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Purdue's Iconic 22s

Karpick_headshot500x500by:Alan Karpick06/10/24

AlanKarpick's Purdue's Iconic 22s intro

Purdue’s most productive jersey number in producing All-Americans–if my calculations are correct, might be the number 22. Stephanie White, Joe Barry Carroll, Machelle Joseph and Larry Burton enjoyed that elite status.

In the coming weeks for some (hopefully) good off-season content, we will look at the most iconic jersey numbers shared by Purdue’s basketball and football teams. I understand it will limit us to numbers 1 to 55 (the highest number one can have in hoops). And, of course, because everybody does, we will rank the top performers for each number. Let the discussions/arguments begin, and here goes for the No. 22s:

Stephanie White was national player of the year on Purdue’s 1999 NCAA chams. (Photo by Tom Campbell)

1a. Stephanie White, 1996-99

Stephanie White’s icon status is preserved by her earning national player-of-the-year status to go along with a national title in her senior year of 1999. She has remained a major figure in basketball with college and WNBA coaching stints and has enjoyed a role in broadcasting with ESPN and BTN. She is in her second season as head coach of the Connecticut Sun.

1b. Joe Barry Carroll, 1977-80

Carroll was the top overall pick of the 1980 draft with the Golden State and enjoyed a successful NBA career with several teams. Carroll was a two-time All-American leading the Boilermakers to a share of the Big Ten title as a junior and the Final Four in 1980.

Carroll has maintained a relatively low profile with Purdue, and that is why he remains a notch below Whitea on our list. Carroll continues his career as an investment manager and also as an artist.

Here is our recent interview with JBC, where he talks about his Final Four experience and much more.

Larry Burton came to Purdue for track and football, and earned All-American status is senior year.

3. Larry Burton, 1972-74

Burton is one of the greatest two-sport athletes in Purdue history. Prior to taking center stage as the fastest receiver in Boilermaker history, the Virginia native finished fourth in the 200 meters in the 1972 Olympics and anchored the Purdue relay team to a national title.

The Purdue Hall-of-Fame honoree had a breakout senior season in 1974 for coach Alex Agase and earned a spot on several All-American teams. That was all the more impressive considering Agase’s penchant for running the football. A first-round NFL pick by the Saints in the 1975 draft, Burton played for five years in the league before having a career with Boys Town.

Cuonzo Martin was first team All-Big Ten before becoming a Boilermaker assistant coach under coaches Gene Keady and Matt Painter.

4. Cuonzo Martin, 1992-95

One of the most popular players in Purdue men’s basketball annals, Martin worked his way to becoming an All-Big Ten performer for coach Gene Keady in his senior year. A key figure, and self-made player, in the first two legs of Purdue’s “Three-Pete” Big Ten titles was Glenn Robinson’s sidekick on the 1994 Elite Eight team.

Martin enjoyed a brief NBA career and played basketball overseas, all while overcoming a bout of cancer in the late 1990s. He served as an assistant for Keady and Matt Painter before having head coaching stints at Missouri State, Tennessee, Cal and Missouri. Martin has returned to Missouri State where his son Chase, who also wore No. 22 at Purdue, will play for dad.

Martin does his best James Earl Jones impression in his never-to-be-forgotten work below.

MaChelle Joseph ended her Purdue playing career as one of the Big Ten’s all-time greats.

5. MaChelle Joseph, 1989-1992

The player, along with Joy Holmes, was most responsible for bringing relevance to Purdue women’s basketball in the early 1990s was Joseph. Joseph left the Boilermakers as the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer and helped the program to its first NCAA Tournament appearances.

A gritty guard from Auburn, Indiana, Joseph scored inside and out for Coach Lin Dunn. Later she became an assistant coach for Dunn. Joseph later served as head coach at Georgia Tech from 2003-19 and had a controversial ending to her stint with the Yellow Jackets, where she is the school’s all-time winningest coach, and is out of coaching.

6. Dave Rankin, 1938-40

Like Burton, Rankin had a distinguished career in football and track. In fact they were almost identical.

Rankin was an All-American at end and was the national champion in the hurdles three decades before coaching Burton. Rankin, who passed away in 2006 at age 87, served as Purdue’s track coach, working with the program from 1946-81, and the Boilermakers’ outdoor track bears his name. A key figure in international track and field. he coached the World University Games team in 1975

7. Bob Ford, 1970-72

A native of Evansville, Indiana, Bob Ford was a sharp-elbowed forward for coach George King. He led Purdue in scoring his senior year making All-Big Ten teams his junior and senior years in West Lafayette. He averaged an impressive 17.0 points per contest in his three years of varsity play, helping the Boilermakers to just their second post season appearance in their history (NIT) in 1971.

Ford is a household name for long-time Purdue basketball fans for another reason. He served as color commentator on the television broadcasts for the Farm Bureau Network in for three decades and also finished his work career working in development at Purdue.

Stanley Brown waited his turn as a Boilermaker but became an All-Big Ten level player as a senior under coach Bob DeMoss.

8. Stanley Brown, 1968-70

Purdue has had few players from the state of California in its lineup, and none ever more dynamic than Stanley Brown. A native of the San Francisco area town of Richmond, Brown electrified Purdue fans with his a school record five kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career. He remains the school’s all-time leader in kickoff returns with a 28.8 average. Known also as being the “Human Airplane,” Brown was often seen airborne at the goal line diving into the end zone, something the 5-foot-11 inch flanker did leading the Big Ten in scoring as a junior for the 8-2 Boilermakers. “Touchdown Stanley Brown” was named second-team All-Big Ten in his senior year. (thanks T. Meyer for patiently pointing out my omission).

Jaraan Cornell played in four NCAA Tournaments for Purdue (Photo by Tom Campbell)

9. Jaraan Cornell, 1997-2000

A career slowed somewhat by an ankle injury his sophomore season, the left-handed Cornell was a talented scorer who helped Purdue to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances under Keady. He still ranks in the top-20 in all-time Boilermaker scoring annals with 1,595 points.

The South Bend, Indiana native was part of one of Purdue’s highest-ranked recruiting classes with Mike Robinson and Gary McQuay.

Honorable mention

No. 22s that are worth a mention were Jimmy Young, an All-Big Ten level defensive back in 1992 and here of the Bucket Game that year. Indiana Mr. Basketball Dan Palombizio also wore the jersey for two years before transferring to Ball State, and Dave Barrett was a reserve guard for Keady and the father of 2023-24 senior Carson Barrett. Shaun Phillips also wore jersey No. 22 in 2001 but was recognized earlier with the No. 15s.

Past Icon stories: No. 15 | No. 4 | No. 23 | No. 13

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