Forward known as Tacos transitions to leading young team - Purdue Exponent: Sports

Forward known as Tacos transitions to leading young team

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Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 10:00 am

The Big Snack, Big Boozy, Tacos and Big Country are four of the nicknames for Purdue junior forward Travis Carroll.

According to his roommate of two years, D.J. Byrd, Carroll developed the nickname “The Big Snack” because of his eating habits on the road before games.

Big Boozy came from the fact that he was one of the better rappers on the team. The Danville, Ind., native earned the nickname “Big Country” from high school friends.

The nickname that most Purdue fans remember Carroll for is Tacos.

“On the messages somebody tried typing Travis and it autocorrected to Tacos,” Carroll said with a laugh. “One day, I came to practice and everybody was calling me Tacos. I didn’t really get it.”

For Carroll, his role has changed now being an upperclassmen on a young team. For the better part of his first two years on campus he faced a heavy amount of criticism, he said, but his hard work appears to be paying off. Carroll thinks his conditioning is the best it has been in his life.

“I think I am moving better,” Carroll said. “Running up and down the court a lot better. On offense, I’m just trying to get open, which is helping me get easy buckets.”

According to Byrd, Carroll has played fundamentally strong basketball.

“Travis has done a good job listening to the coach and doing exactly what he said,” Byrd said. “He has been real fundamental in terms of screens and posting up hard and boxing out. Those are the things he does well, like hit outside jumpers. He is playing to his strengths and it is working out well for him.”

Now, after another loss, Carroll and the Boilermakers will face off against Lamar, a team that qualified for the NCAA tournament last year but is reeling at 1-6.

Lamar head coach Pat Knight, the son of Bobby Knight and a good friend of Purdue head coach Matt Painter, said the problem with his team was youth.

“We are struggling,” Knight said. “We have a bunch of new guys and are really inexperienced. It has been tough having seven straight games on the road.”

Purdue faces Lamar at 6:30 tonight at Mackey Arena. The game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.

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