Purdue Basketball: 5 Reasons To Be Optimistic after Robbie Hummel's Injury
As you might know by now, Robbie Hummel is out for the season after tearing his recently torn ACL during a team practice. Hummel, the 6'8" senior from Valparaiso, was the heart and soul of Boilermaker nation and easily the most liked Purdue player in recent memory. Hummel put up some great numbers in his career, shooting 45 percent for his career from the field. He was the physical and mental leader of the Boilermakers. He not only brought great talent to the team, but brought great leadership. He was a true Boilermakers athlete.
A lot of negativity has been going around Purdue after the news of his injury. Although a major blow to the team, Purdue fans still have a lot to look forward to.
The Return Of 3'Twaun Moore
E'twaun Moore, the 6'4" senior guard out of East Chicago, Indiana, is one of the most innovative players in the country. He has the ability to create his own lanes and just flat out play.Moore brings a great energy to the Boilermakers on both sides of the ball.
Moore has had a great three years as a Boilermaker. His decision to return after declaring himself eligible for the NBA draft was a great relief to the Boilermakers. Last season Moore put up and average of 16.4 points a game and shot 34 percent from three-point land.
Moore's clutch ability to make big shots is great news for the Boilermakers, as he will need to step up even more after the loss of Hummel for the season.
The Return Of JaJuan Johnson
Johnson, the 6'10" Purdue forward, will need to have a monster year if the Boilermakers are going to be able to succeed without Hummel. Without Hummel's big-man presence in the lineup, opposing teams will be able to key on Johnson in the post.
Johnson has had a brilliant career at Purdue. The big man racked up an average of 15.5 points a game, over seven rebounds and over two blocks last season. His ability to step back and make the jumper makes him a dangerous asset to the Boilermakers.
Over the offseason JaJuan Johnson has done lots of work in the weight room. Matt Painter was reported as saying that Johnson was now benching 315. One of Johnson's main problems over the past few years has been his ability to be physical in the post. After an offseason of hard work, expect Johnson to have a stellar season in the paint and bring that physical presence to the Boilermakers—while still having the ability to sink that killer pull-up jumper.
Lewis Jackson Is Finally Healthy
After battling injuries throughout his career at Purdue, Lewis Jackson is finally healthy and ready to bring a full season of action to the Boilermakers lineup. Jackson, the 5'9" junior point guard, is quite the difference-maker when he is in the lineup. He brings a whole new level of speed to the Boilermakers offense. Along with his crazy speed and excellent ball handling skills, Jackson is a lock-down defender, with a surprising ability to rebound. His ability to defend so well and get into an opponent's face allows him to be one of the greatest defenders in the country.
Although his numbers aren't too stellar on paper, he brings the Boilermakers the passing ability that is needed to succeed. Expect Jackson to have another great season, as he tries to propel the Boilermakers back to the Final Four.
The Return Of Some Key Underclassman
Last season Purdue was not only blessed with experience, they were blessed with a great mix of underclassman that now have even more experience under their belt.
Barlow is going to need to step up this season for the Boilermakers to have a shot at the national title. The 6'5" guard from Indianapolis will see a lot of action this season, especially with the absence of Hummel this season. After having a year under his belt, expect Barlow to be more mature this season, and not leaving Boilermaker fans scratching their heads saying, "Why did he do that!?"
Okay, stop cringing—Bade is going to be a great player in Purdue's future. Doesn't everyone remember Johnson's freshman year? Bade got a lot of minutes in the absence of Hummel last season, and should have enough experience to be a contributor to the team this season.
The Boilermakers also had a number of other underclassman contribute last season, including Ryne Smith, John Hart and D.J. Byrd. Look for these Boilermakers to step up and get some serious playing time, as the Boilermakers will look for depth during Big Ten play.
The Baby Boilers: The Next Generation
Purdue has a great freshman class coming in this season to help the Boilermakers prepare for the days without the Big Three. The class is led by 6'2" guard Terone Johnson. Johnson, regarded as one of the top recruits in the country, is going to bring a much-needed shooting ability with the absence of Hummel. Expect great things from the four-star recruit Johnson over the next four years in the gold and black.
Following Johnson is Sandi Marcius, a familiar face to Boilermaker faithful, as he rode the bench all last season with injuries. Marcius, the red-shirt freshman out of Croatia, is a monster. He measures in at a tall 6'9", and weighs 260. He is going to have one major job, rebound. The Boilermakers have always been weak in the area of rebounding, but with the addition of Marcius this season, the Boilermakers will have a major player in the paint.
The freshman class is completed with the addition of Anthony Johnson, and Travis Carrol. Johnson is a guard and Carrol is another big man in the paint. I don't see these two getting a whole lot of playing time this season, but knowing Matt Painter, they will definitely get some Big Ten experience. Johnson has the opportunity to be red-shirted, but don't expect it. Carrol will probably be receiving significant minutes with the absence of Hummel and Purdue's lack of size.