Blog Entry

Hummel-Less Boilers...... Keep HOPE!

Posted on: February 26, 2010 5:40 am
Edited on: February 26, 2010 5:42 am
 

To start this off, this entire entry will be deep from the heart and soul and will be a reach out to Boiler Nation to keep STRONG, keep FAITH, and more importantly keep HOPE a live for the rest of the season.

There is no doubt, losing Hummel is devastating news and a player we just can not replace. What he does for this team extends from leadership, sharp shooting, rebounding, defense, and one of our few low post presences. There is nothing I can say negative about Hummel, who is a true testament for the Boiler program. His season has come to a close early, but I guarantee he will come back next year even more focused and ticked off with the way his season was unfairly ended. I know Hummel well enough to know this injury is killing him worse then any one will ever know, as he is having the thoughts of letting his friends/teammates and coach down.  He has done nothing to let any one done; this was something completely out of his or any ones control. However, I promise you he will be there each and every game cheering, coaching, inspiring the rest of the Boilers as they take the court to try and finish this epic season and its lofty yet reachable goals.

All the nay-sayers and pessimists will point to this and say that the Boilers season is done. I say they are wrong. One thing Purdue prides it self on is playing as a whole, as a team. No one player is more important then the next, the sum is truly greater then the parts. Keep in mind the reason the Boilers looked so out of whack when Hummel went down was because the game plan was clearly thrown out the window. There is absolutely no way to plan for an injury like this, and understandably it put the Boilers out of whack. However, after they finally settled down and gained focus they looked just as sharp as the possibly could be. This is speaking offensively, because defensively I haven’t seen Purdue place that much pressure on the ball as they did in the second half against Minnesota. Now, Painter has the chance to game plan for the offense to replace Hummel’s points and rhythm. For those who don’t realize this, that game planning is a vital part to the way a team like Purdue plays. Painter is one of the best in the business when it comes to planning for the next game, and I know he will have the best playbook possible for each opponent with who we have left. Now, here’s where people are starting to crack me up. Especially Gary Parrish who said that people will say this injury gives other players the chance to step up, but it is not going to happen. This is far from true, and I will tell you why. It can be simply put as Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant.

Everyone who isn’t a die hard Boiler tends to forget Kramer was our third wheel of offense before our current big 3 back when Carl Landry was playing, Grant and Kramer where key contributors and that was a team with less talent then our current squad, with or without Hummel. And guess what, Kramer and Grant still have what it takes. It’s not like they have forgotten how to step up and be leaders on the offense, they just simply haven’t had to do so. Grant has already been reborn this season after a horrendous start to run off three consecutive games with double digit scoring, and some mighty heroics at the end of the last dramatic win. And, Kramer is an offensive threat when he gets it in his mind to be one. So, Kramer if you read this then get your mind set to start scoring. This kid has a pretty stroke from down-town and will have to start making the zone and lagging defenders pay from there. His ability to drive to the basket is also going to be key, and with his muscle this will be no problem. Mighty Mouse, also known as Lewis Jackson has to start knocking down some shots and gaining confidence. We all know jump shots aren’t his greatest strength, but this is certainly the time for him to gain the confidence to take some of these shots. And, not to sound cliché but this is the time for Hart, Barlow, and Bade to grow up and play with more of an experienced mind set, as mistakes will be more critical then ever now.

Please, I beg you; please don’t forget we still have 2 awesome star players left in Jujaun Johnson and Etwaun Moore. Let’s remember something, the talk even before this last game was both of these studs would be on the Big Ten all first conference team. Moore is still our leading scorer and assists man. And, JJ is well, JJ. I mean we see what happens if he takes a game or two off, so he has to continue to play at his normal level. What more can really be said about these two players. This still gives us at least one more star then most teams have, and for some it still gives us two.

