Purdue Basketball: Lewis Jackson and Kelsey Barlow Do Not Get Enough Credit

James EvensCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2011

CHAMPAIGN, IL - FEBRUARY 13: Lewis Jackson #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers leads a fast break against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Assembly Hall on February 13, 2011 in Champaign, Illinois. Purdue defeated Illinois 81-70. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Purdue Boilermakers are known around the nation for their two marquee players in JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore. 

Johnson is averaging just over 20 points a game while Moore is averaging 18.6.  Both of these guys have really stepped up for the Boilermakers, but the point guard position is often overlooked for Purdue, as they posses two of the best pure point guards in America.

Lewis Jackson and Kelsey Barlow have both stepped up for the Boilermakers this season and have fit into the system extremely well.

Jackson, the listed 5'9" junior point guard, is one of the best ball-handlers in the country.

Jackson is really the general out on the court for the Boilermakers.  He is averaging only around four assists per game, but with the Boilermakers being such a great passing team, this is a great number.  

His assist to turnover ratio is 1.95 for the season, is also averaging 7.6 points per game and has really come on strong in the scoring area during the Big Ten season.

The past two seasons with the Boilermakers, Jackson was known as the guy who could not shoot, which would allow opponents to leave him open to key in on other guys.  This season, Jackson has been able to step back and shoot the trey, along with being able to slash through the lane and score a quick bucket.

What Jackson does best however is play defense.  Jackson has already had 21 steals this season and has really filled the defensive void of Chris Kramer after he graduated.

The other great point guard on Purdue's squad is Kelsey Barlow.  Barlow gets hardly any credit and has come off the bench most of the season.

Barlow is a 6'5" guard who is quick and is glue on the defensive end.  Coach Matt Painter thinks he is the second-best defensive guard in the conference only behind Ohio State senior David Lighty.  

Barlow is able to get into opponents' heads and just cause all kinds of havoc.  Although he has yet to establish his jump shot as a Boilermaker, Barlow has become known as a fierce slasher and great ball-handler.

He is still young and still makes some bad passes, but this sophomore guard is going to be a big-time player in the next few years.  With his ability to lock down the nation's premier perimeter players, as well as guard a big man in the post, Kelsey Barlow is a name the nation needs to become very familiar with.

Both of these two players for the Boilermakers have been a key part of Purdue's success and deserve more credit on the national scene.  Although Jackson is short, he plays with an extreme amount of heart.

Barlow definitely has NBA potential, and will continue to be a great part of the Boilermakers success in the future.

It's finally time for these two guys to get credit nationally, and in the Big Ten.  Maybe a deep run into the tournament will allow them to get the attention they deserve, but more than likely, they will continue to fly under the radar and do their job.


James Evens serves as a National Featured Columnist for college football and basketball as well as the FC for the Purdue Boilermakers.  Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.