With all the attention placed on Indiana this season so far, look for Kelsey Barlow to play with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, because after all, he really represents what this rivalry is all about: intensity.