Welcome back, Hummel

31 Oct

Twenty months after last playing for Purdue, many are wondering what player Robbie Hummel is when he steps onto the floor for the first time this year. (PHOTO: Big Ten Network)

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

There are guys in college basketball that everyone seems to pull for. Robbie Hummel is one of those guys.

Maybe it is his floppy hair or aw shucks niceness of a good Midwestern kid. Or maybe it is because he plays basketball “the right way”, as the purists will often say.

Or perhaps it is because he’s been away from college basketball for 20 months and you just want to see one of the good ones overcome things that most people don’t even mess with – a rigorous rehab of back-to-back knee surgeries before assuming the role of team leader of a team that is looking to get back to the NCAA tournament.

The last time Hummel played, he was great and averaged 15.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals and a block per game. Mind you, this was two years ago.

Matt Painter is excited to have Hummel back but he also cautions about expectations that will certainly come with his return to the court.

“A lot of times when you have guys that have success and they’re out for a little while, I think it gets a little mythical, like they had a cape when they played before,” Painter said.

Hummel may have to wear a cape this year now that Jajuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore are both gone. The last time Purdue was on the floor, Virginia Commonwealth gave the Boilermakers a beating. VCU won by 18 points with the world watching. It wasn’t pretty.

Hummel saw it all from the bench, too. Now in his fifth year in the program, the senior will be asked to not only be the best player on the floor but also put the pieces together for a relatively young frontline and guys playing new roles. Painter says Hummel’s experience should serve as an advantage in the role of superhero.

“I think sitting out and understanding the game is one thing, but being able to sit out as much as he did, I think it will really help him even more of just making good decisions and helping other guys out on the court,” Painter said. “But we expect him to have the best season of his career.”

Hummel will have to have such a year if Purdue wants to be a contender in the Big Ten. As usual, the league is stacked.

Hummel says he’s 100 percent. Painter does too.

‘I think he’s better,” the coach says. “And I think he’s really going to cause problems for teams in our league in terms of the match-up, and that’s something we’ve always played off in the past.

“Like I said earlier, I expect him to have the best season of his career. And that’s just from going from watching him for the past couple of months. He looks great to me.”

2 Responses to “Welcome back, Hummel”

  1. rileyschmitt October 31, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Just a nit-picking note, it’s JaJuan Johnson, not Jujuan.

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