By Jeff Goodman
With JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore gone, everyone - including Matt Painter - knows guys need to step up.
Most importantly, Robbie Hummel needs to stay healthy after a pair of torn ACL's.
But Painter will need guys like Terone Johnson and Kelsey Barlow to emerge.
Barlow was suspended towards the end of last season, but Painter said the athletic wing has been terrific in the offseason.
Johnson has recovered from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the summer, but remains out after a cyst below the knee that has bothered him.
"We're hoping to get him back for the start of practice," Painter said. "They've drained it a couple times to get it calmed down. The meniscus is a non-issue now."
Barlow and Johnson combined to average 10 points per game last season, but they could double that output this season.
"Terone's a very important part of our team," Painter said. "He can play a couple of different positions."
Painter said that Hummel has progressed well despite having tendinitis in the non-surgically repaired knee.
"There haven't been any significant setbacks," Painter said. "Just calming down the tendinitis. We expect him to go full in the first day of practice."
If Hummel does come back at or close to 100 percent, the Boilermakers could compete for one of the top couple spots in the Big Ten. They have veteran point guard Lewis Jackson, a big-time shooter in Ryne Smith and a couple of guys in Barlow and Johnson that have the potential to be all-league caliber players.