I will admit Purdue isn’t the deepest of teams, especially in the big man department, but if Bade can mature and just give us solid minutes with sound defense and rebounding it will pay huge dividends. Now, like most Boilers Bade has yet to impress me; however, he has just looked to eager to something special when he is on the floor. In other words, when he gets a few spare minutes he looks like he is trying to prove how good he is by forcing everything. He needs to let the game come to him, relax and just stay in rhythm with game. Most importantly remember to stay in control even when trying to out hustle the opponent, and not to give away obvious fouls. I think he can honestly do this, and I hope Boiler fans will fuel his growth at Mackey this weekend.

I know there are those who probably disagree with what I have said, and I’m sure there are even more who think I’m crazy for saying Purdue still has a great shot at a National Title. This is fine; I know it is hard if not impossible to keep a positive outlook when things are going horribly wrong and seemly crashing down around you, BUT this is when Boiler Nation has to come together…. Become ONE; truly be that sixth man for our Boilers on the court! Keep STRONG, keep FAITH, and most importantly keep HOPE for this team and be positive great things are going to happen.

Boiler-Up!!!!! And, I will be going to my first Purdue game of the season come round 2 of the Big Ten tournament, dressed in all black and holding up 4 fingers for Hummel.

Grizz

P.S. Because I want to inspire Hope I will be changing my avatar for the first time since I can remember with a creation of my own, hope you like it.

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2010 4:21 am
 

Hummel-Less Boilers...... Keep HOPE!

Okay Billy (a.k.a. Favre boy, lol) I am just sick and tired of your Big12 biasness, lmao. I'm Joking, lol.

Actually I have no reason to be angry you make great points and opinions are opinions. This is how college basketball is setup anyways from the word go when the pre-season rankings are released. No big deal to me as the ultimate goal involves winning six straight in March and April. All the bickering going on is a waste of energy because in reality only 1 team gets to go home on the offseason one a win. Since Purdue has never won a National Title before I think I can probably make it another year without one.

Hummel is extremely important, no doubt, I can't argue this. If we were going to lose a player to injury I would pray it would be anyone not in the Big3 or Kramer (the true heart and soul of this team). In a sense I also agree that Purdue is no longer a top 5 team in the nation..... at least until they prove they are without Hummel. Every team deserves a chance to prove their worth after each obstacle. The unfortunate part with this injury is it came at the worst possible time of the season. 1) It gives Hummel NO chance of coming back before next year and this is only true by weeks 2) It comes at the final sprint of a Big10 title with 1 all important matchup with 2nd place 3) The committee who is already biased towards the Big10 will now more then before penalize Purdue for losing Hummel regardless of how the season ends.

However, I certainly think Purdue is better then #20 in the nation with out Hummel. Easily still in the top 15, and I hope they can prove this by beating Michigan State in a few hours. The SAD part is if Purdue does lose to MSU everyone this side of the Milky Way will be like I told you so. And, the reality is even if Hummel would've played in this game MSU could have won. This is a heated rival trying to avenge a lose at the Breslin Center and one can never predict what will happen. I promise you though there is no MSU fan or player out there thinking "hey we have a win in the bag now because Hummel isn't playing". And, in my mind the absolute worst player we could have lost was Jujuan Johnson because of his true center presence and meaning to our team. I think Hummel and Moore are just as important, but maybe an easier blow to handle. Moore is still the best player in recent memory for the Boilers at creating off the dribble with the ability to stop and pop from any spot on the court, drive and dish, or even drive with the pretty one handed floater. JJ is the scary presence by the rim on D, and if you look at stats this season the Boilers only 3 loses came when JJ scored under double digits and just plain and simply didn't show up on either side. However, Hummel's 35 point night and record 3 point shooting performance ultimatly turned into a loss. Again, I am not trying to say Purdue is the same team without him, but teams can evolve into a different style when losing players. It just takes a great coach, which Painter is, and dedication, which Purdue has. A great example of this is the Tenn Vols who lost four key players and yet they continue to be a great team who just knocked off Kentucky. There is no reason Purdue can not do the same thing and continue to play at a top 15 level.  You alos mentioned how Purdue went 1-3 without Hummel last year, however if I remember correctly those 3 loses came against opponents in the top 50 RPI and where all on the road. If this was last year I would agree the Boilers would be lost, we just simply didn't have the team to do enough without him. However, Moore and JJ are at a completely different level of play this year and I believe can carry this team. Grant is also firing on all pistons at the right time, and Kramer is amazing when he decides to take over a game.... it's like a switch he has to click on. I can easily see Moore and JJ averaging 20+ a game, Grant 12+, and Kramer 10+ from here on out. This means with a slight maturation of other players and Purdue can still surprise some teams. I do think losing size hurts, but Purdue is known for, and won't lose this with Hummel out, their ball-hawking defense. The only reason we went on to win at Minn was because of this.

