NWIUNOTES: Purdue Cal basketball players achieve national recognition

2013-12-11T17:15:00Z 2013-12-19T02:20:40Z NWIUNOTES: Purdue Cal basketball players achieve national recognitionAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
December 11, 2013 5:15 pm  • 

The Purdue Calumet men's basketball team has two weapons that often go overlooked in the boxscore.

If you watch the games, you can't help but notice.

Point guard Noah Allen and reserve forward Brandon Bradford are ranked nationally among NAIA Div. II schools in steals and blocked shots, respectively.

Allen currently is second in total steals (37) and steals per game (3.7); Bradford seventh in total blocks (23) and blocks per game (2.3).

"Noah has a great knack for picking his spots," coach Dan Voudre said. "He has the ability to anticipate the next play, the next action.

"He doesn't find himself out of position because he's always going for steals."

In the win at Olivet-Nazarene University on Dec. 3, Allen had three consecutive steals in the final 1:30 to spark a 24-3 run.

The Peregrines are 22-6 since he broke into the starting lineup late last season.

"I'm an opportunistic defender. I look for ways to capitalize on other players' mistakes," said Allen, who prepped at Carroll (Flora). "They're thinking more about what they're going to do than what they're doing at that moment."

Allen once had 10 steals in a prep game. Another time, he had seven steals and 20 points playing only the first half.

Despite being 5-foot-10, Allen said he has the same extended reach as a 6-3 friend of his.

"I feel I should be taller but I drank too much pop," he said, jokingly.

The 6-5 Bradford provides a spark off the bench like his five-block performance against St. Francis.

"I remember the first time I saw Brandon play. It was at Andrean on Luke Harangody Night and Brandon blocked three shots from a 2-3 zone," Voudre recalled.

"I always thought he had the ability to be a special player at our level. We played at IPFW and he went up on the square and stopped a dunk by one of their centers, like 6-9 and 260."

Voudre called Bradford the best he's ever seen when it comes to cleanly blocking shots from behind.

"This year I'm playing better than I've ever played," Bradford said. "Everybody says I'm making so much noise but I'm just playing my game.

"It's all about timing. I love those blocks (from behind). The guy looks back, thinks he has you, but you come from the weak side, take it off the glass, grab it, chin it, get a rebound."

Bradford averages 8.9 points and 4.4 rebounds for the 9-1 Peregrines.

Catching some rays: The Purdue North Central men's basketball team will travel to Florida for the Beach Classic at Northwood University Friday and Saturday.

"This is the first time our basketball team has taken a trip," said Tom Albano, director of athletics. "Many of these guys have never been on a plane or out of the state."

The Panthers (4-6) are coached by former Morgan Township skipper Matt Bush, who replaced Jim Black late last season.

"Coach Bush has done a great job. He came in with a game plan to build a program," Albano said.

In case you missed it: Chesterton grad Nick Barango set a season record in men's soccer with 14 goals for Calumet College.

Kid's Day at SSC: The South Suburban College men's and women's basketball teams will hold a "Kid's Day" Saturday on the South Holland campus at 15800 S. State St.

The women play Cincinnati State at 2:30 p.m., followed by the No. 1-ranked men facing Joliet at 5 p.m. All kids 16 and under will be admitted free.

Santa Claus is scheduled to make a special appearance to hand out goodies and check Christmas lists.

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