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February 18, 2011

Milestone within reach for Moore

E'Twaun Moore doesn't want to know how many points he needs to hit 2,000 for his career and has taken steps to avoid finding out.

"Don't tell me," the Boilermaker senior said before Purdue's Friday practice. "Then I might be thinking about it. I don't want it on my mind.

"I want it to just happen."

When it does, Moore won't know, meaning he'll likely be oblivious to the fact he'd just become only the fifth player ever at Purdue to reach 2,000 points. He'd be the first Boilermaker to hit that elusive mark since 1988.

Rick Mount (2,323), Joe Barry Carroll (2,175), Dave Schellhase (2,074) and Troy Lewis (2,038) are Purdue's other 2,000-point scorers. Only 26 players in Big Ten history have reached the milestone

Moore won't know exactly when he joins them.

One of Moore's teammates probably will, though most others have just treated the milestone as a foregone conclusion.

"I think (JaJuan Johnson)'s honestly the only person who knows how close (Moore) is," point guard Lewis Jackson said. "We all know he's going to do it, so we've not really worried about it."

A starter at Purdue from his freshman season on, it's not just been Moore's prolific scoring that's put him in position for this rare milestone, but also his consistency.

A double-digit scorer in all but 23 of the 132 college games he's played in, Moore will leave West Lafayette after this season having never averaged fewer than the 12.9 points per game he scored as a freshman in 2007-08. As a sophomore, he averaged 13.8, then 16.4 as a junior.

Though Johnson's likely to dash Moore's bid to become the first player in Purdue's modern era to lead it in scoring all four years, Moore's averaging a career-best 17.9 points per game as a senior.

It's left him with 1,989 career points - he needs 11 to hit 2,000, as he's trying not to know - headed into Sunday's colossal matchup with No. 2 Ohio State, in what could be a pivotal game in the Big Ten regular season race.

"It'd be perfect," Moore said, "to get 2,000 points and a win."

A Purdue win over the Buckeyes would not only give the Boilermakers their second major NCAA Tournament "résumé" win of the week, but would also bring the Boilermakers within just one game of Ohio State in the league standings, a race the Scarlet and Grey were running away with as of a week ago.

When Moore hits 2,000 points, he'll become just the fourth player in league history - joining Michigan State's Steve Smith, Wisconsin's Michael Finley and Penn State's Talor Battle - to score that many points, while also grabbing 500 rebounds and handing out 350 assists, reflective of the balance Moore's developed since he's arrived at Purdue.

"The thing for him is he's developed into a real good player, and that's more important than the points," Coach Matt Painter said. "He walked in the door and he was able to score the basketball right away, but he'll walk out of here as a great player, not just a great scorer."




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