Purdue Basketball: Ryne Smith with Some Strong Words About Kelsey Barlow

James EvensCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2012

SPOKANE - MARCH 19:  Alex Franklin #42 of the Siena Saints rebounds against D.J. Byrd #21 of the Purdue Boilermakers during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Spokane Arena on March 19, 2010 in Spokane, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

On Sunday, the Purdue Boilermakers faced No. 8 Michigan State in Mackey Arena, two men down.

Early Friday morning in an incident that is still rather unclear, D.J. Byrd was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication.

The incident stemmed from a celebration of Barlow's birthday, and Kelsey Barlow was thrown out of the Where Else (bar) and was trying to get back in when Byrd was involved.

There was an altercation with the bouncer and Byrd's arrest, all of which led to the suspension of D.J. Byrd for Michigan State, and the end of Kelsey Barlow's career as a Boilermaker.

Barlow had been on a hot streak since the Ohio State game and the same could be said for Byrd.

This season, Barlow was averaging 8.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and a bit over a steal per game with Purdue, but that is just an afterthought.

After the Boilermakers blew a lead and lost to the Spartan's in Mackey Arena due to 24 percent shooting in the second half, senior Ryne Smith had a statement for everyone on the teams recent troubles.

When asked what he thought about the Kelsey Barlow situation, Smith responded, "It’s addition by subtraction and D.J. is coming back, when he comes back Wednesday night he’s going to be ready to go.”

I guess it's now officially clear what Smith thought of Barlow, and it's not surprising. There has always been a divide to some degree on this team.

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 18:  Steven Samuels #13 of the St. Peter's Peacocks shoots against Ryne Smith #24 of the Purdue Boilermakers in the first half during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 18, 2011
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When you see the team in public, they are often in two groups, but maybe this will bring them together.

A team that has struggled so much to win big games this year, it has two more shots to win a big one against what could be a ranked team. They have a big game next Sunday against Michigan, followed by another against Indiana.

With two teams that should be wins in Mackey Arena left on the schedule, it looks like Boilermakers fans are going to be left without a special win in Mackey this season, but the season isn't lost.

D.J. Byrd made a mistake, a big mistake that might have cost the team a victory against Michigan State, but he can redeem himself.

It's time for him to take control of this team. As a senior next season, he is going to be expected to be the leader and why not step up now.

Against MSU, Byrd looked almost scared as he came out for the first time during warm-ups, but he wasn't met with any discontent, only support. Most Purdue fans are behind Byrd and behind this team.

With Kelsey Barlow, who many believe was a cancer to this team, off the squad, Purdue needs to respond.

With Nebraska coming into Mackey on Wednesday night, the Cornhuskers are set to get all of the frustration this team has built up inside.