There's no doubt that Purdue is a better team with forward Robbie Hummel, but the Boilermakers will have to develop a new identity without him this season when he re-tore his ACL in practice over the weekend; the 6'8" inside-outside threat was second on the team in both scoring (15.7 points) and rebounding (6.9). Hummel went down during a matchup with Big Ten foe Minnesota on February 24th of this year and although Purdue hung on to win that game, they lost three of their final eight games including the Big Ten Tournament Championship and a Sweet 16 contest against eventual champion Duke.
Even without Hummel, the Boilermakers are by no means out. Yes, they're down. But out? Not even close. Some analysts are counting out Purdue with their recent loss of Hummel and their offseason loss of defensive spirit Chris Kramer, but even still they boast two of the best players in the conference still with senior guard E'Twaun Moore and senior forward JaJuan Johnson. Alongside Moore, the team's leading scorer for the past three seasons, are Lewis Jackson, who returns for a full season after an injury plagued sophomore year, Kelsey Barlow and four-star shooting guard Terone Johnson who could emerge as a key player off the bench.
Perhaps the Boilermakers are no longer a Top 5 team, but don't count them out. They will still contend for a Big Ten title with the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State and Illinois.