The Purdue Boilermakers were once again riding high as they advanced to the Sweet 16 without Robbie "The Great White" Hummel, who suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament(ACL) in a game against Minnesota at Williams Arena.
However, the Boilermakers' season ended with a disappointing loss to a tough, eventual national champion, Duke Blue Devils team.
The Boilermakers just three years prior were dubbed the “Baby Boilers”. Well, the Baby Boilers have turned into Boiler Ballers. They have grown up, matured, gained a sense of how to play with one another, and have developed a chemistry that is second to none in the nation.
Purdue will be some analysts’ national champion pick next year. While this could happen, it will be tough with the loss of leadership from Chris Kramer, and the tough play of senior Keaton Grant. Not to mention the humor of the former walk-on Petey Jones (Mark Wohlford).
Kramer was a true rattlesnake, quickly stealing the ball and rushing down the court for an easy lay-up. He leaves Purdue with 274 steals—the most by any single player in Purdue history. He has been the face of Purdue Basketball for four years, and he is the quintessential Boilermaker: hard-nosed (no pun intended), aggressive, and a team player.
Keaton Grant is another loss that will hurt the Boilermakers. Grant, who averaged almost seven points per game and shot almost 29 percent from behind the arc, provided a much needed spark for the Boilermakers at key times, including hitting a game winning shot at Minnesota.
Mark Wohlford, the fun-loving former walk-on, will be leaving the team with one year of eligibility remaining to attend law school. He will be remembered for his intensity and effort, along with his great sense of humor.
Next year, the Boilermakers should be just as good, if not better than this year. I will outline what next year looks like for the Boilermaker Nation.