With a rotation of Moore, JJ, Kramer, Barlow, and Ljack (this would be my starting 5 with Hart, Bade, and Grant coming off the bench) the only thing which is going to be hard to replace is the 3 point shot of Hummels. Barlow is something like 6'6" tall and could easily fill in as the small forward/power forward position. Small teams have won the title in the past, there is no reason to think it can't happen again.

As for what you said about the rankings, I agree and disagree. IF, and that's an if the size of China, the polls worked as they should then I agree KU should stay #1. However, the polls work as a ranking system more for who is winning most recently and losing less recently. It's sad but true. 

In the end, it will be interesting to see the rankings and seedings for that matter come Monday regardless of the Boilers game outcome. I could still care less about rankings and seedings at this point, and more interested in the Boilers finding ways to win.

Grizz  (a.k.a. Sean)



Since: Dec 31, 2009
Posted on: February 28, 2010 2:07 am
 

Hummel-Less Boilers...... Keep HOPE!

Hey Sean (a.k.a. Grizz). I disagree with some things that you said.

#1 I do not think Purdue will be what you're hoping for now with Hummel out. The guy is the foundation of that team. They went 1-3 without him last year. While I don't think they'll play that bad, I don't think they're a top 5 team. As a matter of fact, I see them now as a team ranked somewhere between 20th and 25th.

#2 No matter what happens tomorrow, Kansas should still be the #1 team in my opinion. If you look at all the teams with 2 losses (them, Kentucky, and Syracuse) Kansas' 2 losses were against tournament teams. Those 2 teams (Tennessee and Oklahoma State) have a combined record of 41-15. Kentucky's 2 losses (South Carolina and Tennessee) have a combined record of 35-21. And Syracuse's 2 losses (Pittsburgh and Louisville) have a combined record of 40-17. As you can see on this website's standings, Kentucky lost to a team with a .500 record while Syracuse lost to a bubble team. Syracuse lost both games at home but they are also 7-0 against ranked teams this season. Kansas is playing in the toughest conference in the NCAA and their conference RPI proves that. They have 7 teams that are definitely going to make the tournament. Because of this, I think Kansas should be #1, Syracuse should be #2, and then Kentucky would follow them at #3 (if Purdue were to lose to Michigan State) or at #4 (if Purdue were to beat Michigan State).

Feel free to disagree Boiler fans if you'd like. I come in peace so I am in no way bashing you or your team. I wish you luck down the road.



Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2010 6:31 pm
 

Hummel-Less Boilers...... Keep HOPE!

What turn of events with the top two teams in the nation this weekend. Both Kansas and Kentucky going down in a man handled fashion. Syracuse plays an extremely tough Villinova team this evening, so it is very possible the 1, 2, and 4 team in the nation go down on Upset Saturday!!!

Forget about Sryacuse as Purdue is already ranked in front of them, if the Boilers can rally agisnt adversity and beat the Spartans on Sunday in all rights Purdue should gain the #1 ranking in the nation. It is a tall task and something we probably didn't expect, but it is possible.

What would not be fair is if Purdue does beat Michigan State and 1) KU or UK stays in front of them or 2) Syracuse leap frogs them if they win tonight.

HOWEVER, as usual it is just most important for the Boilers to take care of their own business and try and prove to the nation they are still a force without Hummel.

BOILER-UP!!!!

Grizz


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com