Purdue Basketball Losing JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore: Is the Team Doomed?

James EvensCorrespondent IMarch 23, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 20:  Terone Johnson #0 and Lewis Jackson #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers scramble for the ball against Bradford Burgess #20 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams in the first half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After Purdue's disastrous loss to VCU in the tournament, Purdue fans are looking forward to next season in hopes of returning to the Final Four.

Losing two of the most prolific scorers in the history of the program will be a void that will be extremely hard to fill, however.

JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore averaged 38.5 points and almost 14 rebounds per game between the two of them.

Not only were they great on the court, but these two seniors showed tremendous class off the court and built the national image of the team.

Hopefully Boilermaker fans remember them for their legacy and not the last game that left a bad taste in fan's mouths.

Although a lot of experts will count the Boilermakers out after losing Moore and Johnson, Matt Painter has a strong foundation returning for next season.

In the 2011-2012 campaign, Purdue will have three seniors in Robbie Hummel, Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith.

This trio should provide great leadership throughout the season and be one of the best senior classes in the Big Ten.

One could say Ryne Smith was a late bloomer, but the 6'3" guard had sparks of brilliance this season.

In the loss to VCU, Smith scored 20 points and was 7-of-9 from the field, a number that—had anyone else put it up—would be praised on Sport Center.

Lewis Jackson provided that solid look on the point this season and is expected to show up and do the same next year.  His newly found jumper and ability to slash is quickly turning him into one of the best guards in the Big Ten.

How could anyone forget about Robbie Hummel? The 6'8" forward is one of the most versatile players in the nation.

For the Boilermakers to succeed next season, they will need Hummel to show up, score and help fill in some of the void left by Johnson and Moore.

Along with these three dynamic seniors, the Boilermakers return numerous key role players.

Look for Terone Johnson to get more minutes next season as he served as a prodigy to E'Twaun this season. He will be expected to be the slasher of the team and keep teams honest this year.

Travis Carroll will really need to step up next season as well. With the loss of Johnson, the Boilermakers will need to have a big guy in the paint, and Carroll will be that guy.

Along with DJ Byrd, plus several new players coming in—including Anthony Johnson—Purdue will be set next season.

It will be a different look for next season, but the Boilermakers are going nowhere even with the loss of two All Americans.

James Evens serves as a National Featured Columnist for college football and basketball, as well as the FC for the Purdue Boilermakers.    Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.