Purdue Basketball: Robbie Hummel's Return and Concerns Following the Opener

James EvensCorrespondent INovember 2, 2011

Purdue Basketball: Robbie Hummel's Return and Concerns Following the Opener

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    Purdue opened it's exhibition season with a 78-46 victory over Northern State in which Purdue Boilermaker fans saw the return of a hero, Robbie Hummel.

    Mackey Arena was also a major attraction as the interior of the stadium has been redesigned and there is a more modern feel, with a new court and new court side luxury seats.

    Exhibition games generally aren't much of a game, but more of a tool used by coaches to see how players are doing and how the team works together. It really just gives you different bodies that don't know your system to play against.

    Here are some positives from tonight, as well as some concerns from the opening game. 

Positive: Robbie Hummel's Return

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    This is definitely a big sigh of relief for Purdue fans. It was good to see Mr. Hummel back in the uniform and No. 4 jogging up and down the hardwood.

    It didn't take Hummel long to pick up right where he left off, when he went down with a season ending ACL injury in 2010 against Minnesota that made him miss the end of the 09-10 season and all of the 10-11 season. 

    Hummel went 5-10 from the field playing only 15 minutes. He finished the game with a game high 18 points and seven rebounds.

    Hummel started off slow, but was able to jump right up and get going. He had 2 three-pointers in this one. 

    Overal Hummel looked good. He seems to playing back to the level he was, all Boilermaker fans can do now is hope he stays healthy this season. 

Concern: Big Man Foul Troubles

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    This is a major concern as Big Ten play approaches. It will be important for the bigs to stay out of foul trouble, contrary to what they did today.

    Both Sandi Marcius and Donnie Hale fouled out in today's game, two players that the Boilermakers can ill afford to lose, as they will be crucial to the Boilermakers in the post play, especially following the loss of JaJuan Johnson. 

    Carroll stayed out of trouble, so I guess that's a plus. 

Positive: Sandi Marcius

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    Marcius had a great game and looks like he has really improved over the summer as imports said.

    I'm not sure what happened to Sandi, but he seems to have grown into a man over the summer and figured out how to maneuver in the post. He made some great moves down low and even had a dunk which was called back due to a foul.

    Sandi went 4-4 from the field scoring eight points in 12 minutes play.

    Besides the foul trouble, it looks like Sandi could emerge as a player. 

Concern: Turnovers

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    Purdue played sloppy in handling the ball. The passing wasn't all there, but that will get better as the team develops chemistry throughout the season. 

    Purdue ended up with 14 turnovers on the day, yet were still able to force 25, so that could be considered a victory. 

Positive: Anthony Johnson and Other Freshmen

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    Anthony Johnson who was a redshirt just a year ago, has gotten bigger and is going to be a player this season. Although he is not quite up to Big Ten size, he is still going to make a difference. 

    Johnson is going to be able to help fill the shoes left by E'Twaun Moore this season, as he is able to create plays and is a great slasher.

    Anthony was 3-7 for nine points in the win over State. 

    The other freshman Jacob Lawson and Donnie Hale both looked great as well. 

    Hale also had 9 points and both played some physical basketball. They both looked good and if not redshirted, they will provide help for the team especially in the size area. 

Concern: 3-Point Shooting

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    This is a huge concern right now. Not sure whether the Boilermakers just had an off night or what, but it was just awful.

    Purdue went 3-23 from behind the arc and the normally stealth three-point ace Ryne Smith was non-existent and scored no points in this one. 

    Hopefully this is just some preseason jitters and Purdue will be able to knock down a few more of these. 

Positive: Travis Carroll

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    Travis Carroll has really developed well over the summer.  Carroll went 4-4 from the field and ended with 12 points which was second on the team.

    Carroll needs to focus a bit more on the rebounding and hauling in those missed shots, but Travis looks ready to go for the season.

    He looks a lot more comfortable down low and was moving around with grace in the paint. 

Concern: Rebounding

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    Okay, this has always been the vice of Matt Painter teams. Maybe it is the lack of a traditional big man or maybe it's just because they have too much hustle, but Purdue's rebounding was concerning tonight.

    Although they were able to pull down 33 rebounds, they did not out-rebound their opponent, which makes it difficult to win once you start playing quality opponents.

    Rebounding definitely is a concern and will need to be dealt with this week before Sunday.  

Positive: DJ Byrd and Kelsey Barlow

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    These two guys will not light up a stat sheet by any means, but they both are going to mean a lot to the Boilermakers this season. 

    Whether they are coming off the bench or starting, these two guys are what Purdue basketball is about. They were hustling up and down the court, diving for loose balls and playing hard-nosed defense.

    Both of these guys really stepped up the intensity level tonight! 

Positive: Overall Perfomance

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    Tonight's game was a positive game for the program and gave Matt Painter a lot to exam. Both freshmen looked great, but one is likely to be redshirted and if just based off this game, that guy would be Jacob Lawson.

    Although Lawson performed well, he just isn't developed physically enough for the game yet, although he is a freak athlete.

    This performance was one of those typical Purdue performances, we learned a lot about the team tonight and saw some lineups we have never seen before.

    One thing is for sure, although all of the national pundits may not be paying attention to Purdue, this is a team to watch because of their defense and scoring power. 

     

    James Evens serves as a National Featured Columnist for college football and basketball as well as the FC for the Purdue Boilermakers.     

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