Blog Entry

Hummel eager for final season, feeling no pain

Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 12:41 pm
Posted by Jeff Goodman

This marks my debut entry in this space after two weeks of wrestling with how to truly enjoy time off in-between jobs. 

I pulled my daughter out of school one day, caught a Red Sox matinee, bought a new car another, cleaned out the garage and even tried to sit by the pool -- but let’s face it: Relaxing isn’t my strength. 

I wanted to get to work at -- and after spending all of Monday touring the plush Fort Lauderdale offices, I’m finally ready -- and figured my first blog entry would be checking in with a kid who hasn't been sitting still much lately: Purdue star Robbie Hummel. 
Hummel looked at the team photo from four years ago and reality truly set in. 

Just three faces remain: Purdue head coach Matt Painter, Hummel and a member of the training staff. 

Everyone else is history. Every player and even all of the assistant coaches. 

Hummel was supposed to have transitioned from West Lafayette as well, working out for NBA teams with JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore in preparation for the upcoming draft. Instead, he’s in the midst of his second major rehab after tearing the ACL in his right knee again last October. 

Hummel made his latest jaunt to New York on Monday for a quick check-up with the surgeon who performed his most recent procedure, one in which the graft was taken from the same knee instead of the left knee – as was the case in the first surgery. 

"It feels like a normal ACL now,” Hummel said on Monday night. "There’s really no pain at all. It’s been much better this time.” 

Hummel has been commuting an hour or so to Tim Grover’s facility in Chicago each day for the past month as part of his rehab. He spends the majority of his time in the weight room, strengthening his knee, but is also shooting and has begun light cutting in hopes of being cleared for full contact in July. 

That would give him a couple of months to get in basketball shape and also get past the emotional roadblock of not worrying about re-injuring his knee -- unlike a year ago, when he wasn’t able to ease into playing due to the start of practice in mid-October. 

Hummel is a bright kid, one of the most realistic and cerebral I’ve ever come across in the college ranks. He understands most have written him off after a pair of major knee surgeries within an eight-month span -- and have also penciled in Purdue somewhere towards the cellar of the Big Ten. 

"We lost a lot. That’s a fact,” Hummel said. "We lost an All-American in JaJuan and another guy in E’Twaun that could have been an All-American. I think people may call me crazy, but we’re going to have a really good team. People look at us as if there’s no one left, but we only lost two guys. I know who they are, but we’ve got everyone else back. We’ll be different – and we’ll have to have guys step up.” 

Sophomore guard Terone Johnson is one of those guys. Painter will also need an inside presence (i.e. Sandi Marcius, Travis Carroll) to emerge. 

But most of all, the Boilermakers must have a healthy Hummel to sustain the momentum that has been in place since Hummel and the Baby Boilers arrived in West Lafayette what seems like an eternity ago -- back in 2007. 

Hummel, hardly known as an above-the-rim player, said he’s already able to dunk -- but he’s under no false illusion. He realizes while he’ll likely be the focal point of the team for the first in his career, his most important task will be to bring along his teammates. 

He still has veteran point guard Lewis Jackson by his side -- and Johnson could emerge as a star in the Big Ten before long. There’s no shortage of role guys -- from Ryne Smith to Kelsey Barlow to John Hart. 

Hummel still blames himself for the program’s inability to reach the Final Four each of the past two seasons and shakes his head in disbelief when he takes a look at the photo taken nearly five years ago. 

"I thought I’d go out with JaJuan and E’Twaun,” Hummel said. "Senior night was probably the toughest thing for me, that and seeing the guys lose in the second round. I always thought it would be a storybook ending.” 

But he also realizes the final chapter could have been worse -- if Painter had left after a serious flirtation with Missouri this past offseason. 

"Losing him would have been a devastating blow,” Hummel said. "For the program.” 

And for him.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:07 pm

Hummel eager for final season, feeling no pain

It speaks loudly of what is going on in college hoops. Get in and out seems to be the theme for players not really into the education part

Since: Aug 3, 2010
Posted on: June 8, 2011 5:30 pm

Hummel eager for final season, feeling no pain

 Four kids came in together. Two players graduated; one player transferred (Scott Martin). Two assistant coaches are now head coaches in Div. I. What speaks "loudly"?

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2011 3:32 pm

Hummel and Purdue

Welcome to this space Jeff.  A great start here. Robbie Hummel was the prime hope for Purdue going into each of the last two years, according to media stories. His loss was a blow that was supposed to torpedo the Purdue hopes in the NCAA. Both years they did really well anyway. Kudos to coach Painter for two great jobs. Small wonder that the assistant coaches have been hired away.

I remember when Brandon Rush finished his sophomore year at Kansas (he was originally a self-declared one and done) and declared for the NBA draft. Early in that process he tore his ACL and could not work out for teams. So he came back to school. He worked hard to recover over the summer of 2007 and was able to play in mid-season 2008. What seemed at the time a devastating setback resulted in Brandon leading the Jayhawks, as top scorer, to the NCAA title in 2008.

So for Robbie Hummel there is good opportunity to use all that knowledge he has absorbed while watching his team play the past two years and apply it to lead Purdue back to the NCAA tournament. Fans need to be patient with him having not played for two years to allow for him to find his rhythm. Although I am not a Purdue fan I wish him full recovery and finally success.

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:57 am

Hummel eager for final season, feeling no pain

I hope Hummel heals up good and right this time around.  I'm an Illini and UNC guy college hoops wise but I am a fan of the good guys.  Hummel is one of those good kids.  Just Robbie, the coach and an assistant are all that are left in 4 years.  It speaks loudly of what is going on in college hoops. Get in and out seems to be the theme for players not really into the education part.  I hope Hummel success just not at the expense of my team in the Big Ten.

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:57 am

Hummel eager for final season, feeling no pain

As a Wisconsin fan, I can appreciate a class act like Hummel.  One of those players you knew would cause your team trouble and you had to game plan against him.  Best of luck to him in all his endeavors.

Since: Jun 7, 2011
Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:24 pm

Hummel eager for final season, feeling no pain

What a crappy alum.  I also grew up a diehard ND fan but went to Purdue.  When you spend 4 years there how can you say you are "ANYTHING BUT" a Purdue Fan.  You are not welcome back on campus.

Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2011 6:44 pm

Hummel eager for final season, feeling no pain

good luck to hummel. he's always been a classy player and it's sucked to watch him injured these last two years...

Since: Jun 7, 2011
Posted on: June 7, 2011 6:35 pm

Hummel eager for final season, feeling no pain

Some of the folks on here are just total douche bags.

Best of luck to Robbie this fine an individual in college sports as you will find.  He stays out of trouble, goes to class, and represents all that is right with college athletics. 

Since: Sep 3, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2011 6:30 pm

Hummel eager for final season, feeling no pain

Purdue is going to surprise the prognosticators next year if Robbie stays healthy.  They have some great talent that didn't get a chance to show last year becasure everything went through JuJuan and E'twaun as it should.  Good luck Robbie

Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2011 4:30 pm

Hummel eager for final season, feeling no pain

Although i am a Purdue graduate i am ANYTHING BUT a Purdue fan. However, it is hard not to like Hummel. He is a great kid with an excellent work ethic and attitude. Had Purdue had Hummel last year i can't see how the Boilers would not have gone to the final 4. He made Purdue that much better. i may not like Purdue but i always respect players that "do it right" and Robbie is one of those that does it right and also does it extremely well. he is a great role model. i wish him the best of luck. i just wish IU or ND had the likes of him.

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