When Robbie Hummel went down Wednesday night against Minnesota, Purdue's hopes of winning the Big Ten and even more importantly, winning a National Title went down with him. He is probably Purdue's best all-around player as he ranks near the top of every statistical category for the Boilermakers. 2nd in minutes played. 2nd in scoring. 2nd in rebounding. Most defensive rebounds. 2nd in blocks. 1st in free-throw percentage. 2nd in 3-point percentage. Most 3-pointers made. His loss hurts Purdue all over the court and he can't just replaced in the lineup. E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson can't simply account for Hummel's lost production and leadership. Hummel will continue to lead off the court, but who will hit those big 3-point shots sparking a run, or hit clutch free-throws when the team needs some points?
Last season, Hummel missed four games due to a back injury and the Boilermakers were just 1-3 without their star. Coach Matt Painter is quoted as saying "he's a facilitator. He moves the basketball, he makes the extra pass, he gets the ball insideÖsome of the basic things that don't show up in a box score is what we miss."
Purdue has a daunting task of taking on a healthy Michigan State squad Sunday afternoon. If they lose, they will more likely than not give up the Big Ten regular season title in favor of Ohio State.
On the bright-side, it looks as if Hummel will return to West Lafayette to wrap up his four-year career. Only time will tell who comes back to join him.